Marc Weitz's Reviews > Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson
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's review
Jun 03, 12

Read in May, 2012

Readers of Erik Larson's other books will know what to expect from this: a well-written, informative, and dramatic narrative non-fiction. This book chronicles the events and people who were part of the 1900 hurricane that devastated Galveston, Texas. Like his other books, this book too follows two converging stories. One story is the hurricane and hurricanes in general: their history, their science, and those outside of Galveston who failed the people so greatly. The second story is the people in Galveston: how Isaac Cline, his family, and the other residents dealt with the approaching storm, arrival, and aftermath.

The story drags the reader into their lives and forces him or her to know them and become familiar with them, so that the reader cares about how and if they survive the storm. There is even a bad guy: the pompous head of the Weather Bureau whose hubris prevents the residents of Galveston from being warned and potentially thousands of lives being saved. The science and history of hurricanes is fascinating and told with the requisite drama. When the tropical storm becomes a hurricane, the author starkly ends the chapter with the sentence "The storm opens its eye."

This book is a page turner. Highly recommended.

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