David's Reviews > Aftershocks

Aftershocks by Richard S. Wheeler
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's review
Oct 01, 08

bookshelves: completed

This was a quality novel about the aftermath of the Great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Wheeler uses fifty dollar words at times, but does a great job of evoking the desperation, the despair, the weariness of the people of San Francisco. The author has a solid grasp on the happenings he describes, probably after pouring through numerous first person descriptions. He seems to know the political climate as well as the moral and social climate.

He take sthe time to use some real people in some non-historic ways, but he explains that uasage in the author's note along with his purpose.

The author follows the characters about and describes their hopelessness. The resolutions of the fictional stories are quite well thought out on his part, truly representing the historical setting and in some cases the social values of the times. He also takes time to debunk the concept that Frisco was destroyed by God as a judgment on a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, both through character's speech, opinions, and beliefs, as well as through the very interesting author's note at the end of the book. WELL WORTH READING!

One of the cool things about this book is the way that the resolute (those who know what they think they need to do and are positive abou the direction they are going) gradually lose their resolution in the midst of the catastrophe, while the irresolute (those confused and feeling hopeless) gradually become resolute and rise from the ashes.

I highly recommend this to folks who like to read historical novels. This one is quite well written, high-minded, and takes the time to reflect an entire catastrophe, avoiding the cliche of some great love in the midst of tragedy a la the "Titanic" film with Leonard DiCrapio.

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