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Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Every year people watch in shock as homes are destroyed and communities devastated by natural disasters. As the media arrives, the information that is reported is mainly statistical. The horror of living through and recovering from the experience is rarely told because almost no one has the emotional strength to speak out while the smoke is still in the air or the floodwat ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Trinity University Press (first published May 18th 2015)
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3.78  · 
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 ·  18 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Michelle Lancaster
Memoir
Randy Fritz
Hail of Fire: A Man and His Family Face Natural Disaster
San Antonio: Trinity University Press
Hardcover, 978-1595342591 (also available in ebook)
320 pages, $24.95
June 12, 2015

“At least seventy thousand wildfires happen every year in America, and most regenerate healthy forests, culling underbrush, improving the soil, and unspooling the life resting inside pinecones….Some of them shed their better natures, mutating into something dangerous enough that heavy equipment and elite fir
...more
Lorilei Gonzales
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given an ebook copy of this book for a fair review.

Let me begin by saying that this man’s prose is beautiful. Once you get past the newspaper-like report of weather conditions leading up to the wildfire, the writing is so fluid and natural. As I got to know Fritz through the multiple flashbacks (sometimes confusing but provided great backstory), I felt a little jealous of the guy. Hippie potter builds his own home and garden with his own two hands, becomes a great pianist late in life, goe
...more
Belinda Elizondo
One man's journey on the aftermath of a devastating fire that destroyed acres of piney woods and his entire home. He faired much better than others. Didn't fight the fire,he lost his home and all his possessions, but family survived intact and not in danger. He ended up with ptsd, dealing with anger and survivor's guilt. He and his family were able to rebuild and start again. They had insurance and a support system.

In a way this book ended up being his therapy out of the anger he experienced. H
...more
Deana Dick
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from the author and Lone Star Literary Life for an honest review

In September 2011, the third worst wildfire in U.S. History and the most destructive in Texas occurred in Bastrop. Among the damage was thirty-four thousand acres that looked like a "Giants Teardrop." The devastation was huge and almost seventeen hundred families had been affected. I remember seeing pictures on the news and crying as I thought of the beautiful land that in an instant was nothing more t
...more
Kristine Hall
In Hail of Fire, Randy Fritz shares with readers the profound emotional impact of the 2011 forest fires that devastated Bastrop County, Texas. By the time the fires had swept through nearly fifty-five square miles, over seventeen hundred families had lost their homes, including author Randy Fritz.

I expected the family's escape and recovery from the fire to be more central to the story, but it was actually pretty anticlimactic -- they were told to evacuate and they did it, and the close call that
...more
Nathan Lively
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most engaging thing for me about this book was getting to know my neighbors. I grew up around Randy, but he was always kind of a one-dimensional "adult" that I didn't know very well. And I thought I knew Jeri Nell and Walter really well, but there were plenty of surprises.

The most important reason I wanted to read this book was to better understand the grief that many people, including my parents, experience/d after losing their homes. It takes an extrovert like Randy to illustrate the inner
...more
Jordan Stivers
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nature lovers, disaster survivors, those interested in accurate portrayals of mental health
A beautifully poignant tale of a 'real' man living with the heart-breaking devastation of a lifetime and the family and community around him who keep him afloat. It's a truthful story and I appreciated that the author didn't hold back the honesty of his emotional and mental anguish and the help he sought with it. Even if his family wasn't destitute, that doesn't matter in the weight of the emotional toll the wildfire took. I thought the flashbacks were lovely and the editing of where those flash ...more
Jennifer
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received this as a giveaway from Goodreads. Thank you! I felt "so-so" about this book. I think the "story" was hard to get into, partially because it's a first-hand account of the pain of losing everything in a wild fire- so, that's just not something you would necessarily want to be engrossed in- and partially because of some of the glimpses into different times and relationships within the author's life. I did think it is a book that might offer hope to someone going through something simil ...more
Kim
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too many flashbacks. I know they add detail to the story, but I found them very distracting.
Jen
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This excellently written book published by Trinity University Press takes you on an engaging and heartfelt journey. I will say no more than to highly recommend you experience this book yourself.
Colette Wills
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Very interesting read.
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Trinity University Press
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Jun 21, 2017
Randy Fritz
Apr 21, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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Randy Fritz is an author living in Bastrop, Texas (30 miles east of Austin) with his wife Holly and daughter Miranda. In 2005, he helped coordinate emergency services to evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. Then, in 2011, he learned firsthand what it was like to lose everything in a natural disaster. He writes with vulnerability, honesty, and a bit of poetry.