Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When Normal Blew Up: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived On” as Want to Read:
When Normal Blew Up: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived On
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When Normal Blew Up: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived On

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  17 reviews
2017 INDIES Winner - Bronze, True Crime (Nonfiction)

2017 B.R.A.G. Medallion Winner

In 1967, in the small town of Circleville, Ohio, a man walked into an old-fashioned drug store on a busy Saturday and laid a smoking package on the pharmacy counter in the back. He shouted for everyone to leave, he had a bomb.

Five people died that day, leaving five spouses and fifteen chi
Kindle Edition, 172 pages
Published March 23rd 2017 by Red Raku Press (first published 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When Normal Blew Up, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When Normal Blew Up

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  83 ratings  ·  17 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of When Normal Blew Up: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived On
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! The book took me back to my childhood days and growing up in the seventies. The book is well written and speaks of domestic violence and the wide impact it had on so many families due to the horrific bombing that took place in the small town of Circleville, OH. Highly recommend!
Susan Barrett
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
true story about an explosion at a pharmacy in Circleville Ohio in 1967
told by a daughter many years later whose father died in the accident
Many small towns experience tragedies such as tornadoes, floods and in the case of Circleville, Ohio, a bombing of a neighborhood pharmacy and soda fountain that killed a number of town residents. My interest in this story resulted from Circleville being the childhood home of my wife and she had shared her experience of this disaster with me long before this book was published. It is the story of a dysfunctional husband that for some reason thought the pharmacy where his wife worked or their emp ...more
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Originally from Circleville but in 1967 was living in California (graduated from LEHS in 1964). But I heard all the details from my pare TS and knew of some of the people it involved. Such a senseless act by an obviously very disturbed man. So SAD. I look back at those years and how domestic violence was overlooked. It was and continues to be a huge problem in families.
Joan Maclin
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a very interesting story and it is quite surprising that it took nearly 50 years for it to be researched and told. Joni Foster began her journey simply to understand what happened, and later determined it could/should be a book that covered much more than her own family's experience. I'm glad she did. There are dozens of unanswered questions and she is very disciplined at not guessing answers where none were found, given the passage of time and the loss of many whose memories might have ...more
Jane Thompson
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tragic Story

This book is written about an unbelievable "incident" that happened in a small town in Ohio. The author tells about a man, not able to handle the changes in his and in society, who blows up a small business in town. Several people were killed and the effects of it lasted for lifetime s of those affected. An interesting book.
gj indieBRAG
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

We are proud to announce that WHEN NORMAL BLEW UP: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived on by Joni Foster is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money!
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a well-written, interesting look at a small-town tragedy and how it impacted so many. Really informative depiction of the early 60's and hidden domestic violence. ...more
Jamie L. Patano
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Has lots of connections to my family locations.
Fred Fanning
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review, biography
A very interesting book. Usually, non-fiction books aren't this interesting or this compelling to read. If you want a true story to read you will love this one. ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
What a book!
I wanted to know what happened in our town. So many lives were changed.
Barbara Cook
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I grew up in this town. I remember this event very well. Very interesting book!
rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2018
Patricia Mansker
rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 03, 2018
Leslie Goddard
rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2018
Cheri Roan
rated it liked it
Jul 04, 2017
Teresa Roy -Sheppard
rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2018
rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2018
Mark Ulanch
rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2018
Rex L Armey
rated it really liked it
May 24, 2018
Kim Malcolm
rated it really liked it
Mar 25, 2017
Emylie Shinto
rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2019
rated it really liked it
May 24, 2017
Joan I Fleck
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2017
Ethan Vander Tuin
rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2019
Betsy Milan
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
An Interesting but Somewhat Incomplete Book

This book was recommended by a friend who, I believe may have either a familial connection or friendship with the author. I found the idea a bit horrifying--a young girl's father is murdered when she is quite young. I cannot fault in any way the veracity of the reporting for the research material is extensive and well documented. Unfortunately, the writing is so sterile that it just sits on the page with no life. I wish there was more suspense, more fol
Amanda Rodriguez
Apr 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Joni Foster did an amazing job detailing this tragic event while spending the majority of the story highlight the heroic efforts of individuals, family members, and the community of Circleville. This was an emotional and powerful story that caused me to pause and reflect after each chapter. Thank you for the insight into this event and for honoring members of this community, as well as the community as a whole.
rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2020
Linda May
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Memory of fear

This simple straightforward account of the biggest tragedy to hit my hometown brought back the abject fear I felt when I heard the news. My family usually were in Bingmans on Saturday . that Saturday they were home but the realization of his easily all could be lost has stayed with me since.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Glad Farm
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
  • Loving Tiara: Memoir
  • The Moonshiner's Daughter
  • The Devil All the Time
  • Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness
  • The Places Left Unfilled
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
  • Sunrise From an Icy Heart
  • Hiding from Myself
  • The Same Moon: A Touching Memoir About Intercountry Adoption in Vietnam and Unconditional Love
  • I’ve Always Wanted a Daughter
  • Mamaji
  • All the Forgivenesses
  • The Best of Me
  • Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
  • Stray
  • No More Dodging Bullets: A Memoir about Faith, Love, Lessons, and Growth
See similar books…
1 follower
Joni Foster has spent her life helping communities around the globe as a community organizer, community developer and storyteller. Today, she and her husband live on a small farm in Texas.

Related Articles

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
62 likes · 17 comments