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The Wake: The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  201 ratings  ·  41 reviews
In the vein of Erik Larson’s Isaac’s Storm and Dead Wake comes an incredible true story of destruction and survival in Newfoundland by one of Canada’s best-known writers

On November 18, 1929, a tsunami struck Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula. Giant waves, up to three storeys high, hit the coast at a hundred kilometres per hour, flooding dozens of communities and washing
ebook, 387 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by HarperCollins Publishers
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✨Brithanie Faith✨
4/5 stars

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Wake: The Deadly Legacy Of A Newfoundland Tsunami by Linden MacIntyre is an upcoming non-fiction that focuses on November 18th, 1929- the day a tsunami struck Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula- killing 28 people, and leaving hundreds more homeless or destitute.

As a Newfoundlander I was pleasantly surprised when the opportunity to read/review a book based on the history of the province I was born and raised in came up! I
Jack Beaton
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Corporate greed and desperate government is a bad combination and the mining industry continues this MO, in Nova Scotia and around the world. This book tells the painful story.
But the personal touch, the Conversations with the Dead, made this book a beauty.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On November 2nd, 1929 a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck deep in the water off the coast of Atlantic Canada. While it would only shake for a few moments, the real damage would follow shortly. A destructive tsunami would batter St. Lawrence, a small fishing village on the southwestern coast of Newfoundland. In the end, twenty eight people would lose their lives and a town would suffer unimaginable loss. When all was said and done, one hundred and twenty eight thousand kilos of salt cod would ...more
❀ Susan G
It is hard to believe that tsunami in Newfoundland is a piece of history that most Canadians are not aware of. The Wake describes the terrible tsunami, which was the aftermath of an earthquake, and then reaches far beyond that fateful day when 28 individuals, many of which were children, were swept to sea along with houses, wharves, boats and their livelihoods. The fishing industry was decimated.

What happened next was worse, mining which caused a legacy of cancers and lung disease, wiping out
Lana Shupe
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Linden MacIntyre once again proves his superior ability to provide us with excellent and well researched facts while weaving a story among the lines. I can not tell you how many times I uttered the words "I did not know" while reading this book. I can not tell you how horrible I felt at my ignorance of such a tragedy playing out during my lifetime. I kept thinking why do I know so much about the Halifax Explosion and know nothing of this story.
"The Dread" is something referred to in this book to
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian, non-fiction
Great read, although it is more about the St-Lawrence mining industry than it is about the tsunami.
Mark Edlund
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Canadian history - OK. A story like this in the States would be at least a made for TV movie and there would be statues everywhere. Who knew there was a tsunami hitting the Newfoundland coast in 1929? I sure didn't. The story of bravery and perseverance of the survivors is amazing. And then an early "Come From Away" story where these same folks rescue American sailors as their ships sunk off the coast. At least the Americans remembered and built at hospital in St. Lawrence.
The following results
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the topic was very interesting, the author's story telling style did not jive with me at all. I found myself skipping repetitive paragraphs, and losing track of the timeline of events often. I ended up referring to online resources to get a better picture of events. Oh, and a heads up to any unassuming future reader... this book is more about politics than anything else.
Heather Kidd
This book about the Tsunami that hits the southern coast of Newfoundland the evening of November 18, 1929 is a fascinating read at times. So much history I didn’t know. The book tells of the tragedy that massive wave brought upon poor, isolated communities and the aftereffects that were spawned. There was the start up of mining for fluorspar that the people turned to because the fish didn’t return in sufficient numbers. There was the bravery of the townspeople to save the sailors off 2 ships ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is so representative of the challengers facing Newfoundlanders throughout their history, although it’s specifically about the small community of St Lawrence on the Burin Peninsula. It begins with the 1929 tsunami that not only killed a number of people and washed away houses, but also seems to have been responsible for the end of fishing in the area. Looking for any source of income, the men were easy victims of an American speculator who talked them into working for free to dig a ...more
Mandi Magdic
I was so excited when this book finally came in from the library as I’d been on the hold list about 3 months for it. I’m usually a pretty big non fiction fan and have several slated for this year, but was really dissapointed in this book.
Telling the tale of the devastating tsunami that struck the southern coast of Newfoundland in late 1929 and the subsequent unforeseen consequences and aftermath that would change the shape of the province. From the economic insecurity due to a corrupted,
Tony Scott
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Very well written. This story of a town close to where I grew up had lots of history that I had only known peripherally. Personally, I found the earlier portion of the book, focused on the tsunami and the ecomony of Newfoundland in the 1930s to be the most interesting part of the book; it put into perspective some of the fragments of stories and comments that I recall hearing from my grandparents when I was young and didn't know or care enough to pay real attention. That portion of the book ...more
I gave this book 3 stars. The author brought to light an overlooked or ignored tragedy for the people of this community. The style of writing was rather like a documentary. I must confess I did not finish reading this book. I read about 80% but found it became repetitive. However it is so disappointing that the government was made aware of their problems but took years (and lives lost) to act. And then it was likely too little too late. I admire the strength of the residents and the courage of ...more
Jan McClelland
I would like to rate this book more than 3 stars but I can't, simply because of the heartache it left me with. I have long had a soft spot for all things Newfoundland and the disregard with which the people of the Burin are treated for so many decades is completely infuriating and yes, heart-breaking. Stories like this make me want to reach through the pages of time and cheerfully throttle the people who sat on their hands or took advantage with reckless abandon - the good ol' boys/pompous ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do like true stories and this is a true accounting of a tsunami which struck the Canadian province of Newfoundland at the Burin Peninsula in 1929. This event affected the people of Newfoundland for decades. The cod fishery collapsed a few years later and mining became an important source of income. However, the mine where the author's father worked, near St. Lawrence, was eventually found to be radioactive, taking even more lives.
Elizabeth Young
I love anything about Newfoundland. I love disaster books. This book has everything I love. However, I am very dispointed in the quality of the writing. I have enjoyed most of mcintyres books. But I felt as though he felt he had to pad the story with frequent repetition of incidents and reflections. There was a lot of unnecessary jumping around in time. Endless forewarnings but not getting to it. Very strange.
Poor Newfoundland. This is the story of all the terrible things that can happen to people in a place with nothing. Most of this happened while Newfoundland was still struggling along on its own, and honestly, it mostly happened because of that. People with no resources in a place where the only previous resource has disappeared are desperate. And so they gamble with what they have, which is their lives.
Very engaging and sad and horrible. Good book, wretched but all-too common story.
Susanna Rosebush
Very well researched, well written. I just couldn’t stand it!!!! Ohhhh, the hardship! These honest, hardworking, determined communities, bruised and battered beyond any expectation of survival just keep persevering ... the earthquake starts the tsunami...and then another tsunami of bad luck, bad weather, bad investments hits.... and then the fisheries collapse...and then another tsunami of corrupt politicians, shysters and dishonest businessmen....Will it never end?
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a very informative book on the ecological, economical and political history in Newfoundland (predominately) from 1929 to 1975. I was quite disappointed that the book I was prepared to read about the tsunami that hit Newfoundland in 1929 was only discussed in the first chapter or two. The remainder of the book took place after 1929 and had very little to do with the tsunami at all.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m from Newfoundland and I had no idea about the history of my home province that was detailed in this book. It was great to see the events put into the North American context as well. An amazingly written, heartbreaking, and true story. Well worth the read.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. #indigoemployee
Lynn B Jolicoeur
What a great read.
Very well written.
Without a doubt a Must Read .
So much information as to what happen in Newfoundland during that time period.
The Tsunami, the opening and development of the mines, how the people coped with everything that happened during the 1920s -30s.

Amazing read.
Highly recommended.

I will be looking at his other books to read for sure.
Marlene Hessdorfer
Excellent read. I thought it was about the 1929 tsunami on the Burin Peninsula and although it starts out talking about that it continues as a condemnation of the Fluorspar mining operations in the early years and the silicosis and Radon gas related deaths that haunted the small mining communities. An exceptionally well researched book and so well written.
Kayla Reynolds
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was expecting a book entirely on the aftermath of the tsunami not realizing exactly what that entailed. I learned so much about the history of a small part of the island I grew up on. It was eye opening and sad to read about what the people of the burin peninsula went through for so many decades while the “government” and bosses turned a blind eye.
Highly recommend this book.
Susan Quenneville
I gave this book the best shot I possibly could. I’m disappointed to say that apart from the first few chapters explaining the earthquake, subsequent tsunami and devastation they caused, I found the rest of Linden MacIntyre’d book long and tedious. I honestly tried but to no avail...
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had been searching for a long time for a book that held my interest and this one did the trick. Very thought provoking and tragic. A part of our nation's history that is relatively unknown to many. Highly recommend if this type of book is your thing.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read. Linden MacIntyre was able to weave the stories of the miners and their families seamlessly with the actions(or inactions) of businessmen and government. Compelling from start to finish.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, canadian
This book was interesting because of the history, about which I knew nothing. I found it often bogged down in details that didn't interest me, but the story of the people was so tragic that I kept reading to the end.
David Cavaco
I was hoping this book had more background on Newfoundland’s natural, political and cultural history. Despite the writer’s best intentions, the book was repetitive about individual miners and their respective personal histories. Great photo collage.
Cyndie Stymiest
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read. Loved learning about our Eastern history.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and salient episode in Newfoundland history. Have to been to Burin and wanted to learn more. Author weighed heavy on mining industry for 2/3 of the book.
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Linden MacIntyre is the co-host of the fifth estate and the winner of nine Gemini Awards for broadcast journalism. His most recent book, a boyhood memoir called Causeway: A Passage from Innocence won both the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction.