The book was extremely well written, sparing no information that was pertinent to the topic. I especially appreciated the fact that the reader was the actual author. You could sense his love of the subject.
This book is Simon Winchester at his best. Like Krakatoa, the research is deep and credible. Mr. Winchester pulls every thread and every one is interesting. As always, the narration is crisp and easy to understand. Although it is long, I was sorry when it ended. The interview with the author at the end was a plus.
I enjoyed this book. Yes, it is detailed and talks about the history of geology and theories on earthquakes over time, Chinatown, immigration, the Gold Rush, San Francisco culture, even Pentelcostalism. But in doing so, the author gives the background in why the 1906 earthquake was so devastating. It is informative, well-written, and detailed. If you are a fan of Simon Winchester books, or of history, this book is a treat.
A wonderfully well-written and interesting combination of travel writing and science writing. Explains modern geology in a quite accessible manner and the listener is kept continuously engaged by the author's marvelous language.
I really liked the book. I felt I learned a lot from it. However, when listening to this book, one must remember books by Michener - you may have to plow through a lot of background information before geting to the gist of the book. It's well worth it as it all fits into his story.
While I typically love the author, this book was "all over the place", long, and directionless. He talks about the SF Earthquake, but he also talks about lots of other so many other topics, that I continuously waited for him to get to his point. And, at the end, not sure he had one. His narrative style was engaging, but in search of some editorial succinctness.
I found this book a bit "rambling" at times as the author seemed to feel that it was necessary to tell everything he knows about the subject of geology. Do not listen to this if you are expecting it to be solely about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake as that is a very small part of the book. This book is really about what causes earthquakes.
Another great book from Simon Winchester and a good companion book to Krakatoa. What I like about his style is that he sets out the framework of the times, socially, politically, geographically, in addition to providing a great primer on geology and plate tectonics in layman terms. And he does it in a way that keeps the reader listening. Other reviewers have complained that The Earthquake doesn't really appear until well into the book, and that is because so much time is spent setting the scene for what is about to happen. Really enjoyed it.
This book was amazing!! It is not a quick read or a down and dirty account of death and destruction. It is an in-depth analysis of the conditions that ultimately led to the destruction of San Francisco and how and why it rose from the rubble as it did. Just about everything you can think of is included, from the migration of continents around the globe to the amount of rust on the pipes running beneath SF in the early 1900's. Though a bit slow at times, well worth the listen!
I was enthralled by this book. I thought I had a decent understanding of earthquakes and geology, but this book proved me wrong. I was actually disappointed when the author (and reader) finally got down to serious coverage of the SF quake, the story of our world's birth and development had been so fascinating. No, this is not a quick book...if you want something fast and easy look elsewhere. The author/reader is an Oxford-educated Brit (now living in the USA) and his writing and speaking are beautiful and eloquent. If he is a bit long-winded at times, the flow of his language is such a pleasure to hear that I didn't mind. Plus, he brings a different perspective to San Francisco's story. To me the 10 cds were far too short.
Meticulously researched and highly entertaining story of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. What a treat to hear the author retell his own story with humor and passion. Mr. Winchester is a master at providing layman's analogies to explain even the most complex geological phenomenon. Well worth the listen.
This selection is all you ever wanted to know about the San Francisco earthquake and more. The "more" includes an entire treatise on the geologic history of the United States. You don't even get into the earthquake until about disc five or six. If the author mentions a topic, like "insurance," he then gives you an entire history of the insurance business in America; if he says "Chinatown", the reader is treated to a lecture on that topic...and so on. This selection would have been so much better condensed.....
Very Boring. Over 10 CD and the first 7 don't even talk about the earthquake. Disliked readers voice and accent.
This was a little slow going in parts but stick with it. The description of the events of the actual day of the quake was quite fascinating. Also, his butterfly theory as it relates to today's politics makes you stop and think. It's the geology lessons that are difficult to absorb.
I found this a very interesting and informative book in the Winchester style. The ground work to mine all the information is amazing and I recommend this book to any one who wants to know the history of the time. There is valuable information about California and the Wild West which helps understand the modern culture of our great Western state
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