Thursday, January 3, 2013

Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

by Erik Larson

September 8, 1900, began innocently in the seaside town of Galveston, Texas. Even Isaac Cline, resident meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau failed to grasp the true meaning of the strange deep-sea swells and peculiar winds that greeted the city that morning. Mere hours later, Galveston found itself submerged in a monster hurricane that completely destroyed the town and killed over six thousand people in what remains the greatest natural disaster in American history--and Isaac Cline found himself the victim of a devestating personal tragedy.

Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude. Riveting, powerful, and unbearably suspenseful, Isaac's Storm is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets the great uncontrollable force of nature.(Synopsis and cover image courtesy of Goodreads).

My Thoughts

This was the first book I read in 2013 and what a great way to start a new year of reading.
Mr. Larson has this amazing ability to take a historical event and turn it into a thriller. By the time the hurricane hits Galveston, my heart was pounding. Who will survive this weather phenomenon?

I liked the way the author alternated chapters between information about the time period and the track of the approaching storm. We get to learn about Isaac Cline on a personal basis, the back ground of the weather service to this point in time and even some meteorological education. The last chapters that tell the story of the hurricanes arrival, how individuals and families fight for survival, and the devastating scene post hurricane were heart wrenching.

This is the third book I have read by Mr. Larson and it did not disappoint. This is one author that I always keep tabs on to see when his next book will appear.


  1. I just read book set in Galveston and I love storms, excellent review! I love that your heart was pounding!

    1. Was it The Drowning House? I just finished it and becausw it was set in Galveston, decided to read Isaac's Storm.