The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060937362, 448pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2004
Simon Winchester, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, examines the legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa, which was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people. The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France. Barometers in Bogota and Washington, D.C., went haywire. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. The sound of the island's destruction was heard in Australia and India and on islands thousands of miles away. Most significant of all -- in view of today's new political climate -- the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Western militancy among fundamentalist Muslims, one of the first outbreaks of Islamic-inspired killings anywhere. Krakatoa gives us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event.
"Winchester once again demonstrates a keen knack for balancing rich and often rigorous historical detail with dramatic tension and storytelling."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Supremely well told: a fine exception to the dull run of most geological writing." starred Kirkus Review
-Kirkus Review (starred review)
"The rich and fascinating KRAKATOA confirms [Winchester's] preeminence. Janet Maslin
-International Herald Tribune
"Winchester's exceptional attention to detail never falters."
-San Francisco Chronicle
"Winchester scores." (byline Baltimore Sun, printed in Pittsburg Post-Gazette)
"Winchester...is noted for his ability to turn scholarly history into engrossing narrative."
"A real-life story bigger than any Hollywood blockbuster."
"Krakatoa is a pleasure from beginning to end."
-Boston Sunday Globe
"A rattling good read."
-Boston Sunday Globe
"Brilliant...One of the best books ever written about the history and significance of a natural disaster."
-New York Times
"Masterful build-up of literary and geological tension."
"Winchester dramatically delivers...the book is absorbing..."
"A good read."
-Washington Post Book World