Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm reading a fascinating book!

I was first introduced to author Erik Larson via his book, "Isaac's Storm", a novel-like account of the dramatic and melancholy story of Isaac Cline. Mr. Cline was Chief of the Weather Bureau in Galveston, Texas on September 8, 1900, the date of the great hurricane of 1900, STILL the most deadly natural disaster in US history.

I love history. I love Galveston. The 1900 storm is part and parcel of Galveston, so of course I had to read Larson's book. It is fascinating and I recommend it (Cline knew something was wrong, but his higher-ups told him all was well, so he did less than he could to avoid the disaster. He lost his wife, his children, and his home in the storm, and was forever blamed for failing to warn the populace of the impending disaster. He did try, but too late. He is a compelling figure and his story still resonates; I recommend the book wholeheartedly, with the caveat that it is, in fact, melancholy).

(For the record, my other historical interests include the Tudor era, the American Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, the Civil War, the San Francisco Earthquake, the Titanic, the Depression/World War II, and the Kennedy assassination).

In any event, I flew to Chicago for a job interview yesterday (I'll let everyone know when I know something). Up and back in one day is getting harder and harder for fat old Uncle Nicky, but I digress.

I had lots of time to kill upon departure, so I went to the bookshop in the airport (surprised, right?) and happened on Larson's other book, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. It tells, in novel form, the story of the Columbian Exhibition in 1893 Chicago. Mass murder??? Jack the Ripper??? Who knew????

I love stuff like this.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting. Larry really likes that kind of stuff. I read rubbish, as Hunter once said.