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In Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded Simon Winchester again weaves the subtle magic of telling a factual story with the fascination that is too often reserved for thrillers Krakatoa is a real life thriller, the most long lastingly impressive volcanic eruption in so many ways and all are explored in this book.First there is the historical element 1883 when the final eruption occurred is definitely historical, but recent enough that there are a lot of records and eye witness reports to draw f In Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded Simon Winchester again weaves the subtle magic of telling a factual story with the fascination that is too often reserved for thrillers Krakatoa is a real life thriller, the most long lastingly impressive volcanic eruption in so many ways and all are explored in this book.First there is the historical element 1883 when the final eruption occurred is definitely historical, but recent enough that there are a lot of records and eye witness reports to draw from, so it is well documented history Before the eruption is covered however we are given an insightful, in depth look at the social political situation in the region How the Dutch came to be in power there, the wealth of the spice trade, the intricacies of the people living in the region, all these things are covered in sufficient detail that someone who is coming to the story with little actual knowledge of the region is well versed before Krakatoa is addressed.Then there is the geological story, the science of how volcanoes in general and Krakatoa in particular occur and behave, but in order to appreciate the science in the time of the eruption we are given the history of how geology rose to be the science it is today And despite having read a fair bit of geology and plate tectonics I am always surprised all over again at how recently plate tectonics became recognised.So there is an awful lot of information surrounding the area and event before we reach the actual eruption Now I personally love this type of storytelling, the long meander to discuss all the interesting things surrounding the event, so that when the main eruption happens there are no questions, no confusion Despite enjoying this reading experience I am not blind to the fact that it takes time and attention to read This is not a fact book that you can knock off in a couple of sessions, this requires attention to get the most out of it.When we reach the eruption it is breathtaking, exciting and all that was worth waiting for, totally worth the teasers in the lead up.The part in which Winchester describes the revolution that led to modern independent Indonesia is an eye opener He links the regional rise of Islam and the Arabian peninsular s influence to the violence which, while it did lead to independence from colonisation in the region, is uncannily echoed by international Islamic behavior and goals It was an eye opener for me because while I know Islam was a prevalent religion in Indonesia, I never knew how it came to be so Now I know.The section after the eruption was an unexpected joy The detailed description of the geological changes and the successional biology of the islands re establishing themselves was fascinating, as was the peak into the future of what might yet happen with Anak Krakatoa All in all a long and satisfying reading experience Explosions like a battery of guns are heard The lighthouse is hit by a wave and destroyed, ripped off its base, leaving only an amputated stump of jagged masonry An immense wave then leaves Krakatoa at almost exactly 10 00 A.M and then, two minutes later, according to all the instruments that record it, came the fourth and greatest explosion of them all, a detonation that was heard thousands of miles away and that is still said to be the most violent explosion ever recorded and experienceExplosions like a battery of guns are heard The lighthouse is hit by a wave and destroyed, ripped off its base, leaving only an amputated stump of jagged masonry An immense wave then leaves Krakatoa at almost exactly 10 00 A.M and then, two minutes later, according to all the instruments that record it, came the fourth and greatest explosion of them all, a detonation that was heard thousands of miles away and that is still said to be the most violent explosion ever recorded and experienced by modern man The cloud of gas and white hot pumice, fire, and smoke is believed to have risen as many as twenty four miles into the airSimon Winchester, KrakatoaKrakatoa lies in the Sunda Strait, between Sumatra and Java, in current day Indonesia Winchester visited the area many years ago and returned recently to climb Anak Krakatoa, the ever growing newest incarnation of the volcano that has arisen from the sea at the same location as the one destroyed in 1883 Yes, he actually climbed the volcano and peered into its caldera He was inspired to research and document the history of Krakatoa and describe the cyclical process of rejuvenation This book is a delightful mix of history, science, and sociology Winchester provides a comprehensive look at the time period, what led up to the disaster, the tremendous explosion itself, and the resulting impact on the people and the environment He also discusses political and biological aftermath in the area, some of which is surprising The history of the period is examined in depth Winchester covers the advances in telecommunications that enabled the story to be reported quickly rather than the two weeks in took in the past He covers such history as the Dutch colonial rule of the area, natural resources, shipping methods, commerce, and past eruptions He makes a case for Krakatoa as the beginning of the idea of the earth as a global village It helps to have a strong interest in science, as Winchester goes into a detailed explanation of the scientific factors behind the disaster plate tectonics, tsunamis, seismology, continental drift, subduction zones, andIt is a thorough analysis not for someone that wants the high level overview It isoriented toward those that like to uncover the interconnections among seemingly discrete topics.This book is not a typical disaster story, though it does include eye witness accounts and the extent of devastation It does not tell the story by focusing on particular people and where they were It isfocused on why the event occurred The narrative does not arrive at the catastrophic explosion until the half way point If I have to pick a minor blemish, the sub title does not convey the breadth of the book It is muchextensive than what happened on a single day Winchester tells the story in an erudite, engrossing, and educational manner He excels at putting the event into its historical context This book is well researched it includes an extensive bibliography and footnotes that are as interesting to read as the text It contains all the elements I look for in non fiction I found it absolutely mesmerizing #Free Ebook ç Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 ⚣ The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth s most dangerous volcano Krakatoa The legendary annihilation inof the volcano island of Krakatoa the name has since become a byword for a cataclysmic disaster was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly forty thousand people Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event that has only very recently been properly understood, the eruption changed the world in ways than could possibly be imagined Dust swirled round the planet for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid with lurid and unsettling displays of light The effects of the immense waves were felt as far away as France Barometers in Bogot and Washington, DC 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 Simon Winchester s long experience in the world wandering as well as his knowledge of history and geology give us an entirely new perspective on this fascinating and iconic event as he brings it telling back to life Another masterful book by Simon Winchester I really enjoyed this one so much so that I ve bought a copy for my father for Father s Day When I was in Primary School one of my teachers once spoke about Krakatoa Most of what he said wasn t true, for instance, he said that the tidal wave went around the world twice Naturally, the 8 year old me had visions of a huge wall of water drowning the world Krakatoa was bad, but not quite Biblical Winchester is a pure delight to read He has such a va Another masterful book by Simon Winchester I really enjoyed this one so much so that I ve bought a copy for my father for Father s Day When I was in Primary School one of my teachers once spoke about Krakatoa Most of what he said wasn t true, for instance, he said that the tidal wave went around the world twice Naturally, the 8 year old me had visions of a huge wall of water drowning the world Krakatoa was bad, but not quite Biblical Winchester is a pure delight to read He has such a vast spread of interests and a keen and unfailing eye for the ludicrous and the amusing that it is hard to tell what delight is next in store The discussion on the Circus that was in town at the time of the bang was magical exactly the sort of thing that I find irresistible The idea of the man who caught cannonballs for a living losing three fingers the first time he tried it I mean, it is almost Pythonesque But it is the breadth of themes that impresses the most about his books This isn t just a book about Krakatoa as interesting as the parts of this book are that are directly about Krakatoa but also about such topics as the growth of militant Islam in Colonial Indonesia, plate tectonics, the biological diversity of the Australian and Asian sides of the Indonesian Islands and the nature of the Dutch East Indies Company up until the time of the explosion This would make a wonderful documentary series for television I think geology is an utterly fascinating science and one which is so incredibly recent much of what we really know about this science we have only really known since the mid 1960s This book covers this by a man who played a minor part in one of the discoveries that made this new science come to be.But the stories about the people who survived the eruption the boat loaded with paraffin trying to avoid hot rocks falling out of the sky, for example sounded like something made up for a film staring Harrison Ford I can see I m going to have to read all of his books now but what is one to do Krakatoa Krakatoa Krakatoa.Simon Winchester does it again He lured me into purchasing this book because of the subject itself the monstrous volcanic explosion that became the byword for catastrophe And once again, Winchester let me down The man does his homework, he gets the research done, and he has his facts in line But He Is Boring.How can a book about a volcano that obliterated an island and launched a massive killer tsunami be dull I mean, Charlton Heston should be running thro Krakatoa Krakatoa Krakatoa.Simon Winchester does it again He lured me into purchasing this book because of the subject itself the monstrous volcanic explosion that became the byword for catastrophe And once again, Winchester let me down The man does his homework, he gets the research done, and he has his facts in line But He Is Boring.How can a book about a volcano that obliterated an island and launched a massive killer tsunami be dull I mean, Charlton Heston should be running through the pages or something The reader should be cowering beneath the bedsheets with a flashlight, terrified of what might erupt from the next page to be turned We re talking about a disaster that lifted a SHIP and carried it into the jungle, where it rested with its entombed sailors for decades Wow.But He Is Boring.Three stars for excellent research and factual knowledge, but a finger puppet re enactment would bethrilling.Book Season Summer never turn your back on the sea Over the weekend I read Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883, a book in which Simon Winchester has the gall to make fun of a geographically mistitled film called Krakatoa, East of Java, while himself failing to provide an adequate map of the region There are historical maps, there are maps of where the sound of the explosion could be heard, there are numerous diagrams of fault lines and continental and oceanic plates, and there is even a black and white reproduction of a pain Over the weekend I read Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883, a book in which Simon Winchester has the gall to make fun of a geographically mistitled film called Krakatoa, East of Java, while himself failing to provide an adequate map of the region There are historical maps, there are maps of where the sound of the explosion could be heard, there are numerous diagrams of fault lines and continental and oceanic plates, and there is even a black and white reproduction of a painting showing a marvelously colorful post Krakatoa sunset but there isn t a single map showing where the volcanic island lay in respect to its near neighbors Java and Sumatra Nor is there a map showing the pre eruption island to scale, nor one showing the progress of the fatal tsunamis.That oversight could stand in for the faults of the book in general Winchester reads like a fusty but enthusiastic professor whose interests rove over many disciplines He deals with the history of the theories of evolution and plate tectonics, his own experiences researching paleomagnetism, the economics of the spice trade, telegraphy he provides a lengthy history of the Dutch colonization of Indonesia These sections are individually interesting, but they feel like the rote exposition of a disaster film you just want to get to the explosion Winchester seems to be so excited about providing a wealth of hors d oeuvres and desserts that he neglects the main course.The description of the explosion itself is made complicated by the way the author flips back and forth in time, telling each source s story in full before moving to the vantage point of the next observer Nearly all of the sources are Dutch or English, though the English are nothan tangentially involved in the story Thethan thirty thousand Javanese who died in the tsunamis following Krakatoa s eruption receive short shrift, since the author isinterested in recounting the subsequent studies of doughty Englishmen with their barometers He makes the interesting point that Krakatoa blew up at a crucial stage in the early history of telegraphy and wire news services but does not pursue the pointthan anecdotally.The book was full of interesting information, but it felt slapdash, motivated by the author s indulgence of his own curiosities rather than his anticipation of the reader s I came away from it with an intense desire to re read what remains my favorite book about Krakatoa fanciful though it is The Twenty One Balloons by William P ne du Bois Krakatoa is a scientific history of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, a volcano located on a small island between Java and Sumatra in what is now Indonesia and what was then the Dutch East Indies Like all Simon Winchester books, this one takes a long, erratic detour over the course of a couple hundred pages before actually reaching the point That won t hinder your enjoyment of the book as long as you re not in a hurry, but I thought I should mention it.Winchester studied geology in college, and t Krakatoa is a scientific history of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, a volcano located on a small island between Java and Sumatra in what is now Indonesia and what was then the Dutch East Indies Like all Simon Winchester books, this one takes a long, erratic detour over the course of a couple hundred pages before actually reaching the point That won t hinder your enjoyment of the book as long as you re not in a hurry, but I thought I should mention it.Winchester studied geology in college, and though he ended up working as a journalist, it s clear he s still passionate about the subject As a science writer, he s really excellent He explains the science behind volcanos, as well as the history of the study of plate tectonics, continental drift, and vulcanolgy This is the most interesting part of the book However, as a history writer, Winchester is, well, not so good He omits large parts of the story most notably, he barely mentions the actual Javanese and Sumatran people who lived in the area of Krakatoa until after the eruption itself He treats the history of the area as if it started and ended with European colonialism He draws specious conclusions without clear evidence For example, he tries to link the eruption of Krakatoa with rise of anti colonial sentiment at the end of the 19th century This may have some truth in it, but he completely ignores the fact that anti colonial movements in many part of the world increased during this time period If Krakatoa had anything to do with it, it certainly played a rather small part.The part that annoys me most no doubt because I am Muslim is that Winchester portrays the native religion, Islam, with inaccuracy and dismissiveness at best and pure offensiveness at worst He uses archaic terms such as Mohammedism and refers to things such as the Islamic Church and Islamic Priests Anyone with even a remote understanding of Islam knows that Mohammedism is an offensive and inaccurate term and there is no such thing as an Islamic church or a Muslim priest He tries to draw a connection between the eruption of Krakatoa and the rise of radical Islam though he seems to equate any serious practice of Islam such as going on Hajj, one of the five pillars with radical Islam He refers to the Indonesian people as converts to Islam rather than native practitioners Islam has been a widespread religion in Indonesia for 800 years By that standard, almost all Muslims are converts, along with most Christians I could go on, but I will refrain At times, I honestly felt like I was reading some colonial treatise from a hundred or two hundred years ago.To be fair, the chapter on Islam in Indonesia is just a small part of the book It may not be entirely fair of me to rate this book down based on just one chapter But then again, maybe I should judge Simon Winchester s work by his own standards when discussing a historian who wrote about previous eruptions of Krakatoa, he criticizes him for a few inaccuracies and consequently discounts his entire work All gone Plenty lives lost That is the story of Krakatoa, only the 5th greatest volcanic explosion in history but probably the loudest What intrigued me was Winchester s assertion that this natural disaster was the first world wide social media event It happened at a time when communication technology enabled the news to be transmitted world wide in a few hours through undersea telegraph cables In the Victorian age, science was sexy and many amateur science aficionados are fascinate All gone Plenty lives lost That is the story of Krakatoa, only the 5th greatest volcanic explosion in history but probably the loudest What intrigued me was Winchester s assertion that this natural disaster was the first world wide social media event It happened at a time when communication technology enabled the news to be transmitted world wide in a few hours through undersea telegraph cables In the Victorian age, science was sexy and many amateur science aficionados are fascinated by this event Long before McLuhan s global village , this eruption captured the attention of the world I m giving the book 4 Stars However, I can understand why many might find this a 2 Star read because you don t get to the eruption until past page 200 And he wanders off the main theme many times before the big boom.Winchester takes you on a roundabout tour before arriving at 10 02 AM, Aug 27, 1883 Luckily, I was interested in most of the topics First you get a history of discovery and the colonial claims to the resources of the area Then you wander off to learn about the unusual biodiversity of the Wallace Line which then progresses to a discussion of geology Follow the twists and turns leading to the final discovery of plate tectonics, a global theory that was finally established in 1965 But you won t get to the volcano yet because he needs to explain the history of the telegraph and the undersea cables And then he takes you into the news business and the rise of the Reuters News agency How about a bit on the Lloyds insurance empire Sure Dutch colonial rule, Javanese suffering, racial prejudice, religion, circuses say what , cartography, previous explosions, ancient super Krakatoa, origin of the name Krakatoa Krakatowa Krakatau You get the picture Lots of related information prior to the main event.The strongest part of the book is the description of the start of the eruption which occurs 3 months before it blows up In May of 1883, the island mountain starts to come to life, culminating in the explosion heard almost 3,000 miles away The pressure spike traveled around the world 7 times The tsunamis did the most damage, killing over 35,000 The actual Krakatoa eruption and aftermath only cover about 150 pages, definitely not enough for me But I want to visit Indonesia and see the area Son of Krakatoa is building and will surely go off someday Having lived near Vesuvius in Italy for 3 years, I can imagine the concern of those likely to be affected by any eruption It is always in the back of your mind.The last part of the book is the weakest, attributing an Islamic rebellion against the Dutch to the aftermath of the eruption Winchester makes a lot of allusions to harsh colonial rule by the Dutch but never really gets into specifics This weakens his assertion on the short lived rebellion But I would like to learnabout the colonial era.Strong recommendation if you don t mind wandering far afield Wow This has got to be the most out of topic OOT book I ve ever read It saddens me to only award it two stars I usually have a soft spot for nonfictions sigh Why on earth did I do that Some of my friends rated it five stars, after all Here s a glimpse of my train of thoughts while reading this book You ll see why.Beginning Yay, finally I get to read this book A nonfiction about something major happened in Indonesia, oh the excitement reading the first pages Hmm ok, spice trade Wow This has got to be the most out of topic OOT book I ve ever read It saddens me to only award it two stars I usually have a soft spot for nonfictions sigh Why on earth did I do that Some of my friends rated it five stars, after all Here s a glimpse of my train of thoughts while reading this book You ll see why.Beginning Yay, finally I get to read this book A nonfiction about something major happened in Indonesia, oh the excitement reading the first pages Hmm ok, spice trade.pepper.Dutch early occupation I already know most of the things here but obviously the author never intended this book only for Indonesians so okay lah But but now he s talking about map making what the I have a baaaad feeling about this book oh crap now he s blabbering about J.P Coen first VOC governor general hmm ok some of the factoids are insightful but if he s keeping this OOT streak.hmm now stories about living in the old Batavia I knew that.and that and that skipping where s the frickin Krakatau story OMG tell me he did not just drone on the Wallace line and his life story and continental drift theories for 60 pages Seriously 60 pages Couldn t he shorten it to 5 pages max Seven hells closing the book pissed Almost in the middle Now page 115 and I haven t read anything exciting about the eruption.ok now about living in the new Batavia Daendels.Rafles.Bogor.dance parties skip skip.Ahhh now he s finally talking about the earlier suspected eruptions of the volcano interesting speculations hmmm yeah this book is growing on me now.wait wait, why he s giving me a history lesson about Lloyd s insurance And the submarine telegraph cables I know they re relevant to the story but the sudden expositions in the middle of the main story is upsetting me Oh wonderful truly marvelous Mr Winchester, now you re yapping about the history of news agencies Reuters.throw me some bones here closing the book pissed Halfway Yikes it took halfway to the book to get to the real story Hmm ok.now I know the difference between volcanic and earthquake vibrations early warning system turned out to be quite ok reports from various sources including ships.LOL the Dutch was offering disaster tourism unique factoid with daredevils going to the islands, walking in calf deep ash to check out the craters while the volcanos were still preparing for the big bang and spewing smokes here and there..er what was with the elephant chapter So, apparently there was a circus troupe in Batavia a night before the kaboom and an elephant went panic The author for unknown reasons maybe he felt the need to give attractive title to his chapters made a chapter titled The Curious Case of the Terrified Elephant, 11 pages, but the elephant itself was only mentioned in the last 2 pages Kind of reflecting the content of the book itself, huh closing the book slightly pissed getting used to it by then The crack of doom Finally flexing my muscles now I m on page 209 The book has at least 384 pages..Whoa, great writing Great facts Quite gripping concentrating frowned at some facts nodding in satisfaction feeling good for the first time when reading the book Near the end Er.why Indonesian rebellion is discussed here Now, now Mr Winchester, you re giving the eruption too much credit skip skip Oh wow, a chapter about the Krakatau Jr This is a must read Uhuh Yessir This volcano is alive and kicking and close to me I hope I ll be long gone before it erupts again well, seven years after I wrote this review, deadly eruption has occurred Hmm wait..wait flipping back a few pages the book is over But but I only read something useful for about 150 pages does this copy has missing pages Am I dreaming scratching my head in utter confusion closing the book after realizing it wasn t a dream and no missing pages Final thoughts Well, ok if the author could only write 150 pages why not make the book of only 150 pages of the REAL BLOODY DEAL More than half of the book was about background stories, for Wallace s sake Why couldn t he write like Dava Sobel in her enchanting yet CONCISE account about the invention of longitude Longitude The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time which is a far less sexy topic compared with a super volcanic eruption, I daresay.Reading this book is like going to the movies, expecting to watch a drama action movie, but interrupted with commercials and trailers on other movies even during some of the action scenes Sorry, I am a very busy book reader whose reading time is so valuable and hate to see it wasted Thank goodness I only borrowed this book putting it back on my boss shelf, kthxbye Update 26 12 2018 Eruption event and underwater landslide at Anak Krakatau occurred on December 23, 2018, killing over than 400 people and counting Pictures Simon Winchester could turn your decrepit granny s boring old stories into lively, magical tales He has a way of putting the reader into the past while making them feel as if the historical subjects he writes about are fresh and very much of the present Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded is no exception Though this raging volcano s past exploits in the form of catastrophic explosions can only be guessed at for lack of reliable eyewitnesses aside from its late 1800s eruption, Winchester stil Simon Winchester could turn your decrepit granny s boring old stories into lively, magical tales He has a way of putting the reader into the past while making them feel as if the historical subjects he writes about are fresh and very much of the present Krakatoa The Day the World Exploded is no exception Though this raging volcano s past exploits in the form of catastrophic explosions can only be guessed at for lack of reliable eyewitnesses aside from its late 1800s eruption, Winchester still manages to crowd your senses with the sights, sounds, smells and very feel of the whole experience Why only 4 stars for such great writing The exposition gets boggy at times Because there is so little information on the history of Krakatoa s first supposed explosions, extraneous supporting data had to be collected and explained, and that can be long winded, meandering and at times tedious But if you like history and don t mind some educational detours, Krakatoa is well worth your time