Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson

Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson

In Isaac’s Storm, Erik Larson tells the story of the fateful year 1900 when Isaac Cline and a hurricane crossed paths in the city of Galveston, Texas. As a meteorologist at a time when that science was still not being taken seriously by most people, performing well at his job was a major goal for Isaac. Despite his commitment, a series of factors—most significantly disillusionment with the Cuban weather reporting and an incomplete understanding of certain weather patterns, would result in absolute catastrophe for Galveston and the people living there.

As an island in the Gulf of Mexico, the city was in a predicament no matter what. But in the end, few if any in the path of the storm were prepared for the hurricane itself and for the strength with which it would make landfall. The storm took over the city in a matter of hours. Galveston was under tens of feet of water before the crisis was over. The storm’s power resulted in the complete leveling of entire city blocks. Almost no part was left untouched. In all, it was a complete disaster.

Larson is very effective at bringing his reader into the midst of his stories as he walks through the events “in the shoes” of his characters. From the vivid imagery to the way the characters are developed and portrayed, it’s hard to not become attached to the fate of everyone involved. If you enjoyed this book, particularly his writing style, Larson has a number of others out that cover a wide variety of topics. Some works you may wish to consider are The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, Thunderstruck (a murderer is thwarted by wireless inventor Marconi), and Lethal Passage: How the Travels of A Single Handgun Expose the Roots of America's Gun Crisis