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Isaac’s Storm

A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

At the turn of the last century, Isaac Cline, chief weatherman for Texas, believed no storm could do serious harm to the city of Galveston, a fast growing metropolis on the Gulf Coast destined for great things. In September 1900 a massive hurricane proved him wrong, at great personal cost. The storm killed as many as 10,000 people in Galveston alone, stole the city’s future, and caused hurricane experts to revise their thinking about how hurricanes kill. The book won the American Meteorology Society’s prestigious Louis J. Battan Author’s Award.

For the record, of all my books, this is my wife’s favorite. I also discovered that some people in Texas would read this book to their children at bedtime, presumably leaving out the pyres of burning corpses toward the end—or maybe not.

Praise for Isaac’s Storm

The best storm book I’ve read, consumed mostly in twenty-four hours; these pages filled me with dread. Days later, I am still glancing out the window nervously. A well-told story.”—Daniel Hays, author of My Old Man and the Sea

Isaac’s Storm so fully swept me away into another place, another time that I didn’t want it to end….Erik Larson’s writing is luminous, the story absolutely gripping. If there is one book to read as we enter a new millennium, it’s Isaac’s Storm.”—Alex Kotlowitz, author of The Other Side of the River and There Are No Children Here

There is electricity in these pages, from the crackling wit and intelligence of the prose to the thrillingly described terrors of natural mayhem and unprecedented destruction. Though brimming with the subtleties of human nature, the nuances of history, and the poetry of landscapes, Isaac’s Storm still might best be described as a sheer page turner”—Melissa Faye Greene, author of Praying for Sheetrock and The Temple Bombing

Superb…Larson has made [Isaac] Cline, turn-of-the-century Galveston, and the Great Hurricane live again.”—The Wall Street Journal

Erik Larson’s accomplishment is to have made this great-storm story a very human one—thanks to his use of the large number of survivors’ accounts—without ignoring the hurricane itself.”—The Boston Globe

Vividly captures the devastation.”—Newsday

This brilliant exploration of the hurricane’s deadly force…tracks the gathering storm as if it were a character…Larson has the storyteller’s gift of keeping the reader spellbound.”—The Times-Picayune

With consummate narrative skill and insight into turn-of-the-century American culture…Larson’s story is about the folly of all who believe that man can master or outwit the forces of nature.”—The News & Observer

A powerful story…a classic tale of mankind versus nature.”—The Christian Science Monitor