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4.0 von 5 Sternen Read About A World Event
In "Krakatoa" author Simon Winchester examines the great explosion of August 27, 1883 from all angles, including historical, scientific, social, political and religious. He starts by explaining the social structure in the Dutch East Indies at the time. He then goes on to explain the scientific explanations for what happened and why. A fascinating portion is the story of...
Veröffentlicht am 8. November 2008 von James Gallen

versus
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Leisurely View of Indonesian History, Geology and Biology
Simon Winchester is as talented an author as we have when the subject is either aspects of geology or history of science that are little known to the public. When he takes on the subject of Krakatoa, he wanders unconscionably. Unless you are fascinated about the sections I describe below, skip this book and read The Map That Changed the World instead.

When you...
Veröffentlicht am 17. April 2007 von Donald Mitchell


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4.0 von 5 Sternen Read About A World Event, 8. November 2008
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James Gallen (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
In "Krakatoa" author Simon Winchester examines the great explosion of August 27, 1883 from all angles, including historical, scientific, social, political and religious. He starts by explaining the social structure in the Dutch East Indies at the time. He then goes on to explain the scientific explanations for what happened and why. A fascinating portion is the story of the scientific studies which recorded the effects of the blast including water waves thousands of miles away and the air wave which circled the globe seven times during the first fifteen days. As the book progresses he impact the blast had on the natives and Europeans living in the area. He eventually suggests that the rise in Muslim devotion in the Dutch East Indies may have been the result of a fundamentalist turn to Allah after the catastrophe. The book ends by chronicling the volcanic activity and the island at the site of Krakatoa in the years since the explosion.

Krakatoa was the first major natural catastrophe to occur after the network of underground cables united the world. This made it a "World Event" which has fascinated readers ever since. I had long heard of Krakatoa and appreciate the opportunity to gain a better understanding it and its implications. It raised an interest in other scientific histories and the history of the Dutch East Indies. A book than can do that merits a recommendation.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Leisurely View of Indonesian History, Geology and Biology, 17. April 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
Simon Winchester is as talented an author as we have when the subject is either aspects of geology or history of science that are little known to the public. When he takes on the subject of Krakatoa, he wanders unconscionably. Unless you are fascinated about the sections I describe below, skip this book and read The Map That Changed the World instead.

When you think of Krakatoa, what strikes you? If you are like me, you imagine the tremendous volcanic explosion on August 27, 1883 . . . and you look forward to hearing more about the details. Be patient if you decide to read this book, because you won't get to very many such details until page 197. And then, all of those delicious details are left behind after page 316. If you just read these too-brief parts, you'll probably think this is a five-star book.

Well, but what was the geology behind the explosion? That would make a great second part of the book. Only trouble is . . . Mr. Winchester makes has that material PRECEDE his discussion of the explosion in a way that makes it seem disconnected from the subject at hand. To make matters worse, he decides to give the entire history of how plate tectonics were discovered as background. Unless you've been away on Pluto for the last 30 years, you probably know more than enough plate tectonics to receive an appropriate amount of background in 3 pages or less. If you want to know more, then look at pages 51 through 114. Otherwise, you can skip that section, too.

Well, there are people, plants and plants near Krakatoa. You probably want to know a little about them, too, in addition to the damages they encountered during and after the eruption. Pages 1 through 50 give you background on those subjects that you probably won't care if you learn or not. You can skip those sections too.

How about the rise of anticolonial feeling in Indonesia? Is that a hot one for you? It wasn't for me . . . even though the author believes that the eruption helped inflame Islamic fundamentalism in the area. The relevant material wasn't worth the length it was given. If that doesn't interest you, you can skip pages 317 to 338.

Finally, there are brief sections on the geology since the explosion and the arrival of plants and animals to repopulate the land. Those are the concluding sections except for a brief description of the author's visit to Anak Krakatoa.

Seldom have I read such an extended amount of material so peripheral to the obvious appeal of the subject. It was a relief to finish reading about all of the miscellaneous, oft-repeated information in the book such as the reasons why the name "Krakatoa" is a misspelling, the four Shuits and the details of the undersea cables in 1883.

The book does have one saving grace I haven't mentioned. It has a brilliant and thorough set of illustrations that relieve the tedium of so much of the leisurely pokings into slightly interconnected material. Be sure to scan through those.

As I finished the book, I thought about how important it is that authors have a good plan for their non-fiction books. A great place to start in developing such plans is to tell the story of what the author has learned to others . . . and to watch for what interests people. Then, pare out all that doesn't rivet people . . . and build up what does. Leave in the minimum essentials of everything else . . . and get on with what you are trying to share.
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0 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Leisurely View of Indonesian History, Geology and Biology, 17. April 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
Simon Winchester is as talented an author as we have when the subject is either aspects of geology or history of science that are little known to the public. When he takes on the subject of Krakatoa, he wanders unconscionably. Unless you are fascinated about the sections I describe below, skip this book and read The Map That Changed the World instead.

When you think of Krakatoa, what strikes you? If you are like me, you imagine the tremendous volcanic explosion on August 27, 1883 . . . and you look forward to hearing more about the details. Be patient if you decide to read this book, because you won't get to very many such details until page 197. And then, all of those delicious details are left behind after page 316. If you just read these too-brief parts, you'll probably think this is a five-star book.

Well, but what was the geology behind the explosion? That would make a great second part of the book. Only trouble is . . . Mr. Winchester makes has that material PRECEDE his discussion of the explosion in a way that makes it seem disconnected from the subject at hand. To make matters worse, he decides to give the entire history of how plate tectonics were discovered as background. Unless you've been away on Pluto for the last 30 years, you probably know more than enough plate tectonics to receive an appropriate amount of background in 3 pages or less. If you want to know more, then look at pages 51 through 114. Otherwise, you can skip that section, too.

Well, there are people, plants and plants near Krakatoa. You probably want to know a little about them, too, in addition to the damages they encountered during and after the eruption. Pages 1 through 50 give you background on those subjects that you probably won't care if you learn or not. You can skip those sections too.

How about the rise of anticolonial feeling in Indonesia? Is that a hot one for you? It wasn't for me . . . even though the author believes that the eruption helped inflame Islamic fundamentalism in the area. The relevant material wasn't worth the length it was given. If that doesn't interest you, you can skip pages 317 to 338.

Finally, there are brief sections on the geology since the explosion and the arrival of plants and animals to repopulate the land. Those are the concluding sections except for a brief description of the author's visit to Anak Krakatoa.

Seldom have I read such an extended amount of material so peripheral to the obvious appeal of the subject. It was a relief to finish reading about all of the miscellaneous, oft-repeated information in the book such as the reasons why the name "Krakatoa" is a misspelling, the four Shuits and the details of the undersea cables in 1883.

The book does have one saving grace I haven't mentioned. It has a brilliant and thorough set of illustrations that relieve the tedium of so much of the leisurely pokings into slightly interconnected material. Be sure to scan through those.

As I finished the book, I thought about how important it is that authors have a good plan for their non-fiction books. A great place to start in developing such plans is to tell the story of what the author has learned to others . . . and to watch for what interests people. Then, pare out all that doesn't rivet people . . . and build up what does. Leave in the minimum essentials of everything else . . . and get on with what you are trying to share.
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1 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interessant geschrieben!, 8. Oktober 2003
Von Ein Kunde
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Das Buch ist sehr interessant geschrieben. Es liefert allerdings fast mehr (gut präsentierte) Information über Plattentektonik und andere geologische und meteorologische Gegebenheiten als über den Vulkanausbrauch an sich.
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Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 von Simon Winchester (Taschenbuch - 5. Juli 2005)
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