Saturday, June 2, 2012

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded

Ok, I lied. I'm going to blog about another Simon Winchester book. Why? Because it's my blog, and I can. Also, because I had a bout of insomnia last night, and I read Krakatoa again. Yup. Again. Not even because I knew it would put me to sleep.

In the things that most people don't know about me, my ridiculous love for Krakatoa is one of them, right along with my insane adoration for Tesla. By love, I guess I actually mean total fascination of, but again, semantics. Krakatoa basically affected the entire planet, and conspiracy theories aside (also, which are hilariously fascinating, and one involves Tesla, life complete) Winchester wonderfully combined history, technology and anthropology to explain the full impact of this world event. He does talk about weather patterns, dust issues, tsunamis, 2 year winter, scientific understanding and all that. The thing is Winchester does it in a way that makes you want to learn more about it.

Krakatoa is varied, and interesting and gets more so the deeper into the book you getThe story was varied and interesting and got even more so as it got deeper into it. I love how the book also covers the development of the telegraph system and how the Explosion of Krakatoa made the telegraph viable, and therein turned the world into a global village.  I think what I love most about Winchester's writing is that he really brings the story full circle. His covering the Dutch settlement in Java and Sumatra and the explosion's utter devistation and impact on the earth itself makes his writing easier to read then a lot of non-fiction. He also talks about the lingering social impacts of the explosion full into the current situation and the rise of Islam in Indonesia.

Pick it up! Or, really, any of his books. He'll have one on a topic you geek out on.

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