Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Audiobook(Cassette - Unabridged, 8 cassettes, 540 minutes)

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Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson, Richard M. Davidson

At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people - possibly as many as 10,000 - would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Meticulously researched and vividly written, ISAAC'S STORM is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. It is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last uncontrollable force. As such, ISAAC'S STORM carries a warning for our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780788743047
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 12/26/2001
Edition description: Unabridged, 8 cassettes, 540 minutes

About the Author

Erik Larson lives in Seattle with his wife, three daughters, a Chinese fighting fish, a dwarf hamster, and a golden retriever named Molly.


Seattle, Washington

Date of Birth:

January 1, 1954

Place of Birth:

Brooklyn, New York


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 1978

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Isaac's Storm 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 121 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love to read history books, however some can be hard to get into. This is not the case with this book! I read it in less than a week. It was very well written and gave a gripping account of a horrible storm. It really makes you realize how lucky we are today to have advance hurricane warnings!
Faysie-May More than 1 year ago
This was very well written with a great deal of historical research presented in a very readable, non-dry narrative. The book chronicles events leading up to and including accounts of the hurricane of 1900 that wiped out Galveston. It is seen in large part via the chief meteorologist there at the time. This is not the usual type of book I would read. I expected to be bored by the meteorology information, and though there was some in the first of the book I didn't find enthralling, it was worth reading to understand the whole picture. Once the actual hurricane accounts started, I couldn't put the book down! The 1900 hurricane in Galveston was a tragedy that could have been mitigated greatly in terms of massive loss of lives had only the warning signs been investigated. There was arrogance on the part of the main meteorologist in Galveston, and in addition there were also in-house political issues among U.S. weather service leaders and personnel that stifled communication or collaboration. The accounts of the survivors who lived through the hurricane are horrifying but riveting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't help but read this once I saw it. My wifes grandfather survived the storm as in infant. He was was born in August of 1900 and the storm came the next month. His mother told him their two story home floated down the street with them in it. My mother in law gave me a pendulum clock that I am looking at. She said it floated in Angelo's restaurant. I can still see water stains on its face as I write this. I don't think I understood what people in my family knew about this event until I read Isaac's Storm. I go to Galveston and wonder why some many homes are being built on the beach.Don't they know what happened? It will happen sadly again. I survived Carla in the center of the storm in 1961 in Port Lavaca. I know what can happen. After Galveston and after New Orleans you would think others would know. They don't. Darrell Cameron Houston Resident
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isaac's Storm was a great book. It takes place in Galveston, TX on September 8th and 9th, 1900. There was a hurricane offcoast and Washington DC told Isaac Cline that it was no threat, it was great weather, so he believed them. But he saw the ocean get worse and worried. When he figured out that this was a bad hurricane, it was too late for many people. The city was destroyed and about 6000 people were dead, including his wife and kid. Issac carried it on his shoulders that it was his fault, that he was careless once, and a horrible hurricane hit. This book's message is that man's faliure to predict when, where, and how a storm will hit can lead to a horrible ending. Isaac's Storm has 6 chapters, each one leading up to the storm. Each one, telling a little bit more about this misunderstanding, and Isaac's training. This book is perfect for teenagers and up. It is a great weather adventure story. I love this book, I think that it has a great balance between the actual storm and it's effects on so many people and the people that try to prevent storms like the category 5 hurricane that hit Galveston.
RaiderRealm More than 1 year ago
I had always heard of this terrible hurricane and I wanted to read about the actual event. I did not expect this book to be so captivating and entertaining. The impending doom is an underlying current throughout the book. The author inserts many personal perspectives including the weather forecaster's family along with many other Galveston residents. The reader gets a visual and factual perspective of life at the turn of the century and the crude tools used to predict the weather. This lack of technology and lack of communication led to the deaths of over 10,000. I recommend this book without any hesitation. The research is well done, the vision of life in 1900 and the unspeakable power of God's power is wonderfully presented by Mr. Larson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could hardly stop reading this book. It was touching and horrifying at the same time as Mr. Larson told the story of the deadly Galveston Hurricane. He is very good at telling a story from brief documented facts. I've enjoyed all of his books and would recommend any of them. I learn so much history while enjoying a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since I live in Galveston and having  been here thru Ike, I found this book very vivid, emotional excellent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Compelling and full of period details
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish that the street maps were full size. Their miniscule size in the e-book version made them useless. It would have been helpful to have a readable map to reference since so much of the story referred to specific street locations. I felt frustrated that the actual Galviston storm narrative doesn't really begin until you've read about a third of the way through. I didn't mind the technical weather related information....but the extensive background info of characters that had no major role in the story was tiresome. The actual storm experiences (once they finally started) told from different points of view and vantage points was riviting and put a face on this terrible tragedy. After reading this book I will never again hear about a hurricane's aftermath in the news without feeling empathy for the souls effected. Finally, I would love to have seen some before and after photos of the city included in the book. A good read.
Granx6 More than 1 year ago
I actually heard this in the audio version and had to have the book for myself! I was hooked from the beginning, anyone interested in history, this is a MUST READ! Granx6
fish2006 More than 1 year ago
This is story of a tragic event in American history. The book brought history to life and keeps you in engaged to the very end. This book made me appreciate weather stations even more.
Go4Jugular 4 months ago
Erik Larson is one of my go-to authors - odd topics that initially seem only tangentially related become, in his hands, inextricably intertwined and interesting, even (usually) fascinating. So I bought this novel with only a cursory glance at the back cover and found, both to my relief and disappointment, that he is not perfect. The topic, the 1900 hurricane that savaged Galveston, TX was timely, given that I finished reading it about 10 days before Hurricane Harvey struck TX (August 2017). In fact, the best parts of the book are those that deal with the state of the art of storm prediction and reporting at the turn of the century, particularly in juxtaposition to the ability we now have to track and report on extreme weather. What was missing, though, was a protagonist, or protagonists, with strong character development, around which the narrative could evolve. Both the historical and personality elements are otherwise present in Larson's other novels; the lack of the latter, in this case, makes it his least accomplished effort. And note to the publisher - photography had been around for decades, and specific photos are even referenced in the text; why not give the reader a few to peruse? But make no mistake, Mr. Larson is still on the buy-first, ask-questions-later list.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Even after living in Houston fur over ten and visiting Galveston several times, I current know half of what is contained in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book but not my favorite one by Larson, ive read all of his except Dead Wake. This book was a little slow for me through most of it until the storm hits, then it comes alive and fascinating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Issac's Storm just topped my list as my favorite non-fiction book, next to Devil in the White City. I was really able to put myself in the shoes of the citizens there that day, experiencing the storm first hand. Incredible detail provided. Amazing that this is non-fiction. Once the storm hit, I couldn't put the book down. I read straight through - simply captivating. How terrible to have been there. Great read, and informative.
JOSEPH AUGUSTINI More than 1 year ago
Hello Mr. Larson, I encountered and read your book twice and once, respectively. The first time was in Prof. Hughes' class. I live very close to Galveston Texas in Deer Park. I was born almost a quarter of a century ago. The book's title is a little misleading, I think. The storm did not belong to any man. However, the truth in the title I glean from this hope: "Any occurrence is only real if it is shared." That hope is why I write. I traveled unconventionally through six South Western states before my twenty first birthday. My twenty first birthday passed as I sat at a wooden table in Richardson State Hospital. I suppose I needed something like help. There were no experienced women in there to make love to me like so many had back home. Perhaps we should rethink medicine, no? The second encounter with your book occurred I think in 2012. The guard passed by my cell with a cart of books and I recognized the title and so chose it. I didn't read it because I spent the rest of that day and long into the night studying the map in the first few pages. Galveston is the closest body of salt water to me. I recently jogged along the shore there with music in my earphones. The ocean can be medicine. How that the ocean could be so soothing and yet so destructive. I suppose Mr. Bruce Lee said it well when he suggested his pupils (?) "Be like water." Your friend, Joseph Mark Augustini 713 322 6483
footdoc81 More than 1 year ago
A good read as are all Larson's works. Very enjoyable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well researched. It held my attention great book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting and compelling story of the hurricane and how it affected the area. Love how the author puts the story together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The detail in this book is amazing and very interesting. I recommend it highly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago