For quite some time, I’ve been meaning to read Simon Winchester’s book Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, but haven’t had the time. Now that I finally got a CD player instlled in my Expedition though, I decided to purchase it as an audiobook, and have been enjoying it during the hour or more I spend in the car each day.
It’s a terrific book, of far reaching scope and depth. Someone with a short attention spam might call it meandering, but I find it to be an interesting look into the historical, scientific and political climate surrounding the eruption of 1883. Sidelines include a brief history of and introduction to the science of plate tectonics, a history of the Dutch and British colonization of the East Indies, and the role that the disaster at Krakatoa may have played in the rise of Islamic unrest in the region. If you are looking for a cheap thrill, pick a shorter book, but this one seems to be like a satisfying meal to me: nourishing the
reader listener with knowledge and insight that goes rather deeper than just “volcano go boom!”
Oh, and Winchester narrates his book, he’s got a very nice British accent which is pleasant to listen to. I suspect I’ll be picking up several more of his books.