Books like 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
Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History is a 2000 New York Times bestseller by Erik Larson presented in a non-fiction, novelistic style. The book follows the events immediately preceding, during, and after the 1900 Galveston hurricane.
The book is set in turn-of-the-century Galveston, Texas, a bustling port, placing a primary focus on the role of Isaac Cline in the hurricane's destruction of Galveston.
The book opens with a restless Isaac Cline on the night of September 7, 1900, the eve of the 1900 Galveston hurricane's landfall. Isaac, despite all of the meteorological signs saying otherwise, cannot shake the uneasy feeling that something is amiss. Larson follows this prologue with a look at the science of hurricanes and all of the unusual factors that may have led to the hurricane that season. The initial birth of the storm is described with Larson's speculation on hurricane formation. Larson follows the path of the storm up to Galveston, while also looking at the people of Galveston and the vitality of the city. The narrative is supported by the insertion of letters and telegrams surrounding the events of the storm. The meteorologists of Cuba are shown to be very skilled in the art, but are completely ignored by the overconfident Weather Bureau and its meteorologists. The hurricane passes over Cuba, and the Cubans predict it to be heading towards Texas. The Weather Bureau, however, disagrees and believes that the storm will track towards Florida. Larson, meanwhile, looks at the lives of multiple Galveston residents on the eve of the storm, specifically Isaac Cline. He is a curious family man who risks his life to save his family.