Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

Book: Krakatoa : The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883

As anyone can see in the side-bar to the right I am a reader. For the last few books I’ve been mostly on a non-fiction and history kick. The most recent book read is Krakatoa : The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883 by Simon Winchester. Winchester does and excellent job of explaining the world around Java and Sumatra before, during, and after the explosion of one of the most powerful volcanos in history. I was quite happy to have learned a lot of cool information about the Portuguese Empire and Dutch Imperialism. Seeing how those things helped to shape the world is fascinating. Winchester also does an excellent job of explaining the social ramifications of the Krakatoa explosion, especially the rise of Islam in the region of Java (Indonesia). The science explanations about plate tectonics and the like were sufficiently deep enough for me, but not so thick as to be unapproachable (and Winchester does a great job of providing reference should a reader be interested in more scientific reading). His common explanations helped me to visualize what was happening and picture the times that were during the explosion. This is a good book and people that can stomach history texts should give it a go. The only thing I found deficient about the book was the lack of one clear map that shows Krakatoa’s relation to the Islands of Java and Sumatra along with city and town names (some of which don’t exist any longer) so that the reader could easily flip back to the map and better visualize locations.