A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester (Book Review)

A Crack in the Edge of the WorldA Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book should be titled, “A Crack in the Edge of the World: A Fairly Exhaustive Geological History of Planet Earth With Regard to Plate Tectonics and Continental Drift, and Tales of the Author’s College Days, Camping on Mount Diablo, and then Finally Two Chapters That Are Actually About the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.”

Seriously, dude. Too many tangents, and waaaay too much technical detail, at least for lay readers. I mean, I mostly (kinda) understood it, but don’t ask me to explain it. Part of me was sure there would be a test.

We meander from the Moon to Neil Armstrong’s birthplace to Iceland to the Gaia Hypothesis to Missouri to the sociopolitical history of California to Alaska to…oh, seriously. After getting sidetracked again, in South Carolina I think it was (my eyes were glazing over at that point), I skipped waaaaay ahead to the penultimate chapter, where Winchester finally gets around to the purported subject of the book: The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Huzzah!

Those last two chapters were enjoyable enough, and probably would have been more enjoyable if I wasn’t already annoyed.

Not what I was hoping for.

Bookshelves: non-fiction; american-history; mother-nature-will-kill-you, couldn’t-really-read-it; disappointment

View all my reviews


Author: Deborah Lee

I like trees, dreaming, magic, books, paper, floating, dreaming, rhinos, rocks, stargazing, wine, dragonflies, trains, and silence to hear the world breathe.

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