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Download A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906, by Simon Winchester
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,513 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Winchester Narrator: Simon Winchester Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 ISBN:
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The international best-selling author of The Professor and the Madman and Krakatoa vividly brings to life the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion. Simon Winchester has also fashioned an enthralling and informative look at the tumultuous subterranean world that produces earthquakes, the planet's most sudden and destructive force.

In the early morning hours of April 18, 1906, San Francisco and a string of other towns were overcome by an earthquake registering 8.25 on the Richter scale, resulting from a rupture in the San Andreas fault. Lasting little more than a minute, the earthquake wrecked 490 blocks, toppled a total of 25,000 buildings, broke open gas mains, cut off electric power lines, and effectively destroyed the gold rush capital that had stood there for a half century.

Winchester brings his inimitable storytelling abilities, as well as his unique understanding of geology, to this extraordinary event, exploring not only what happened in northern California in 1906 but what we have learned since about the geological underpinnings that caused the earthquake in the first place. A Crack in the Edge of the World is the definitive account of the San Francisco earthquake and a fascinating exploration of a legendary event that changed the way we look at the planet on which we live.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 2/11/2014

    " I really love the way Simon Winchester writes a book. He gives you tons of background on whatever subject he's writing about--in this case, it's plate tectonics, the movement of the earth, and how the West was formed, in addition to the founding of San Francisco. Some may quibble that the actual event, namely the Earthquake of 1906, doesn't get much attention. Well, that is sort of true, but you can't understand the event if you don't understand the background. I'll pick up anything this man writes! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joanne | 2/4/2014

    " This is my current book on CD. I am learning all about Lee's stomping grounds and getting a history lesson as well. This book is really fascinating because you get the history of earthquakes and A LOT of geology along with everything about the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam Curtis | 1/26/2014

    " Although this book told me more than I really wanted to know about the geology of California and the notorious San Andreas Fault, Winchester does a brilliant job of describing the earthquake and fire of 1906 and the effects this disaster had on the Bay Area. As a former Californian who lived near that fault for many years, I was interested in the story and laughed out loud several times at the strange facts and tales that Winchester's research disclosed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/10/2014

    " Three bazillion details, but I stayed until the end. Good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine Gentry | 1/1/2014

    " Another excellent book by Simon Winchester. He is an amazing story teller, mixing history, culture, geology, etc. My goal is to read all of his most informative and fascinating books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rita | 1/1/2014

    " Simon Winchester writes the most wonderful stories about the conjunction of nature, society and the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia Goldrick | 12/17/2013

    " Like everything by him that I've read - brilliant! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda Appelbaum | 12/14/2013

    " A picture is worth a 1000 words and I would have been better looking at pictures than reading this rather dull account of what I thought was going to be an amazingly exciting telling of the San Francisco earthquake. Big yawn. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 12/9/2013

    " Non-fiction. Tells about the Great Earthquake in San Francisco. I thought that it would've had more history, but really delved more into Plate Tectonics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naida | 10/18/2013

    " I really want to like Simon Winchester, the topics he chooses are always so interesting, but I can't STAND his writing. As much as I try, I find his books a hard slog "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennie | 9/16/2013

    " a book about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake shouldn't be this boring "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 6/5/2013

    " Very interesting topic by a good writer. Deals more with plate tectonics than history, but still holds your attention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 5/16/2013

    " This starts slow. The geology is too indepth, but I liked reading about the people in the quake. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynn Diane | 2/11/2013

    " I expected a book about the BIG quake by Winchester to be much more interesting. Having read other books by him, I know this one could have been better. I did learn a lot about Richter and his scale. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gretchen | 2/2/2013

    " This book is mostly about the San Francisco earthquake and fire, but much more. I love Winchester's books. He gets from point A to point B by a circuitous route which educates you on all the background information you need to understand the subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mister | 4/24/2012

    " An interesting mix of the histories of seismology and San Francisco. I've tended to be a fan of this author's work, and this isn't an exception. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Read Ng | 3/22/2012

    " Mostly good. There is a most illuminating discussion regarding the post quake immigration of the Chinese. This does strongly coincide with my grandfather's coming to America and starting his family. I would not be here in the USA if not for the 1906 earthquake. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 10/23/2011

    " Very disappointing. With all the setup to the earthquake, I would have thought he'd have spent more time on the quake and aftermath. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Horton | 5/8/2011

    " Winchester is a master of both the English language and the subjects he writes about. He's not always easy to understand, but he knoweth whereof he speaketh, and he speaketh well, of a truth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristi | 4/29/2011

    " Good non-fiction writer. His vocab is over my head at times, which I like. I thought I would find it slightly dull but I motored through it very quickly. He has over 20 other books so I will always have something to buy at the bookstore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katrina | 4/24/2011

    " For me this book was just too detailed, for everything he wanted to explain about the explosion he had to go off and explain about lots of other seemingly irrelevant things - for instance a species of bird, the exact messages sent by all the ships sailing close by that day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 4/21/2011

    " A very interesting and well written book covering the eruption of Krakatoa, the history of geology and many fascinating connections. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 4/19/2011

    " Like most of Winchester's work, it has lots of details and is interesting and readable.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johanna | 4/1/2011

    " Very interesting....but for such an amazing historical event it reads a bit like a bland historical account. I'm glad I read it for the knowledge gained but would have enjoyed it more from a better storyteller, I think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 3/27/2011

    " I think I'd give this a 3.5 rating. We listened to it as we drove to North Carolina and part of the way back, which is a pretty long trip. It was a pretty long book. It was a little more than I wanted to know about Krakatoa, but I'd still recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggiemaxfield | 3/22/2011

    " Phenomenal discourse on pretty much every world event that even remotely had to do with this volcanic eruption. A little ploddy in parts, but the information is SOOOO worth it. That's why I gave it all those stars. rock on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/19/2011

    " SO far so good! Good history of this geographic area, which I know nothing about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 3/13/2011

    " Really enjoyed his portrayal of the many facets of this one eruption, physical and human. A quick, understandable and really enjoyable read. "

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