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The Bookshelf: June 17, 2015

In this week's Bookshelf, our content partner Kirkus Reviews highlights The Storm of the Century.

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Trib+Water is joining with respected books authority Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews of books of note in the field of water studies. For more book reviews and recommendations, visit

THE STORM OF THE CENTURY: Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900

by Al Roker

Roker’s accounts of the suffering of hundreds of individuals are, for the most part, compelling. Most are tragic, and some are uplifting. But they drift throughout the book, with little sense to the order in which they appear, disappear temporarily, and then reappear. Roker's weather-forecasting experience serves him well, and the narrative is strongest when he turns from the seemingly random minidramas of individuals to explain the forces of nature at play. The grimmest portion of the book, understandably, deals with how the Galveston residents who survived labored to bury the dead—first in the ocean, which proved difficult to accomplish, and then by cremation via open fires. The stench was pervasive and potentially deadly.

Roker's account will interest readers who previously knew nothing about the Galveston hurricane.

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