read: 29 January 2021
I probably should have read the reviews before I picked up this book. I love weird weather and knock-on effects of meteorological happenings. Unfortunately, this book was not that. It was a somewhat interesting but tediously-told story about all the effects of one volcanic eruption that ruined harvests and affected weather worldwide. Drawn to a large degree from primary source material, the book focuses on a few major historical event and then quotes liberally from primary source documents. There’s very little about the actual explosion or the effects of it on the local region. Instead, in true “News is where the reporters are” fashion, we hear a lot about Lord Byron, what’s going on in France, why so many people from Maine moved to the Midwest, and the death of Jane Austen! So many weather and crop reports! Really hard to keep reading it and while there is a bit of a decent epilogue, this is one of those books that could have been a New Yorker article.
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