DISASTER 1906: The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire by Edward F. Dolan

DISASTER 1906: The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire

Email this review


Consider the subject--a dramatic event without antecedents or other than-local consequences and as such, less history than human interest. Why then a Juvenile in the face of considerable adult competition for the small number of teen-agers likely to be interested? Mr. Dolan attempts the documentary montage technique that Walter Lord has perfected but without the latter's thoroughness or specificity; the result is a diffused narrative with little immediacy. And if you don't know San Francisco you're likely to get lost in the welter of street names and to lose interest since so much depends on visualizing the advancing destruction; the maps to be included will permit identification without removing the underlying objection. Also, the handling of individuals is weakened by overuse of the predictive would (he would come to know, he would regret, etc.) and the insertion of information in the form of suppositional recollections. Only in the Bay area is there likely to be a sufficiently wide audience for this weak reconstruction to warrant its inclusion in young adult collections.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1967
Publisher: Messner