The author has selected forty volcanoes for their especial interest or thorough documentation. The writing is journalistic with many quotations from on-the-spot observers (and victims) from Pliny the Younger remarking on Pompeii to contemporary accounts. The book is good browsing, as it interjects theories of volcanic origins, behavior, and current study with an around the world tour of fire, brimstone, and lava. While this won't replace Bullard's Volcanoes in History, in Theory, in Eruption, it offers an alternate, simpler choice. There is a large bibliography and a thorough glossary.