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Simon Winchester's brilliant chronicle of the destruction of the Indonesian island of Krakatoa in 1883 charts the birth of our modern world. He tells the story of the unrecognized genius who beat Darwin to the discovery of evolution; of Samuel Morse, his code and how rubber allowed the world to talk; of Alfred Wegener, the crack-pot German explorer and father of geology. In breathtaking detail he describes how one island and its inhabitants were blasted out of existence and how colonial society was turned upside-down in a cataclysm whose echoes are still felt to this day.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 1, 2005

    Penguin General UK

    448 pages

    RRP $27.99

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When The Earth Shakes
Bomb, Book And Compass
The Surgeon of Crowthorne: Popular Penguins
A Crack In The Edge Of The World
The Map That Changed The World
The Surgeon Of Crowthorne


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The Fatal Shore
Guns, Germs And Steel
Agitate, Educate, Organise, Legislate
Histories of Controversy
No Wall Too High
Old Age in Australia
The Making of Australia
The Reef: A Passionate History
Across Many Mountains
The Story of India
Horror In The East
Napoleon's Australia
The Civilisation of Port Phillip
Beersheba Centenary Edition
Ghosts of the Tsunami
Into the Heart of Tasmania
The Mercy Of The Sky
From the Edge