- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Cooper Square Press (May 28 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 081541207X
- ISBN-13: 978-0815412076
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 485 g
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
Killer 'Cane: The Deadly Hurricane of 1928 Hardcover – May 28 2002
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Mykle tells this saga of epic destruction with short episodes that gradually grow together, like cross-cutting scenes in a movie. The approach, and the book, both work well. Florida history is the better for Mykle's book. (Palm Beach Post)
The true stories Robert Mykle tells in Killer 'Cane: The Deadly Hurricane of 1928 paint a picture of nature's terrible immensity that's the stuff of nightmares. (Orlando Sentinel)
This is a solidly researched, engagingly written snapshot of Florida. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Mykle sifted through Florida history―geographic, economic, meteorological and cultural―and quotes from several dozen interviews to tell his story, zeroing in on many of the individuals who affected and were affected by this mind-boggling piece of windy and wet American history. "'I think about it every day,'" survivor Vernie Boots told Mykle. Though this killer hurricane struck nearly 74 years ago, if you read this fast-paced book, you'll have a hard time forgetting it too. (Chicago Tribune)
Mykle's research provided a window into a disappearing breed of pioneers, who remembered the violent storms and the in-between years when a hardscrabble lifestyle was the norm. (Sharon Jones News-Sun)
This is a superbly written book. (Velma Daniels News Chief)
Mykle does a nice job of portraying Everglades frontier life: the moonshine, the politics, the path of development. (Michael Grunwald The New Republic)
About the Author
Robert Mykle has written for the Cape Cod Times, The Palm Beach Post, and numerous other publications. He lives in Florida.
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Robert Mykle's fine book describes a Category Four hurricane that came ashore near Palm Beach in 1928. A Category One hurricane causes some damage, while a Category Five causes complete destruction, so you can imagine the strength of a Category Four. But destruction didn't stop at the coast. The hurricane moved inland to rip into the farming communities at the south end of Lake Okeechobee, 40-50 miles inland from Palm Beach. Winds of 150 miles-per-hour and more than 12 inches of rain destroyed almost everything in its path, and killed some 2000 people. The real cost of this disaster is the effect on its victims, and Mykle introduces us to many of the doomed families as they go about their business, not knowing that the day after tomorrow will be their last on earth. We come to care about them. We mourn those killed and feel the suffering of survivors in the aftermath. This is a great strength of the book, and Robert Mykle has done a terific job of presenting a harrowing story in human terms. It is well worth reading.
Mykle spends much of the first half of the book describing everyday life in the Everglades in the early 20th Century. He particularly focuses his attention on several families who had settled there hoping to scratch a decent living out of the "mucklands," as drained Everglades swamps were called. Mykle the shows how poor forecasting, inept politicians and ignorance of the landscape combined with sheer bad luck to cause a tragedy that could have been greatly diminished if the victims had been given adequate time to evacuate the lowlands.
Mykle is a decent storyteller, but the book does have a couple of drawbacks. Mykle largely ignores that great devastation that the 1928 storm wrought upon numerous islands in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, giving these other disasters only a cursory mention. He also has a tendency to repeat himself in the text and portions of the book are very poorly edited.
Overall, a readable an interesting book for those who love a goodweather-related disaster tale.
Mykle gives us a large cast of real-life people, and fills us in on their stories, on what had brought them to the area, on their aspirations for a future which for many, never came. It's a slight bit confusing as he jumps around to scenes from the past, juxtapositioning them with the current life of the area and its characters. That said, it's satisfying to piece it all together. As an absorbing movie does, this book engages us with the characters and causes us at times to hold our breath as we await the outcome of their fates. Mykle writes well, using a wide vocabulary and an authentic descriptive style to present not only the people, but the land, and then the storm, as well. This book will keep you riveted until you finish it. Kudoes to Mykle, and the highest recommendation for his work.
My one fault with this book is that the author focuses a little too much on the individuals and not enough on other features of the catastrophe. We hear little, for instance, about what the hurricane did to Puerto Rico. But this should not dissuade anyone from buying the book on the killer Cane of 28.
I enjoyed reading the history of Florida and I was also gripped and amazed by the stories of those who survived the hurricane. It is scary to think that such destruction and horror can occur anywhere near the coast. Yet even though approximately 2,400 people died, this hurricane and the lives destroyed by it was practically forgotten. This hurricane was the deadliest in the history of Florida, yet no one has heard about it. At least this book tales the stories of those who survived and now, hopefully, they won't be forgotten again.
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