California Fault: Searching for the Spirit of State Along the San Andreas

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Ballantine Books, 1996 - History - 417 pages
5 Reviews
"I became interested in earthquakes when one almost killed me," begins acclaimed travel writer Thurston Clarke, "and in California when I discovered it almost killed my ancestor. . . ." His fascination propelled Clarke to take a journey and begin a brilliant exploration of the physical and social landscape of a mythical state.
California has seduced millions with its breathtaking beauty and rich resources. For decades it symbolized the good life: perfect weather, spectacular beaches, agricultural bounty, limitless opportunity, endless optimism, "a new start, a kinder providence, a rebirth of soul and body." Yet the social problems and natural disasters of recent years have tarnished the image of the golden state. To find out what really happened to the California dream, Clarke set off on a remarkable journey down the San Andreas fault, searching for the places and the people who could enlighten him and perhaps answer the provocative question: What is it like living in a place that no matter how beautiful, might suddenly, while you opened the cereal, combed your hair, or bathed the baby, strike you dead?
On this incredible excursion, Clarke discovers the tragic fate of the Wiyot Indians and their earthquake legends. . . meets Jerry Hurley, an earthquake "sensitive" whose headaches predict earthquakes with uncanny precision. . . investigates the bitter conflict between California's logging industry and environmentalists. . . uncovers a fascinating conspiracy surrounding the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that rewrote history. . . visits Palm Springs, the glamorous desert hideaway of gated communities, now beset by gangs. . . and stops by the desolate Salton Sea, shaking hands with a determined dreamer who hopes someday to build a blue-collar resort along the abandoned shores.
With wit, irony, and a keen eye for observation, Clarke weaves together sociology, history, personality, and seismology. What emerges is a unique portrait of a fascinating, slightly loony, appealingly complex state, with its allure, eccentricity--and optimism--still wonderfully intact.

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Review: California Fault

User Review  - Heather - Goodreads

Read this several years, and loved the travel through my beloved home state while introducing us to some colorful and real characters who inhabit this sometimes weird and diverse state...all while ... Read full review

Review: California Fault

User Review  - Elly - Goodreads

Very interesting. I read stuff about my state of California I never knew. Read full review

Contents

Fandango Pass
3
The Shadowy Scar
12
TRIPLE JUNCTION
23
Copyright

46 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

Thurston Clarke has written eleven widely acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction, including three New York Times Notable Books. He lives in upstate New York.

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