AftershocksOn April 18, 1906, The Great Golden Gate Metropolis Of San Francisco Was Struck By A Devastating Earthquake That Leveled One Of The Most Cultured, Exciting And, Some Said, Wicked Cities In The United States.In Aftershocks, Wheeler Recreates The Calamity Through The Eyes Of The People Of San Francisco An Architect Concerned With What The Destruction Spells For His Career Than What It Means To His Family A Photographer Who Captures The History Of The Moment In The Faces Of The Stricken Rather Than In The Rubble Of Buildings A City Engineer Whose Involvement In The Corruption Of The City S Municipal Government Returns To Take An Awful Toll A Missionary Who Has Faith In God S Love To Aid The Refugees But Who Cannot Find A Place For The Love Of A Fellow Human Being A Soldier Obsessed With Getting Rich From The Helpless, Despairing People He Is Supposed To Help. The 1906 earthquake and fire that devastated the city of San Francisco remains one of the most famous of catastrophes and is still cited as the last big one when Californians discuss the next big one Instead of yet another history of the event, Richard Wheeler has provided a historical novel showing how the sudden hell on earth affected the everyday citizens of the wicked Barbary Coast the City s most famous nickname He learned that he had no rights as a citizen Learned that Death visited whenever Death chose to visit Learned that there is no dignity in dying.Each chapter is about a different character or family and there are a plethora of characters to follow.Harrison Barnes White an ambitious workaholic blind to his familyKatharine Steinmetz an aspiring photographer crippled by arthritisCarl Lubbich a city engineer as crooked as they comeGinger Severance a devout Christian devoted to good worksJack Deal Army Sergeant and thiefNella Klapp a domestic servant impregnated by her employer s sonAnd there are , I lost count I admire the author for trying to put a Dickens ish touc
Aren t you going to take my picture the woman asked.Katharine took several, capturing a haunted face, a frail woman beyond tears, a woman with hurt in her brown eyes The eyes are the windows of the soul, the woman said Now you have photographed all the pain that is in me Katharine returned to her tent because her knees and spirit could endure no .Maybe, some day, some editor would want photographs of ruined people instead of ruined buildings Wheeler brings us into the midst of history in his novel Aftershocks , chronicling the San Francisco earthquake of 1906and then the days, weeks, and briefly months afterwards He chooses to use the viewpoint of multiple characters We meet 1 Harrison Barnes White an architect who is concerned with using the disaster to promote his skills than assuring the safety of his wife and children 2 Carl Lubbich city engineer, and complacent enabler of the corrupt mayor, Schmitz 3 Ginger Severance a young woman who served as a street missionary to riff raff in Chinatown and the surrounding slums prior to the earthquake, and who does her best to assuage misery in the wake of it 4 Katharine Steinmetz a middle aged photograph
Historical fiction has its own peculiar appeal In one sense, it intrigues us by placing readers in a world quite different from our own As fantasy takes us through a metamorphosis that penetrates the veil of known experience and enters the symbolic mists of myth and science fiction transports us from the limits of the empirically known present into the asteroid fields of the future or galaxies other than our own, historical fiction sews us back into an earlier fold in the fabric of time Yet, the historical novel also contains touch points with our memories of history learned and stories told Recent history, such as Wheeler s Aftershocks stories centering around the Great San Francisco Earthquake in the early 20th century , has a particular way of causing my eyes to open wide and say, I remember that or likely, I ALMOST remember that Having lived in San Francisco at a much later period of time, I can identify with the faded paint of ads on decaying brick walls many identifying coffee mills and warehouses that no longer operate in San Francisco So, it is no wonder that I delighted in a reference to M.J Brandenstein coffee My strange mind immediately made the leap to the brand of coffee I knew from my youth M
This was a quality novel about the aftermath of the Great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 Wheeler uses fifty dollar words at times, but does a great job of evoking the desperation, the despair, the weariness of the people of San Francisco The author has a solid grasp on the happenings he describes, probably after pouring through numerous first person descriptions He seems to know the political climate as well as the moral and social climate He take sthe time to use some real people in some non historic ways, but he explains that uasage in the author s note along with his purpose The author follows the characters about and describes their hopelessness The resolutions of the fictional stories are quite well thought out on his part, truly representing the historical setting and in some cases the social values of the times He also takes time to debunk the concept that Frisco was destroyed by God as a judgment on a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, both through character s speech, opinions, and beliefs, as well as through the very interesting author s note at the end of the book WELL WORTH READING One of the cool things about this book is the way that the resolute those who know what they think they need to do and are positive abou the direction they are going gradually lose their resolution in the midst of the catastrophe, while the irresolute those confused and feeling hopeless gradually become resolute and rise from the
Aftershocks begins with the earthquake of 1906 San Franciscans are literally thrown from their beds and their lives will never be the same The story follows a number of citizens affected by the quake Harrison White, an ambitious young architect who abandons his family to help with planning of the city s reconstruction and his wife Marcia who is left the deal with their children Ginger, a young street evangelist who finds that victims have no use for her tracts Nella, a young domestic fired for dallying with her employer s son Carl, the city engineer whose graft is in part responsible for the lack of water to extinguish the fires raging after the quake Kathleen and Emil, elderly and ailing artists who only have each other, and other characters
This was an interesting book on the earthquake of 1906 It was an interesting book of historical fiction The book followed the lives of several individuals It did give information on many events which happened as a result of the earthquake It was entertaining and not a
I love my home town, San Francisco This was an enlightening book describing some of the horrors as well as the triumphs surrounding the earthquake and fire of 06 Maybe if I wasn t a native, maybe if I didn t have grandparents who lived through thismaybe then
A group of San Franciscans cope with the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake There was a lot of repetitive description , but I never did get a sense of the city s almost complete devastation The fictional characters stories were less than compelling. Fictional account of the San Francisco earthquake and fire, told through the experiences of several of its survivors Historical stuff is very interesting, but the characters are wooden and the frequent use of questions as a literary technique is irritating Author usually writes westerns. Excellent, Wheeler is able to keep 5 to 6 stories within a story going at once and keep you hanging.

[[ EPUB ]] ✶ Aftershocks Author Richard S. Wheeler –
  • Hardcover
  • 350 pages
  • Aftershocks
  • Richard S. Wheeler
  • English
  • 20 February 2017
  • 9780312865276