Surviving Galeras

by Stanley Williams | Science |
ISBN: 0618031685 Global Overview for this book
Registered by starbookz of Charleston, South Carolina USA on 8/7/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
24 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by starbookz from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Saturday, August 07, 2004
This was a donation to our book exchange (OBCZ) shelf that I am registering. Thank you so much, to the donor, and thank you to the reader of this note. If you are new to BookCrossing, please consider journalling on this book to help keep track of its journey. You may keep the book, give it to a friend, return it to the Starbookz shelf, or set it free somewhere else. It's all up to you!

You may also consider joining BookCrossing. It is a great internet community of world wide readers.

This book looks very exciting- the first hand account of a volvanic eruption and its aftermath.

entry by bookczuk

Journal Entry 2 by wingbummawing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Saturday, September 18, 2004
My daughter-in-law, visiting Folly Beach, picked this up at Starbucks. We had alerted her to the bookshelf. I found it while visiting her and got to read the first chapter and was enthralled. She promised to hand it down to me.
she finished it before she left and gave it high marks. I am a "rock collector" and can hardly wait to finish it. This may take some time because I am known to reread books I love.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Thursday, September 30, 2004
this is one of the best books I have read in a long time.Ever since I saw the vocanoes on the Big Island in Hawaii, have kept my eyes peeled for accounts of eruptions in our times.
this book is fascinating because it describes an eruption of Galeras,(in Columbia) talks about volcanologists, the history of this volcano, profiles of the people who survived or died, some eruptions that were very large from Vesuvious in Pliny the elder's time to Mt St Helen in my time .

stanley Williams talks about his experience with the volcano,his recuperation,( has taken at least ten years), how his life has changed. It's a must read..
I will pass it along to bookczuk and hope she and herguys read it.


Journal Entry 4 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Friday, October 01, 2004
Into my stack of To Be Reads this goes.

When I'll get to it, nobody knows

But hopefully, BEFORE Mt St Helens Blows

Link to the
Mt St Helen's VolcanoCam

Journal Entry 5 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Am sending this off on loan to morpha, who was a grad student in geology at ASU the year before this tragic event happened and knows some of the people involved.

Ironically, Mr czuk and I know a vulcanoligist who was also linked with this event.

I still have it on my TBR pile, so it might as well go traveling till I can get to it!

Journal Entry 6 by morpha from Astoria, Oregon USA on Sunday, January 16, 2005
This came in the mail two days ago, I have already gobbled it up. Crunch, crunch. Yum, yum.

It turns out that I was at ASU 3 years before this happened, don't know anyone that was there, but do know two people who are only mentioned in passing. I somehow thought this all happened in '91, but my memory is incorrect.

I just had to bookmark the link to the St. Helens Volcanocam. What fun!
By the way, ASU hosts a volcano listserver which was set up by Stanley Williams. I don't have the link, but it's well worth searching out, you will get email when any volcano in the world erupts or has unusual eruptive behavior.

Okay, about the book:
I couldn't help but compare Surviving Galeras to Krakauer's Into Thin Air (a much better book).

Stanley Williams is one arrogant man. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book. At first, it was irritating to be switched back and forth from Williams' story of the ill-fated field trip to Galeras to historical eruptions and profiles of other volcanologists, both historic and contemporary. Then I became used to the pacing of the book and enjoyed it more.

This is a good book that points out the hazards of living near a potentially active volcano and the need for better eruption prediction science. It also touches on the group of scientists who are sometimes known as Volcano Cowboys for their sometimes dangerous field work on active volcanos. I believe that before the Galeras eruption, Stan Williams was a Volcano Cowboy, a risk-taker who led a group of people on a "Volcano Cowboy" field trip without properly researching the potential dangers of entering the crater of a volcano that was not well understood.

I understand that perhaps there is a need for this sort of research, that "Cowboy" research advances scientist's knowledge of pre-eruptive behavior and may help them predict eruptions, thus saving lives.

Not all volcanologists are "Cowboys" however, and Williams perhaps should not have taken non-cowboys along on a field trip that was really a cowboy research expedition.

There are two books want to read now, No Apparent Danger: The True Story of Volcanic Disaster at Galeras and Nevado del Ruiz; in part, a rebuttal of Williams' book. The other book is Volcano Cowboys.

Journal Entry 7 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Has arrived home!

Just thought you might appreciate the Valentine's Day card I am making for my 4 year old nephew (the only person in the family for whom I am getting a card.) He is a huge volcano fan (see the picture for his Halloween costume made by my multi talented sitere in law.)

The punch line is "We LAVA you"!

Hard to add more to the book than previous readers did. It was truly a memorable read. A good friend of ours is a volcanologist, and was on the team described here, but came home early because of a family crisis. He had the feeling of being given a second chance at life for missing the eruption, but also that he missed out on the experience of a lifetime.

Journal Entry 8 by wingbookczukwing from Charleston, South Carolina USA on Wednesday, February 09, 2005
And here's the volcano erupting!

Journal Entry 9 by wingbookczukwing at Atlanta, Georgia USA on Saturday, April 24, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (4/24/2010 UTC) at Atlanta, Georgia USA



Given to Cordelia-anne when we met during JordanCon.
A book Bumma loved deserves a special new reader.

Pictured The bellydancing workshop cordelia-anne and I took at JordanCon. No lava, but a lot of hips flowing from side to side!

To the finder of this book:

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Journal Entry 10 by Cordelia-anne from Atlanta, Georgia USA on Saturday, April 24, 2010
I'm really delighted to have this book. It looks fascinating and the journal entries, information and pictures that go with it are priceless! That volcano costume is amazing and there are other wonderful journal entries, including recommendations for further reading. A recent trip to marvelous Hawaii made me admire the work of volcanos. These forces of nature often destroy but they create beauty too. Of course, this was a themed release for bookczuk as she's flying to Europe which has been travel-locked as far as air traffic is concerned by the recent volcanic explosion in Iceland. May her trip be safe and serene. It was a pleasure to meet.

Journal Entry 11 by Cordelia-anne at Decatur, Georgia USA on Monday, November 08, 2010
Just 12 days ago Indonesia's Mount Merapi, a volcano of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," violently awoke. Over 135 people have been killed in a series of eruptions that have become more and more violent. Almost 100 of the deaths have come in these past three days as clouds of noxious gas, burning ash and incinerating volcano debris have overcome people, animals and homes. The scenes of the massive evacuations of those who've been lucky enough to survive have played out here on my computer in films that always cut to shots of the hauntingly beautiful Mount Merapi, poetic as an Asian painting. It's hard to reconcile the grace of the volcano that I see here on the screen with its terrible violence. So I was drawn to this deeply informative book that looks at the lives of volcano scientists and examines their science. Like bumma, I found myself enthralled. With Fen Montaigne, a highly accomplished science and nature journalist, volcanologist Stanley Williams tells the tale of his horrible encounter with Galeras in South America. When Williams was in Columbia leading a conference on volcanos in January of 1993, he and several local and international scientists were killed and injured when Galeras spontaneously erupted as they studied it. Williams offers the stories of those who died, suffered or were at the scene of the eruption and of his personal recovery from devastating brain and orthopedic injuries. In the final chapters, he actually says that he hopes the book will be a sort of exorcism of all the woes that Galeras wrought that day in January 1993. The history of volcanos and their study are a compelling backdrop. From Vesuvius' famous eruptions in antiquity to Galeras and the currently active volcanos of South America, the stories of volcanos and of their "lovers" and victims fascinated me. I did not realize that the eruptions of Iceland's Laki in the late 18th Century caused a minor ice age in America and Europe that was the source of the Irish Potato famine and much of the movement of populations in the early 19th Century. Europeans came to America and America moved to its Western frontiers. New Englanders, hardest hit by the ecological disaster, moved in force to places like Indiana. I'm grateful to whoever left this book in Charleston and to bumma, morpha and bookczuk who passed it along to me. I hope that Surviving Galeras will continue its journey here in bookcrossing and find many more enthusiastic readers.

Journal Entry 12 by Cordelia-anne at Decatur, Georgia USA on Tuesday, November 09, 2010
The little ones grow so fast. Now, bookczuk's nephew must be at least 9 and guinaveve's baby is 8! Where does the time go! They grow up overnight. With this book, I'm sending along the volcano book that I got for my 13!!!!!!!!! year-old-nephew sometime ago when he was just a wee lad. He hasn't picked it up for a while. So Surviving Galeras will continue for now as part of a mother-son reading venture. It's weirdly timely as President Obama is in Indonesia where he lived as a lad. And Merapi is a major influence on his travel plan. After stopping in Ohio, Surviving Galeras will eventually reach ETMadrid's bookshelf in London and other destinations yet unknown. If you would like to join this book's informal bookray, please PM cordelia-anne. I'll put you on the list.

Journal Entry 13 by Cordelia-anne at Mason, Ohio USA on Saturday, November 27, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (11/27/2010 UTC) at Mason, Ohio USA


This book is finally on its way to the next reader. It will be a bookray. I'm not sure of the order yet but ETMadrid in London will be another one of the readers. We are open to queries for the book. I hope it will be enjoyed for many more reads in memory of bumma. I live relatively near Stone Mountain, one of the largest monadnocks in the world. Monadnocks are essentially giant rocks, mostly igneous. Igneous rocks are rocks formed from heated lava. We don't have any threatening volcanos here in Georgia but much of our landscape was formed millions of years ago by volcanos. Nearby Panola Mountain is another example. My fascination with these places and their distinctive beauty helps me to understand the volcano cowboy inclination. I'm ready for another trip to Hawaii right now!

Journal Entry 14 by guinaveve at Mason, Ohio USA on Monday, November 29, 2010
This came today in the mail. I look forward to reading it. I love that it is a well journalled book already!

Journal Entry 15 by guinaveve at Mason, Ohio USA on Friday, December 10, 2010
I enjoyed the personal narratives of the volcanologists- their family life, their histories, and how they came to be in their field of study.
I remember learning about volcanoes in grade school, but their potential widespread destructive forces really stood out after reading this.
I found the Williams to be very egotistical which is probably accurate considering he professed to this trait in the book. His ordeal was horrid and his recovery amazing though at the time of publication, he was still suffering consequences from the injuries.
Thanks for sharing this with me.

Journal Entry 16 by guinaveve at on Thursday, December 23, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (12/23/2010 UTC) at



Journal Entry 17 by Cordelia-anne at Decatur, Georgia USA on Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The book is safely back in my hands here in the land of igneous rock. The ray has not completely come together, though I do have interested people. I had a Galerian experience right before Christmas. On December 20, about 10 hours before the lunar eclipse on the morning of the winter solstice, I was happily making my way on a rural Georgia highway to visit with friends. Suddenly, I was struck head on by someone who was confused and driving in a big car very fast. Unfortunately I was going about 55 and he seemed to be going 80. I was able to walk out of the car, which alas is no more. But the important and merciful thing is that I am here to tell the tale, healing again from yet another one of those terrible volcanic explosions of life. Perhaps Sister Moon was somehow protecting us as there was not a human bone broken in this catastrophe. As the tow truck operator said: "a wreck without death is a good result and we CAN have a Merry Christmas!" I did and I hope you all did, dear bookcrossing friends. Sorry to break this news to you this way, especially bookczuk and guinaveve. I guess I should look at what Miss Manners has to say about wrecks. I know one does not send out wreck announcements. I'm happy to have this book back and will configure a path for it soon. I uploaded a picture of the moon over city hall in Athens, Georgia, about 40 miles away from the scene of the accident. After taking some painkillers, I was asleep when the moon turned red above me as it was overshadowed by the earth. David Manning of the Athens Banner Herald took this haunting picture. You can find it on Athens Online. Many blessings of the coming year to all the readers of this book. Have happy journeys and remember to keep your seat belts buckled.

Journal Entry 18 by Cordelia-anne at Roma, Lazio Italy on Friday, December 31, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (12/31/2010 UTC) at Roma, Lazio Italy


I can't resist attaching this portrait of lovely Emma, Lady Hamilton by British painter George Romney as I'm now sending SURVIVING GALERAS to Italy. Emma rose from being a maid and a courtesan in her native England to her marriage to Sir William, who was then British envoy to Naples. She later became the mistress of Lord Horatio Nelson, one of the great military heros of the 18th Century. Lord Hamilton is one of the "volcano lovers" described in Williams' book and the ménage à trois he, Emma and Nelson formed continues to fascinate historians and artists. Movie actress Vivian Leigh, who played Scarlett, Atlanta's own scandalous, fictional character, also stared as Lady Hamilton with her love, the actor Lawrence Olivier, as Lord Nelson. Of course the volcano Lord Hamilton loved was the infamous Vesuvius, which among other things incinerated Pompeii, a high living ancient town. One of the great volcano lovers of antiquity, Pliny the elder, was there. He didn't survive Vesuvius.

Journal Entry 19 by Hayes13 at Roma, Lazio Italy on Thursday, February 17, 2011
Arrived this morning. Thank you! Will get to it as quickly as I can.

Released 9 yrs ago (3/23/2011 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom


Oops... I deleted the previous JE by mistake... I think I should go to bed...

What a fascinating trip into the world of volcanoes. I confess, I had to skim through the part when he talked about his rescue... it gave me heart palpitations. I don't know how he managed to live through it.

Thank you for sharing this with me.

Off it goes to London!

PS: bookczuk, I just love your nephew's volcano costume!

Journal Entry 21 by ETMadrid at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Sunday, March 27, 2011
It's here already - thank you Hayes13! (Have just recommended the San Clemente church to my sister-in-law who is headed for Rome!)

Journal Entry 22 by ETMadrid at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, May 06, 2011
I finished reading this last week sometime. Found it very interesting. I was in Colombia a few months before this volcano exploded, though didn't know anything about it either before or after this tragedy. Another reason I found this so interesting was the number of references to Unzen, the volcano in Japan that killed the French photographers, among others. I could on a clear day see it from the town I was living in, two years after it exploded. I was glad that I was not living any closer, as friends who did couldn't hang out their washing as the ash was so present in the air. I did know that people had lost their lives, and once drove past the remains of the buried houses, but more often I drove to visitor centre near the top. The threat that these live volcanoes pose had not sunk in till reading this book. I might think twice before heading up one again!

cordelia-anne who is next on the bookray?

Journal Entry 23 by ETMadrid at Bermondsey, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, June 03, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (6/3/2011 UTC) at Bermondsey, Greater London United Kingdom


I'm so sorry that I have sat on this for long. I am now beginning to emerge from a very chaotic couple of months. It's on the move again.

Journal Entry 24 by starflash at Crawley, West Sussex United Kingdom on Friday, June 10, 2011
Arrived at work earlier in the week,been reading it in my lunch hour-the style is frustrating me a bit: a little about the day of the eruption, a bio of someone on the mountain, a little about the day.........only on page 88 though, be patient!

Journal Entry 25 by starflash at Crawley, West Sussex United Kingdom on Monday, June 27, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (6/27/2011 UTC) at Crawley, West Sussex United Kingdom


Off to vekiki with another book: this book continued to be frustrating, once I got near the end I realised why-it was cathartic for the author. Nothing wrong with that, but it made an odd read.

Journal Entry 26 by Vekiki at Greater London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, July 01, 2011
recieved, thanks :)

Journal Entry 27 by Vekiki at Greater London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, July 08, 2011
I couldbn;t really get into this one to be honest - the science all seemed a bit surface level and i wasn't a fan of teh writing style. Flicked through it too see if I could find a reason to perserve but eventually decided to move it along

Journal Entry 28 by Vekiki at Greater London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, July 08, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (7/8/2011 UTC) at Greater London, Greater London United Kingdom


popped in the post to the next reader in the ring

Journal Entry 29 by vedranaster at Zagreb: Donji grad (city centre), Zagreb City Croatia on Friday, July 15, 2011

Arrived today, thanks Vekiki.

Am a bit swamped at the moment with work and one and a half ray/ring books that arrived before this one, but will get to this one as soon as possible.

Isn't it weird how rings and rays often like to bookswamp you all at the very same time. For a couple of months no rings or rays arrived in my mailbox, and now four books in two weeks. :)

Journal Entry 30 by Cordelia-anne at Decatur, Georgia USA on Sunday, August 21, 2011
vedranaster reminded me of our bookray today. She's just about to begin reading. In the meantime, more people have expressed interest so I'm working up a schedule for the ray. The latest was this:

vedranaster Croatia
goldenwattle Australia
PJLBewdy Australia
penelopewanders Switzerland
drjenny88 UK (next reader as of January 2012)

After drjenny88, the book will return to the US. judygreeneyes and easterngirl71 are interested. I do believe the book needs to return to the Pacific region after that. There's an interested reader in New Zealand.

Since then judygreeneyes in the USA and another European reader have expressed an interest. So there will be a little revision toward the end of our list after I contact some of our far-flung bookcrossers.

Journal Entry 31 by vedranaster at Zagreb: Donji grad (city centre), Zagreb City Croatia on Monday, August 29, 2011

I was afraid that the scientific lingo might get too heavy, but found myself turning page, after page, after page, enjoying the book more and more. It has definitely turned out to be one of my favourites this year! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful book! :)

After entertaining my brain with a no-brains-needed book called 31 Dream Street which was borderline-romance (eeek! - but I did enjoy it), I then dove into this one, which is definitely more brainy, but still a very readable book, and connected to a topic I have lately been rediscovering my love for - volcanoes. Some of the terminology I was already familiar with, some I had to look up, and some I simply ignored, the meaning being approximately understandable from the context. It did not detract from the book for me, nor make the book unreadable.

I love the writing style. I love how the authors seamlessly mix the volcanology with the narration of the January 1993 events and the stories about the life of each of the scientists involved in the events. I would have loved it even more if one or two photos of the location were included so the picture in the mind's eye was more precise and even more vivid. I did the next best thing - I googled. *grin*

The description of various ways and reasons why/how volcanoes kill dispels the usual human attitude that if you're at a "safe" distance, you can't come to any harm. With volcanoes you just never know what distance actually is safe distance.

Journal Entry 32 by vedranaster at Zagreb, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Croatia on Monday, August 29, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (8/29/2011 UTC) at Zagreb, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Croatia


The book is now in the care of the Post Office, on its way to goldenwattle in Australia. It's going as media mail, but airmail instead of surface, as surface might take months.

Enjoy! :)

Edited September 18, 2012 to add the image; the view from the (still active) volcano on Vulcano, Italy.

Journal Entry 33 by winggoldenwattlewing at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, September 05, 2011
I found this book waiting in my letter box when I arrived home from work. Thank you Vedranaster for posting it. The package made good time - seven travelling days from Croatia. I have added my contribution to the volcano photographs.

Photograph: The active volcano, Big Ben, on Heard Island in the sub-Antarctic, 2,745 metres high. Big Ben is the highest mountain in Australian Territory.

Journal Entry 34 by winggoldenwattlewing at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, September 10, 2011
An enthralling read; the story of Stanley Williams’ survival on the volcano Galeras, trapped on it when it erupted. This book is also a memorial to the other people who died on the volcano that day. I did wonder about the use of imperial measurements throughout the book though. Stanley Williams is a scientist, working with scientists from many countries and the imperial measurements seemed out of place, and possibly will date the book. But still a great read.

Photograph: Dormant volcanos in Australia. They last erupted 4,500 years ago. There are no active volcanos on the Australian mainland.

Journal Entry 35 by winggoldenwattlewing at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, September 24, 2011

Released 9 yrs ago (9/24/2011 UTC) at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia


I have PMed PJLBewdy.

Photograph: Extinct volcano Mt Warning, NSW, Australia.
Today the caldera valley is over 1000 meters deep and has a diameter of over forty kilometres. When the volcano finished it's eruptions about 20 million years ago, the volcano had risen to a height of over 2 kilometres. Layers of ash and lava had been deposited over its outward slopes, to a diameter of about 100 kilometres. From: The Caldera of the Tweed Volcano

26/9/2011: I posted the book to PJLBewdy today.

This book is released for:
2011 Keep Them Moving Challenge

Journal Entry 36 by PJLBewdy at Smiths Lake, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, September 29, 2011
Ah the joy of receiving an interesting and well travelled book. Thank you very much for sending it on goldenwattle

Journal Entry 37 by PJLBewdy at Smiths Lake, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (10/26/2011 UTC) at Smiths Lake, New South Wales Australia


For anyone who has been involved in a situation with horrendous consequences for the participants Williams' account rings true -
* none tells the same story
* nobody is the same afterwards
* there was a lot of hubris all round and more care should have been taken

I found Williams' story interesting and compelling - he will have to be the judge of his own culpability and I have no doubt that he has been his own judge. The technical volcano stuff was interesting. Australians don't have a lot of involvement with volcanos.

Off it goes to Switzerland as the next leg of the Ray> Hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 38 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Tuesday, November 08, 2011
This arrived behind a few other rings here in the Swiss Alps. I hope to get to it soon but I try to take rings in their order of arrival, and this is a busy time for me workwise. Thanks so much for sending and making available.

Journal Entry 39 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Thursday, December 01, 2011
Here as a ring.
This is an ARC edition - I can't help wondering if there are photos in the "real" book - I would have loved to see some, as this was all quite new for me.
Towards the beginning I was sometimes a little irked as I felt like the author had a story to tell and maybe because he worried it wouldn't suffice to make a book had to intersperse the action with related volcano lore. As all that lore was relatively new to me (I think we studied volcanoes in a seventh grade science class? maybe?) I found it interesting, but would have liked it more if I didn't feel it was there as filler. Maybe it was just the transitions that were awkward?
I was fascinated by the explanation of how volcanic eruptions have affected climate in the past - as noticed by Benjamin Franklin!
I found the ending also slightly strange - it was good that Williams get his mea culpa out, but just as he describes an intellectual shift before and after the eruption (and his brain injury), so too does his personality as narrator seem to shift. From the careful planner, buddy to all, he gradually sounds more and more defensive. I felt like I was hearing less about the actual volcanic event and more about the politics and jockeying for position amongst the scientists.
Despite this I found it a very interesting read, and was glad of the opportunity to read it.
I've PMed for the next address but have yet to hear back.

Journal Entry 40 by Cordelia-anne at Decatur, Georgia USA on Friday, December 02, 2011
Thanks penelopewanders. It's wonderful how this book is moving around the world. Though Surviving Galeras may not be a completely satisfying read to everyone, it opens a whole new interest. Anyway, we need to fit two new readers into the ray so I'll PM drjenny as well to let her know about the new readers. We will have to make a few adaptations.

Journal Entry 41 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Monday, December 19, 2011
Hmm, somehow I don't seem to have the option to release this book now, maybe because cordelia anne journalled it after me? Anyway, after a long break in the Alps, this is now travelling to the UK. The snow finally arrived here - it's been snowing since just before the weekend, so this may need to sled out of here... anyway, it's now finally on its way. My husband ended up picking this up and took longer to read it than I'd hoped. We both enjoyed it, anyway, thanks so much for making it available!

Journal Entry 42 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Monday, December 19, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (12/19/2011 UTC) at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland


Once I re-jounalled I was able to "release" this. Anyway, it's still on its way!

Journal Entry 43 by drjenny88 at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I was sent this book as part of a bookring and was intrigued by the premise - the tale of Stanley Williams' survival of the Galeras volcanic eruption - but wary of being overwhelmed by scientific jargon.
Whilst there are some technical phrases included (to be expected in a book that covers not only this particular eruption but also some of the history of volcanology), these are introduced slowly and in a story-like context, allowing you to take them on board at your own pace and ensuring the reader doesn't get bogged down in jargon.

The story itself is a thrilling, moving tale of not only exploration of the natural world and scientific endeavour, but also of the human condition. Through his analysis of his experience, Stanley Williams has been forced to examine himself and his colleagues, bringing to the fore a volley of characters that help to shape his version of what happened on Galeras (for, of course, memory is a tricky thing...)

What I liked best about this book was that Williams leaves it to the reader to piece together the puzzle of what led to and what happened during the eruption. He sets out his recollections, but also brings in those of other survivors and eyewitnesses, so that a full picture can be garnered.

I hope the next reader finds it as fascinating and enthralling as I have.
I will be posting it off to the next bookcrosser in the ring ASAP.

Edit: Have contacted the next person in the bookring several times now, but no response - do I keep trying or skip to the next person?

Journal Entry 44 by drjenny88 at San Diego, California USA on Sunday, April 15, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (4/12/2012 UTC) at San Diego, California USA


Posted to judygreeneyes, continuing the bookray.

Journal Entry 45 by wingjudygreeneyeswing at San Diego, California USA on Friday, April 20, 2012
I just received this book yesterday in the mail - thanks for sending it across the pond!! This book has surely done some travelling! I'm looking forward to reading it soon. I have quite an interest in volcanoes and have been to the site of the Mt. St. Helens eruption 3 times.

Journal Entry 46 by wingjudygreeneyeswing at San Diego, California USA on Friday, June 22, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this account of the author's narrow escape from death on Galeras as the volcano erupted, killing quite a few other eminent scientists and also some tourists. The author included quite a few chapters on the science of volcanos - what we know and what we don't know -- as well as accounts of other volcanic eruptions throughout history. There was a fair amount of science included, which I appreciated, and also fascinating descriptions of the different ways in which the various volcanoes have erupted and buried cities and landscapes. Having visited Mt. St. Helens several times in the last decade, I found this story very compelling. It was pretty well-written and surprisingly engrossing. Recommended for anyone interested in volcanoes.

This photo is of Pasto with Galeras in the background. BTW - thanks goldenwattle for the cool pics of Australian volcanoes!

Journal Entry 47 by wingjudygreeneyeswing at San Diego, California USA on Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (8/28/2012 UTC) at San Diego, California USA


This book is heading out by mail to hyphen8 in Hawaii. And then we will see who else wants to read it. Enjoy!!

Journal Entry 48 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This book arrived today in the shadow of a famous (if somewhat elderly) volcano, shortly after a younger and more vigorous mountain erupted in Nicaragua earlier this week.

Larger photo of my neighborhood volcano here.

Thanks for including me - I've been fascinated by the subject for ages (we visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park multiple times when I was a kid), and I *love* that costume!

I have one book ahead of this one but I'll start it soon.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Webcams

Journal Entry 49 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, September 16, 2012
Just popping in to say I've started reading this, and I agree that photos would add to the book. I've been looking some of them up as I go..

Here's the photo of David Johnston the day before the explosion of Mount St. Helens.

Journal Entry 50 by ETMadrid at London, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, September 17, 2012
Wow hyphen8 thanks for the link to the picture. I never imagined that the landscape was quite as challenging as that! Happy continued reading...

Journal Entry 51 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, October 14, 2012
This has been waiting around for me to do a journal entry...but I decided I'd better get it mailed out instead.

I'll try to come back later and add my comments.

Journal Entry 52 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, October 14, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (10/13/2012 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA


Mailed to raluk68 (lunatum asked to be skipped) today, 10/13 Saturday.

Counting this book as a release for GoryDetails's 2012 Chills and Spills Read and Release Challenge.

Journal Entry 53 by raluk68 at București, Wallachia Romania on Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Got it today!
Thank you!

Journal Entry 54 by raluk68 at București, Wallachia Romania on Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I liked the book! I am always fascinated by the devotion to people practicing this kind of jobs! :) This guy got obsessed with Galeras - no wonder why. I love the ending, where he recognize his own down size; this makes him half cured :)
The story managed to be very visual - I still have some images in my head.

Thank you hyphen8 for this opportunity!

Journal Entry 55 by raluk68 at București, Wallachia Romania on Monday, November 12, 2012

Released 7 yrs ago (11/12/2012 UTC) at București, Wallachia Romania


Off it goes to Switzerland!

Enjoy it! :)

Journal Entry 56 by franaloe at Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Monday, November 19, 2012
Got it! Thanks for sending. I'm looking forward to reading this one!

Journal Entry 57 by franaloe at Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Thursday, December 13, 2012
Impressive story, although sometimes too clearly written by a scientist; I recognize the style and the somewhat forced way of pushing the story towards a more novel-like style.

Anyhow, I have always been attracted to volcanoes, and have performed some of the measurements described in the book myself, during an internship at the volcanological institute in Iceland. The closest I have ever gotten to an erupting volcano was Mt Etna, on Sicily, in 2002. We tried to get close to the volcano, but we got stopped by road blocks and officials from all directions we tried. I understood why, but didn't like it. After reading this book, I can also appreciate that they stopped us.

I think iiwi is next on the list. I'll keep the book with me until I go to the Netherlands at the end of the month, so I can mail it from there.

Journal Entry 58 by franaloe at - Per post of in persoon doorgegeven , Utrecht Netherlands on Friday, January 04, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (1/4/2013 UTC) at - Per post of in persoon doorgegeven , Utrecht Netherlands


Off to iiwi. Enjoy the book, and a happy new year!

Journal Entry 59 by wingiiwiwing at Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Sunday, January 06, 2013
Received today!

Journal Entry 60 by wingiiwiwing at Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Saturday, February 23, 2013
When I was at mt Stromboli and felt the rumble of the earth shaken my feet and heard the sound of the blast of the eruption, seeing the violent force of the magma exploding from the crater, yellow and red from the heat in the pitchdark night, the wind whistling around me and holding my blue helmet for dear life, I wondered weather we were supposed to be there, on the top of a vulcano. The forces at work are so extreme, it is so unworldly, that maybe, we humans, should not be there, and leave the powers of the middle earth to do what they want to.
This picture is a account of one of the eruptions of mt Stromboli during my ascent.

Reading this book I was suprised really at how ill prepared the scientist were in case of an eruption. They did not wear helmets, or fireresistent cloathing. They did not bring anything warm, like a thermoblanket or something, in case of an emergency and had really no idea what to do in case of an emergency. Suddenly, scientist were bolting in all directions. "No one said run, and no one said anything about the vulcano," recalled Marta. "But people just started to run." Some scientist even came on sneakers to climb the vulcano. They were sent back, but they should have know better.
Even on the rescuemission, when the vulcano had erupted and no one knew if it would erupt again, the two ladyscientist who climbed the vulcano in an attempt to save the others, were not wearing anything protective.
Not that any of this would have saved the scientist in the crater or on the southern rim, but maybe the wounded would have been less wounded. As someone said in the book "we did not pay any respect." She meant this, according to Stanley Williams, in a sort of mystical way, but I feel she was right in this. They did not pay any respect to the danger, to the fact that you can climb the vulcano, but it is still your master. The border between being a scientist and being a thrillseeker is more than just collecting data.
Having said this, I did like the book. Its gripping, although egocentric, and has a good combination of history of vulcanic eruptions and the story of the eruption of Galeras (a really small one, as Stanley Williams states himself) and the rescue of some of the scientists. Some of the persons on the vulcano did stay more or less that, persons on the vulcano, the scientist with the gravimeter, of gassbottleguy, etcetera.

Journal Entry 61 by wingiiwiwing at Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Saturday, March 02, 2013
So, euh, what now to do with the book? I can't see a ringstarter to sent it back to and so far there no one further who want to read this.

Journal Entry 62 by winggoldenwattlewing at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Saturday, March 02, 2013
What about Sfogs? Do they still want this book, or have they changed their mind?

Sfogs wrote, "Hi!! I'd like to join I'm in New Zealand", but they have not had this book yet.

Journal Entry 63 by wingiiwiwing at Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Tuesday, April 02, 2013
On its way to Sfogs.

Journal Entry 64 by Sfogs at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Friday, April 12, 2013
Thank you everyone!! It's arrived safely!! :-D

Journal Entry 65 by Sfogs at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Thursday, April 25, 2013
Wow! What a moving book!
The volcanology part of this book was VERY interesting, the parts refering to the Galera's eruption and it's effects was extremely sad!

Journal Entry 66 by Sfogs at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, April 27, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (4/25/2013 UTC) at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand


Off to the UK! Enjoy! :-D

Journal Entry 67 by daffodil-2 at North Walsham, Norfolk United Kingdom on Friday, May 10, 2013
Arrived in the post yesterday. Thanks very much Sfogs-it was very generous of you to send it all the way from NZ. Will probably read it next as it will fit in with Plum-Crazy's May theme (see Book Talk-"what to read in May"). Thanks also for the bookmarks. The book looks very interesting so can't wait to get started.
WOW-just read all the entries and have never seen a more-travelled book-what a responsibility to try and ensure it keeps getting j/e s-I will try! Incidentally I have been to 3 of the places that the book has been-London (!) Charleston and Christchurch but don't think I will manage to visit all the others.

Journal Entry 68 by daffodil-2 at Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Thursday, May 16, 2013
REVIEW:- I had mixed feelings about this book. While I enjoyed reading about the dramatic rescue of the author, from the volcano I did find all the technical information a bit overwhelming at times. By around page 84 I had definitely read the words fumaroles and pyroclastic flows enough times to last a life time. I desperately wanted to know about the rescue much sooner that the story was told in the book and found it rather irritating to have to read about all the other eruptions in between, leaving Mr. Williams stranded and badly injured on Galeras until page 127. Also I would have liked to have heard more details of his various surgical procedures while he was on the road to recovery-but maybe that's because I have a great interest in all things medical.
I certainly learnt a lot about volcanoes while reading the book and would have liked to have seen some photos of Galeras and other volcanoes included in the book. (However I am aware that the copy I read was an "advance reading copy" and that illustrations were probably added to the final edition.)
I am reserving this book for a fellow bookcrosser.

Journal Entry 69 by daffodil-2 at Hoveton, Norfolk United Kingdom on Saturday, May 25, 2013

Released 7 yrs ago (5/25/2013 UTC) at Hoveton, Norfolk United Kingdom


This book was given to my friend and fellow bookcrosser Snoopy56 when we met for coffee today. I hope she really enjoys the book and I formally hand on the baton so that she now has the responsibility of trying to keep the book "journalised"!

To the finder:-
Welcome to bookcrossing -you have found a travelling book. Please make a journal entry now to say where you found the book in case it has been moved. Then, when you have read it, please come back and make a further entry saying whether or not you enjoyed the book and why. It is now yours to do as you like with it, pass it to a friend or just leave it somewhere different for someone else to find and help it with its' journey. Of course if you can't bear to part with it at the moment then keep it, but please let me know that you have found it. If you join bookcrossing, which is free and spam-free, you can follow the book on its' travels as you will get an email each time it changes hands, but if you prefer to remain anonymous, that's fine too. Please also say what you intend to do with the book next. Thanks for coming onto the site to let me know you have found the book.

I already have books travelling in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, the USA, Brazil, Madeira, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Turkey, the Canary Islands, Holland, France, the Channel Islands, Wales, Scotland and all over England.

Journal Entry 70 by wingsnoopy56wing at Ormesby St Margaret, Norfolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Wow, bit of a responsibility to have such a well travelled book but really looking forward to reading it. Sadly, it's getting a bit fragile now so I don't think it will survive a wild release. If any of the previous journallers would like me to post it on to someone I would be happy to do that.

Journal Entry 71 by wingsnoopy56wing at Ormesby St Margaret, Norfolk United Kingdom on Thursday, March 19, 2015
I started reading this book last summer in the French Alps but had to leave it behind with only a few pages left so I finally got to finish it when I returned to the mountains this winter. I found the whole account fascinating having studied vulcanology briefly at university. I might see if my neighbour, a geophysicist, would be interested in this

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