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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Artful Readers Club Review: “Echoes of Fury” by Frank Parchman

Ever since I was ill in April, I’ve fallen off my pleasure reading list.  I doubt if I’ll catch up those three months missed, but I’ll get started again with July.
My book is “Echoes of Fury” by Frank Parchman.  (An amusing note:  The cover photo is NOT the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens!)
The book is the account of the volcano and a few of the lives it changed forever.  Parchman does an excellent job of explaining volcanoes, especially Saint Helens, in an informative yet easy to understand way.  He briefly goes over the history of Saint Helens, and then starts introducing you to the people of the book in the days before the eruption.
As I started the book, I had worried that it was become confusing with so many people in the story lines.  Each person’s experience is woven together like a master tapestry.  Their lives before, during, and after the eruption.  There are a few photos to give you reference and a face to bring to mind as you read.
Also told are the stories of the rescues and the governmental chaos & cover-ups that followed.  To say I was shocked at the way WA State treated the victims would be an understatement.  Wow. 
I chose this book because I remember so well that day in 1980 when it erupted.   On a trip to Seattle in 2008, Himself and I made a day trip down to Mt. Saint Helens.  I wanted to see the mountain for myself.  Miles and miles before you could even see the mountain, you could see the ash laden riverbanks.  Along the road are markers telling how high the river overflowed at this point… or that you were entering the blast zone… or that you were now entering the kill zone.
Then a bit farther down the road you get your first glimpse of Mt. Saint Helens.
Oh my goodness.
My art is two of the many photos I took that day.  I digitally altered them, first using the “pencil sketch” option, then a few other edits to sharpen the image.  The first image shows the waste land around the base of the volcano.  Twenty eight years and the slopes are still lunar in appearance.  The second image is a close up of the blown away wall.  You can see a puff of steam rising from the center.  For perspective, remember that Mt. Saint Helens used to be called the “Mt Fuji of America” because of its perfect cone shape. 

I can recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Mt Saint Helens.  And if you are planning on visiting the site I would definitely say to read this before you go. 
You’ll look around with different eyes…



  1. I'll have to read that book. I can say that it will bring back a lot of memories since we actually lived through it living down river from Mt St Helens. David was chief of the fire department at that time and it was very unsettling hearing the 'tones' go off every time the mountain spewed some steam and waiting to find out if we were to evacuate or just hold tight.

    One of the reasons we moved as the town we lived in was on a river down from the mountain and if it had blown out any other side, we wouldn't be here, now.

  2. Sounds like an emotional read, yet very interesting to obvserve. I always waoory that loved ones remain safe!!!
    Great review!

  3. This is fascinating. I remember hearing about the impending eruption on the radio on my way to work one morning. I also remember hearing about Harry Truman, who reporters and radio announcers begged to leave the mountain, was, by default, the most famous person to die in the eruption. Amazing how all those years later, that was the one thought that went through my mind when I read your review. I wish I knew or had some idea about the cover-up. Maybe I'll run across the book one of these days.

    Even with altering the photos, they are superb. Very impressive first hand experience and art. And I was glad to see your return to ARC.

  4. I am fascinated by volcanoes and always in awe of people who live in the shadow of them! The only volcanic place I ever visited was Vesuvius and that fills you with a strange awe. I love your art, as altered photography is a little bit new to me. There is a real atmosphere of brooding to these images. And you're right: you could think they were taken on a lunar landscape! Julie Ann x

  5. Fabulous review Teri, so glad you have managed to rejoin our happy band :D I am always awestruck by the power of nature, and the devastation it can cause. We here of these incidents in the news , but never get to see how long the effects last. Great photo art :D XXX

  6. I was only young when the eruption happened, and the other side of the world, but I still remember the news coverage. This book sounds really interesting, and your photos are quite chilling, but also beautiful

  7. Really? In the USA? I had no idea... Probably because I turned only 5 in 1980.
    This review made me very curious and I'm going to look for this book!
    Your photos are beautiful! ♥

  8. A compelling review, and it really is one I will look out for on Kindle and buy. The inability of governments all over the world to deal adequately and honestly with disasters is always appalling. Your review is so interesting, here in England I heard the bare news about the initial eruption, and your review opens my eyes. Your use of filters with the pencil sketch makes haunting artwork.
    I am glad you are back, and all best wishes to you for good health.

  9. Glad to have you back with us. Though generally i am more into fiction and fantasy, i do find this one quite intriguing. If I was to visit the area I would definately read the book, the same way i would read about Pompeii if I was going there.

  10. First, LOVE your altered photos. They look vintage and interesting.

    I've put a hold on Echoes of Fury at my public library. My family and I are going to Friday Harbor, WA at the end of the summer as we do every year, and it would be awesome this book on the plane.

    Also, I'm totally intrigued about interweaving of the 8 people's stories. It will be great research! Thanks for sharing ;-)

  11. Most interesting review and your photographs are very eerie. I remember well the day when the explosion occurred, we watched avidly news reports on the television. Unbelievable devastation and long term effects on the weather for us here in the UK.

    Janet xx

  12. I was only 3 when this happened so I don't remember it - were this a documentary though I would definitely watch it - it sounds like something I would watch. Your photos and description are chilling.

    You aren't alone, I've missed a couple of months of ARC too - am just going to try and catch up at the end :)

  13. Glad you are able to join in again. Your photos leave a clear impression of devastation. How interesting to read the book and then visit. Really interesting review.
    Jen x


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