What They Don’t Tell You About Hurricanes

While reading What They Don’t Tell You About Hurricanes by Phillip Gerard, I was conflicted on how I felt about it. On one hand, I enjoyed the detail and style of writing. I felt like it was very descriptive and helped the scenario he was explaining come alive. Phillip uses sentences that are almost unnecessarily detailed but it fulfills the job of making the situation completely come to life. For example, “It’s been a whole summer of violent storms, of lightning fires and local floods, of black line squalls that knock down fleets of sailboats racing off the beach. The ground is so saturated we have had the lawn sprinkler system turned off all summer. Starved of oxygen, tree roots are rotting in the ground.” (Page 224) This sentence was something I would never think of describing when discussing a storm because of how specific it is. However it does a great job at expressing the severity of the situation. You really get the point that it was not just raining, but it was really really raining. This made the reading very enjoyable.
I also really enjoyed how he used lines of suspense. He did not just throw out all these details right away. He set you up to think about what he could be talking about and then he threw all the details. For example, on page 225, he does not just go into explaining the sounds and feelings of a hurricane. He first sets you up by saying, “Some of the cliches turn out to be true.” He makes you think I wonder what cliches he must be talking about before he throws them out on the table for you. I like this style of writing because it makes you think. He also does this on page 227 when he says, “What they don’t tell you about hurricanes is the head.” He does not just jump into telling you about the atmosphere before and after a storm, but he starts you off with a sentence to get you thinking.
However, what made me conflicted about how I felt about this writing was the emotional connection to it. I felt that some of the emotional connections made me feel bitter. He seemed a bit unsympathetic when he was talking about the damage towards people from the storm on pages 226 and 227. For example, when he states “There are tales of death. Another man is seen stepping onto his front porch as the hurricane hits. They find him in the morning miles away, floating face-down in the Intracoastal Waterway.” I felt that this was such a blunt and non compassionate way to say it. Another thing that made me feel the story was lacking compassion was when he was discussing on page 223 and 224 how he wished the hurricane on other peoples town instead of his. Even though I know this is him being realistic, it still made me like the story less.

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2 Responses to What They Don’t Tell You About Hurricanes

  1. aliciab23 says:

    I think you’re right here, Rebecca about the details conveying the severity of the hurricane. Gerard is über specific in his recount of the storm and I think that you are right in pointing out that some of the details seem unnecessary but somehow it connects to a real-life perspective. I liked how you said that he really gave you a sense that it wasn’t just “raining, but really really raining.” This places an emphasis on the visual imagery of Gerard’s description of the storm that you picked up on. It was also enjoyable for me because of the buildup of suspense, so I definitely agree with you on that. I also felt conflicted with reading Gerard because of his non compassionate style of disconnecting himself with his emotions. Very good post!

  2. aliciab23 says:

    Sorry about the name error! I was looking at Rebecca’s post simultaneously and accidentally typed in her name instead of yours! My apologies. I really enjoyed your post too! Hopefully you can fix my stupid error because wordpress won’t let me do it!

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