Tina Jordan
February 09, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

The White Cascade

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Gary Krist
publisher
Henry Holt and Company
genre
Nonfiction, History

We gave it an B

It is February 1910 in Gary Krist’s The White Cascade. Caught in a huge blizzard, two trains teetered on a Washington mountainside for days, their nervous passengers barraged by the sound of avalanches. Then something — perhaps a fluke lightning strike — loosed tons of snow down the slopes. ”I saw the first rush of snow reach the track and swallow the trains,” recalled one eyewitness. ”And then there was neither tracks nor trains….” Krist ably re-creates the gripping tale from multiple sources. Yet its power is diluted, since both the book’s prologue and subtitle (”The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America’s Deadliest Avalanche”) give away the ending.

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