ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Retro Reading: 8.4 by Peter Hernon

Updated on September 2, 2020

Next to blizzards, earthquakes are my second favorite disaster.

Although I’ve experienced a few small tremors in my life, there’s something about them that‘s fascinating. They come and go without warning and once they’re done, it’s pretty much over.

While everyone is anticipating a big quake sometime soon on the west coast, did you know there’s an even bigger one anticipated in the region known as the New Madrid Fault and would effect nearly half a dozen states?

This is the story Peter Hernon sets out to tell.

As the story begins, John Atkins is lost in Benton, Kentucky. His friend, Walter Jacobs has asked him to investigate the behavior of local animals since he’s been receiving complaints from farmers.

Over on the west coast, Elizabeth Holleran is on a dig when she receives a call from her former professor. He tells her that he’s sent her a package and when she gets home, the package consists of a video tape.

On the tape he gives a stunning prediction that a major earthquake will hit the New Madrid Fault sometime on January 20 (give or take a few days).

Later that night, a devastating earthquake rocks the area and Dr. Holleran soon finds herself on a plane to Memphis.

With cities destroyed the residents have to rely on themselves as the area is continuously rocked by aftershocks (or are they foreshocks to an even bigger earthquake?) while the authorities and experts try to stop the shaking.

While the story is interesting and engrossing, the problem and albeit confusing, is each “chapter “ indicates the location, date and time, yet it jumps around from day to night. This is what had me confused and near the end, it’s still the same location, but different times.

Another problem is the book is loaded with facts, which is okay, but every so often the facts are repeated. This really bogs down the story.

Plus, the book is basically told in narrative with very little dialogue, but somehow the story moves at a fast pace.

Lastly, I didn’t really get to know the characters. There were quite a few to follow, but really only one “civilian” since most are doctors or politicians. I think it would have been much better if ordinary characters had also been introduced.

All in all, this is a good read and very informative as well.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)