An interesting book, though perhaps not as compelling as it might have been. Winchester seems to vacillate a bit between wanting to write a technical book on the geothermal workings of the planet and wanting instead to write a narrative history populated by individual people who witnessed or were affected by the quake. When he takes an extended trip to either end of the spectrum, the book is more interesting than when he carefully treads down the center. It's a worthwhile read, don't get me wrong. But I wish he had written a longer book that encompassed more of both. The narrative history, especially, would have benefited from really following the individual characters he introduces.