Donald A. Berman
High Country Publishers, LTD
197 New Market Center, #135, Boone, NC 28607
ISBN: 193215857X $12.95
Donald Berman is a doctor with over forty years of experience who has expertise as a military flight surgeon, a senior aviation medical examiner, and holds a commercial pilot license with instrument, multi-engine, seaplane and helicopter ratings. He has published numerous medical articles and texts on medical environmental protection and regulatory compliance and one novel. He has a passion for archaeology, history, the earth sciences, and the interplay between technology and Mother Earth.
Mount Lassen, a gorgeous peak located south of Mt. St. Helens in the Cascades, shows signs of imminent eruption. Richard Burrell, a prominent newsman whose wife, Lee is a professor of geology, is sent over to investigate. Lee accompanies him, and her Geiger counter meter shoots to the active side. Unbeknownst to park rangers, a family is trapped in their overturned camper just off of the road. The feds and a naive president conspire to keep the story under wraps. In the meantime, Dr. Berman regales his fixated readers with historical versions of major volcanos that have erupted throughout history to set a menacing and terrifying tone to an already viscerally anguished situation, which ratchets up when a leak is discovered in a nearby nuclear plant that is no doubt creating the radioactive lava:
"Charlie stepped over to the edge of the pool to look at the rods. He expected to see them all stacked neatly, but to his surprise a number of them were broken and lying in pieces at the bottom of the pool. 'Did you know that some of these rods are broken?' he asked rather casually.
Malone came right over to see what he was talking about. His face turned ashen when he saw the broken rods lying in disarray on the floor of the pool. 'Sorry, fellas, but those rods should not be there. We will have to leave the area immediately.'"
Berman does an excellent job of both setting up a scientific chain of events, aided by historical analysis, and creating the present day human story of Mount Lassen. Not content with the simple tales of volcanic horror, he affixes an environmental shocker to his story. His message is that we will always have volcanic eruptions, and our rush to create nuclear power plants on tectonic plates is sheer insanity and/or stupidity. Berman has a point, of course, and doesn't hesitate to create a plausible scenario which should scare anyone living on the West Coast. MOUNT DOOMSDAY is a riveting tale, and Dr. Berman should keep at it until maybe someone will listen to his wisdom and experience. He'd be mighty handy in an emergency! And he can write...what a guy. His characters are human, intelligent, and flawed. The story is timely.
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|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2005|
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