Last Train To Paradise

Author: Les Standiford
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 1400051185
Size: 16.38 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 88

Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford’s fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the strongest storm ever to hit U.S. shores. In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller and the true mastermind behind Standard Oil, concocted the dream of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean—an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. “The financiers considered the project and said, Unthinkable. The engineers pondered the problems and from all came one verdict, Impossible. . . .” But build it they did, and the railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for twenty-two years. Once dismissed as “Flagler’s Folly,” it was heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World”—until a will even greater than Flagler’s rose up in opposition. In 1935, a hurricane of exceptional force, which would be dubbed “the Storm of the Century,” swept through the tiny islands, killing some 700 residents and workmen and washing away all but one sixty-foot section of track, on which a 320,000-pound railroad engine stood and “gripped its rails as if the gravity of Jupiter were pressing upon it.” Standiford brings the full force and fury of this storm to terrifying life. In spinning his saga of the railroad’s construction, Standiford immerses us in the treacherous world of the thousands of workers who beat their way through infested swamps, lived in fragile tent cities on barges anchored in the midst of daunting stretches of ocean, and suffered from a remarkable succession of three ominous hurricanes that killed many and washed away vast stretches of track. Steadfast through every setback, Flagler inspired a loyalty in his workers so strong that even after a hurricane dislodged one of the railroad’s massive pilings, casting doubt over the viability of the entire project, his engineers refused to be beaten. The question was no longer “Could it be done?” but “Can we make it to Key West on time?” to allow Flagler to ride the rails of his dream. Last Train to Paradise celebrates this crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition, a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath. From the Hardcover edition.

The Longest Road

Author: Philip Caputo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 9780805096965
Size: 12.75 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 90

In The Longest Road, one of America's most respected writers takes an epic journey across America, Airstream in tow, and asks everyday Americans what unites and divides a country as endlessly diverse as it is large. Standing on a wind-scoured island off the Alaskan coast, Philip Caputo marveled that its Inupiat Eskimo schoolchildren pledge allegiance to the same flag as the children of Cuban immigrants in Key West, six thousand miles away. And a question began to take shape: How does the United States, peopled by every race on earth, remain united? Caputo resolved that one day he'd drive from the nation's southernmost point to the northernmost point reachable by road, talking to everyday Americans about their lives and asking how they would answer his question. So it was that in 2011, in an America more divided than in living memory, Caputo, his wife, and their two English setters made their way in a truck and classic trailer (hereafter known as "Fred" and "Ethel") from Key West, Florida, to Deadhorse, Alaska, covering 16,000 miles. He spoke to everyone from a West Virginia couple saving souls to a Native American shaman and taco entrepreneur. What he found is a story that will entertain and inspire readers as much as it informs them about the state of today's United States, the glue that holds us all together, and the conflicts that could cause us to pull apart.

Key West Connection

Author: Randy Wayne White
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101530634
Size: 13.39 MB
Format: PDF
View: 83

“When it comes to creating push-the-limits plots and loathsome bad guys” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune), Randy Wayne White is a master. This is the New York Times bestselling author at his vintage best—a violent plunge into the depths of the Gulf Stream as one man’s vengeance becomes another’s worst nightmare.... Ex–Navy SEAL Dusky MacMorgan survived a military hell only to find it again where he least expected it—as a fisherman trolling the Gulf Stream in his thirty-foot clipper. His new life is shattered when a psychotic pack of drug runners turns the turquoise waters red with the blood of his beloved family. Trained in the lethal arts, Dusky has only one recourse. Armed with an arsenal so hot it could blow the Florida coast sky-high, he’s tracking the goons responsible—right into the intimate circle of a corrupt U.S. Senator iving beyond the law in his own island fortress. It was built for ruthless power and perverse pleasure. Now it has to withstand the force of a one-man hit squad....

Florida On The Boil

Author: Kenneth F. Kister
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN: 9781425717261
Size: 10.71 MB
Format: PDF
View: 76

Provides incisive reviews of more than 300 recommended novels and short-story collections set in Florida. Numerous Florida fiction writers, past and present, are represented in the book, including such diverse talents as Edna Buchanan, Harry Crews, Connie May Fowler, and others.--Excerpted from book cover.