Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 (P.S.) Paperback – 14 Aug 2007

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Paperback, 14 Aug 2007
£23.59 £7.48
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Man Booker International Prize 2017
A Horse Walks Into a Bar has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017. Learn more
click to open popover

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (14 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006123625X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061236259
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,904,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description


Illustrated with period pictures, this deft slice of regional history will attract disaster and weather buffs as well as fans of Norman Maclean s standout Young Men and Fire -- Publisher s Weekly"

[a] worthy addition to this genre a compelling read the power of the stories and Brown s imaginative skill retelling them [pulls] us in --MN Star Tribune"

Riveting, moving, white-knuckle reading to rank with classic accounts of the perfect storm, Krakatoa, and other storied calamities -- Booklist" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

On September 1, 1894 two forest fires converged on the town of Hinckley, Minnesota, trapping over two thousand people. Daniel James Brown recounts the events surrounding the fire in Under a Flaming Sky, the most gripping and comprehensive chronicle of how the dramatic story unfolded. Whereas Oregon s famous Biscuit fire in 2002 took more than a week to burn its first 350,000 acres, the Hinckley fire did the same amount of damage in only five hours. The fire created its own weather, including hurricane-strength winds, bubbles of plasma-like glowing gas, and 200-foot-tall flames. In some instances, fire whirls, or tornadoes of fire, danced out from the main body of the fire, knocking down buildings and carrying flaming debris high into the sky. Temperatures reached 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit the melting point of steel.As the fire surrounded the town, two railroads became the only means of escape. Both trains ran the gauntlet of fire. One train caught on fire from one end to the other. A heroic young African-American porter ran up and down the length of the train, reassuring the passengers even as the flames tore at their clothes. On the other train, the engineer refused to back out of town until the last possible minute of escape. In all, more than four hundred people died, leading to a revolution in forestry management practices and the birth of federal agencies that monitor and fight wildfires today." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant read, makes one wonder how people survived all the hardship and sorrow.You can certainly understand post traumatic stress disorder is after reading this book.!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book, lent it to someone, never saw it again and just bought and re read it. It is so astonishing that I followed my husband around all Saturday, reading bits to him while he tried to mow, clean the truck and pay bills. He was even interested after awhile, even though the subject matter is so grim. Just the facts about how people react to disasters that take place during their daily life, leading them to make deadly mistakes because the emergency doesn't fit into their "script", is worth the price of the book right there.

These small towns, with no way to communicate with each other, no experience in dealing with a disastrous fire of the size it became, and the heroism shown by a few that risked their lives is heartstopping.

I was mostly shocked by the chapter that deals with the train the engineer roared through the fire, attempting to get people out of their burning towns to uncertain safety. Even though he took a risk in stopping the train in each small town, and the entire train was partly on fire, with all the passengers screaming and imploring people to get on and save their own lives, ALL of the townspeople in each place they halted, only stared at them and refused to board!! I found myself almost pulling my hair out!! Every single one of those people that decided not to board the train burned alive in a conflagration too nightmarish to think about. The description of people and how they deal with something that seems completely impossible is so important i think everyone should read it. Even though it happened at the same time as the great Chicago Fire, the subject is still completely relevant today, and the reactions of the average person to a fire is much the same in modern times. During the great Bradford Stadium fire in England, many people died because they would not react to a scorching explosion of flames right under their feet!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating description of a real-life disaster 30 April 2017
By Linda Skallman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this book 3 times now. The first two times were back to back. I've been interested in the Hinckley fire since I read an account as a teenager. After loving Boys in the Boat I noticed that Daniel Brown had also written about Hinckely and put that book on my "to read" list. I loved it!
I've visited the area and driven through the towns in the book. I've gone to the museum and walked around Hinckley today using his vivid descriptions as anchors.

If you like history, Minnesota history in particular, or if you are interested in wildfires or disasters in general you'll like this book. Since reading it I've gone on to read some of the books the author recommends about other wildfires in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sad story, but a compelling read. 13 Mar. 2016
By PB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book quite a while back so the details have faded, but I found it to be a very enjoyable read. I like to have a variety of books on the shelf to choose from, and I bought this for an entertaining, easy read. I had never heard the story before so it was all new to me and am now surprised it isn't more well known. The story moves fast and gives you insight into the ordinary lives of the people involved. He did a good job of piecing together the accounts into a very fluid story. It really helps you to appreciate the benefits of living in the modern age where we never even consider the threats people back then faced. Having lived most of my life in the Southeast, I've never had much concern over wild fires. But after reading this I went out and did a quick survey of my property to identify any threats that could be removed. I'm a Certified Wildland Firefighter and have experience with controlled burns, but this book gave me a whole new appreciation for how terrifying an out of control fire can be. I recommend this book simply because you'll find yourself thankful at the end and glad to have the protection that they were missing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Terribly sad, but powerfully told. 25 Jan. 2017
By Heidi Grange - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have this strange fascination for disaster survival stories. I think what draws me to them the most is discovering the way people respond when such awful things occur. This book I've read before interestingly enough, but it felt like a first read. Brown has done a phenomenal job of putting the reader in the story. Not only does he tell the story of a horrible wildfire that wreaked havoc, but he also delves into some of the things society has learned about fire over the last hundred years. He talks about several different kinds of fires and what made this one so dangerous. He compares the Hinckley fire to several other deadly fires that have occurred over the years, which made it easier to understand just how big this fire got. Admittedly, it was hard to read about the people dying, fire is a horrible way to die after all. But the part that made me the sickest and yet impressed me the most were the descriptions of what the rescuers and clean-up crews found when they came to help. I was really impressed by how many people jumped in to provide help and how fast they did it. How the rescuers managed to face the horribly burned bodies of men, women, and children, I really don't know, but I admire them for doing so. Like most such survival stories, there were those who behaved heroically and those who focused solely on their own survival. There were even looters and tourists who came to gawk. But I think, underneath it all, this is a story about families, some who survived, and many who died, together.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love all of his books 29 Mar. 2017
By Ellen Shields - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Daniel Brown is a compelling author.....love all of his books. Story based on true facts and he brings you there....misery abounds but so do tales of survival. My favorite book of his is the Boys in the Boat.....because the outcome is far more pleasant....however for a factual read that puts you in the story Under A Flaming Sky is well done.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know