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book cover of A Thunder of Crude

A Thunder of Crude

A novel by

To the layman's eye, the supertanker Calauria seems almost invulnerable. Longer than two football pitches, wider than a ten-lane highway, higher than a seven-story office block, the colossus is deep-laden with crude oil - enough, once refined, to keep a typical family car running for fifty thousand years, give or take a decade. Only an expert might suspect that the giant is sick. That years of cost-cutting and neglect have sapped her strength: that her rusting plates and defective mechanisms have turned her into a powder keg of terrifying potency.

The US-owned Panoco oil terminal in the little Scottish port of Vaila appears similarly impressive. Well maintained, efficiently run; a shining example of oil industry technology. But again, looks can be deceiving. Only those who understand its workings know how many corners have been cut: how far the vital safety systems have been allowed to run down; how much of its emergency cover has been sacrificed in the pursuit of profit.

Bring a powder keg to a potentially open fire: add a superannuated Italian captain, a chief officer promoted beyond his capabilities, a persistently inquisitive female reporter in love with the wrong man, a Panoco watch controller afflicted by diarrhoea, an idealistic group of teenagers out to press their cause, and the community of a remote Highland village largely compelled to remain tight-lipped by their dependency on the jobs the terminal provides ...

Minute by minute, incident by incident, Brian Callison traces the countdown to catastrophe; expounds, with cool and convincing clarity based on an actual event, the chain of trivial accidents, human errors and mechanical failures which make his fearful climax first possible, then probable and, ultimately ... inevitable.

A Thunder of Crude has already been heard to deadly effect in petro-chemical disasters around the world. If the lessons of this enthralling novel are not taken to heart, then it will be heard again - and this time, louder still.

'A superb story indeed, graphically told with sharp jolts of realism and with a fine and sensitive understanding ... an absorbing tale.' Sunday Herald Traveler.


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Used availability for Brian Callison's A Thunder of Crude

Hardback Editions

January 1988 : UK Hardback

Title: Thunder of Crude
Author(s): Brian Callison
ISBN: 0-7089-1742-9 / 978-0-7089-1742-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Ulverscroft
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

October 1986 : UK Hardback

Title: A Thunder of Crude
Author(s): Brian Callison
ISBN: 0-00-223088-7 / 978-0-00-223088-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

September 1987 : UK Paperback

Title: A Thunder of Crude
Author(s): Brian Callison
ISBN: 0-00-617490-6 / 978-0-00-617490-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fontana Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

September 1996 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: A Thunder of Crude: Unabridged
Author(s): Brian Callison
ISBN: 1-86042-196-2 / 978-1-86042-196-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Soundings Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

January 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Author(s): Brian Callison
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA