Picks and Pans Review: :15

updated 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

by the Tides Foundation

The 15 seconds in question represent the brief but viciously destructive life of the earthquake that hit Northern California last Oct. 17. The surprising thing about this book of quake photographs and quotes from various sources is how shocking and affecting the scenes of devastation and reconstruction remain, however many times you've seen them.

Editors David Cohen, a book producer, and photographers Doug Menuez and Ron Grant Tussy, all from Northern California, did an extraordinary job of winnowing the massive pictorial coverage of the event into 88 striking images.

Most of the photographs are thoroughly eloquent in their depiction of destruction, pain and courage, but the quotes were nicely chosen too.

Santa Cruz resident Cyndi Forbes: "I was feeling sorry for myself because I couldn't find something that fell off my shelf. Then a 7-year-old boy came by and said he couldn't find his house." Willie Mays, who was in Candlestick Park when the quake hit: "This is the only time I've ever been scared in this ballpark." Malcolm Clark, of the U.S. Geological Survey: "The definitive thing is we don't know what the hell is going on here." Jesse Jackson: "This is a natural disaster, an act of God. When God speaks, everyone listens." San Francisco Chronicle writer Jerry Carroll: "There is no greater betrayal than when the earth defaults on the understanding that it stay underfoot while we go about the business of life, which is full enough of perils as it is."

All proceeds from the sale of the book go to relief for the quake victims, through the Tides Foundation, 1388 Sutter St., 10th floor, San Francisco, Calif. 94109. (Island Press, $19.95)

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