An enthralling profile of a storm enthusiast and adrenaline junkie who took his intense interest to extreme measures.

THE MAN WHO CAUGHT THE STORM

THE LIFE OF LEGENDARY TORNADO CHASER TIM SAMARAS

An adroit biography of a thrill-seeking storm chaser.

Dubbing tornadoes “the only real dragons the modern world has left,” journalist Hargrove, a weather fanatic himself, chronicles the life of the intrepid Tim Samaras. The author charts Samaras’ fascination with twisters back to an inquisitive childhood, when he was transfixed by the tempest in The Wizard of Oz and the raw power of severe weather systems in his native Colorado. From youthful tinkering to an early gig at the Denver Research Institute to becoming a prominent self-made engineer, Samaras also got married and had a son (whom he dressed as a foam tornado for Halloween). He dove head-first into his obsession after accessing real-time weather technology and meteorological gadgetry, which, as it advanced in sophistication over the decades, only served to heighten his insatiable curiosity and boundless enthusiasm to stand “inside the lungs of a storm.” An autodidact, he amassed knowledge and an impressive skill set through his experiences working for and in conjunction with a variety of tornado scientists and enthusiasts. Samaras constructed his own weather instruments and logged countless hours locked in the paths of tornadoes across the Midwest, the Southeast, and beyond. Hargrove refreshingly contributes quality information on what intrigues and motivates storm chasers, their unique camaraderie, and the evolution of the sophisticated tracking equipment in use today. The author, who never met Samaras, builds his biography through recordings, interviews, research, extensive video footage, and connections with his family, friends, colleagues, and “chase buddies.” Despite repeated warnings by peers that his increasingly perilous chases were venturing toward the suicidal, Samaras remained addicted to “the euphoric rush of pulling up just in time to see the cloud wisps gather and descend.” Samaras perished after being swept up in a tornado in Oklahoma in 2013, but Hargrove’s debut biography honors his legacy as an unparalleled storm chaser.

An enthralling profile of a storm enthusiast and adrenaline junkie who took his intense interest to extreme measures.

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4767-9609-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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