That frightening, fascinating, but most misunderstood phenomenon of nature is explained scientifically insofar as possible- there are still causes of conflict and a good deal of missing information. From the freak folklore which has obtained through the centuries, to early speculations, to Franklin's lightning rod-virtually unchanged today, still there is much to learn and lightning research continues (how thunderstorms become electrified? how to modify clouds? utilize lightning?). Viemeister considers in substantial detail the origin and character of lightning; the bolt and its flashes; the permanent traces (fulgurites) it leaves when it hits; and what it hits (trees- the favorite targets). He also indicates the extent of its menace, to those on foot, or in a plane, or at home, what to avoid, and the protections (not a TV antenna) we have. (However, your chances are a million to one.)... For the most part, this presumes a science-oriented or minded reader, but this seems to be the first general book on the subject for adult (or young adult) readers and so has favorable conditions to begin with. The handling is clear, definite and brisk.