Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: Don’t go into a tornado. It’s a bad idea.
Quick synopsis: The story of Tim Samaras who was a famous tornado hunter and inventor.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: Frequency of a tornado coming through your living room? Once every 4,000 years. This number won’t make you feel better when the roof comes off your house, but that’s science for you.
Fun Fact for History Nerds: Tim Samaras wanted to put a probe in the path of a tornado. Of course, you are thinking the same thing I am. That thing will go flying, it’s a tornado, dummy. Yes, unless you are Tim Samaras. He studied physics to create a probe which would use the wind of the tornado to hold the probe in place. Sometimes science is fun.
My Take: Science often bores the hell out of me. This book didn’t!
First, Tim Samaras was a great example of American grit. He didn’t go to amazing engineering schools. He just got old equipment and tinkered endlessly from childhood to adulthood. He was one of those guys who just didn’t quit. And then, he starts chasing tornados and it just becomes a cool adventure story.
Besides Tim, the book is helped significantly by Hargrove’s writing. First, he doesn’t “science nerd” us to death. (Read his bio, he could have.) He gives a science/math dumbass like me enough science to know how super cool everything is without bogging down the story. He gives enough personal details about Tim to help the reader understand him and his family but doesn’t revel in family drama.
You are left with a sleek book that would make a lot of people pretty interested.
Verdict: Great book which will scratch the science and adventure itch.
If You Liked This Try:
- Eric Jay Dolin, Brilliant Beacons
- David Mearns, The Shipwreck Hunter