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Publisher's Summary

A tale of obsession and daring. A contest between humankind and nature’s fiercest phenomenon. The saga of the greatest storm chaser who ever lived.

At the turn of the 21st century, the tornado was one of the last true mysteries of the modern world. It was a monster that ravaged the American heartland a thousand times each year, yet science’s every effort to divine its inner workings had ended in failure. Researchers all but gave up, until the arrival of an outsider.

In a field of PhDs, Tim Samaras didn’t attend a day of college in his life. He chased storms with brilliant tools of his own invention and pushed closer to the tornado than anyone else ever dared. When he achieved what meteorologists had deemed impossible, it was as if he had snatched the fire of the gods. Yet even as he transformed the field, Samaras kept on pushing. As his ambitions grew, so did the risks. And when he finally met his match - in a face-off against the largest tornado ever recorded - it upended everything he thought he knew.

Brantley Hargrove delivers a masterful tale, chronicling the life of Tim Samaras in all its triumph and tragedy. He takes readers inside the thrill of the chase, the captivating science of tornadoes, and the remarkable character of a man who walked the line between life and death in pursuit of knowledge. Following the tradition of Into Thin Air and The Perfect Storm, Hargrove’s debut offers an unforgettable exploration of obsession and the extremes of the natural world. 

©2018 Brantley Hargrove (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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  • Ryan
  • Collinsville, IL USA
  • 06-11-18

Great book

Heard about this book on Weather Geeks podcast. I downloaded it right away. Glad I did. fantastic work. Thank you.

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    5 out of 5 stars

The Man Who Caught the Storm

Caught my interesting. Made me appreciate the all the effort and chances that are
Taken to advance the early warning systems.

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Tim Samaras Would be Proud

I respected and admired Tim Samaras for what he accomplished and for how he led his life both personally and professionally. I have the same professional respect for Carl Young. His successful forecasts were the cornerstone for the whole effort. If the book has any shortcomings (IMHO), it should have paid more attention to that fact. Another sore point - the author noted two National Weather Service (NWS) failures to warn the public during tornadic activity. I realize controversy always outsells success - especially when it comes to government agencies. But failing to offer examples of the thousands of times the National Weather Service has saved lives in favor of two of their rare failures is entirely inaccurate and unjustified. The book is an outstanding read. Extremely thorough research, intimate interviews and the author's immersion into months of chasing gives the book and himself great credibility. I just wish he would have given the NWS some time recognizing their wins. Here's an easy one. Took me 15 minutes to find in the Storm Prediction Center's website archives. Compare the Convective Outlook Areas for the Days 3 thru 1 (the event day) to the storm reports for the April 27th, 2011 outbreak.

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Overall a good book.

The narration was great and the book was very informative. I just found it to be overly technically without a layman's explanation of certain things. Might listen again when I have time to concentrate more on the narrative and I'm able to cross reference the different aspects I didn't understand.

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Riveting!

Yes, I am a storm geek but I think this book would appeal to a general audience as well. The TV series Storm Chasers was immensely popular even with the general public and made Tim Samaras a legend. The mystique of beautiful summer days suddenly becoming harbingers of destructive monsters is a fact of life, both terrifying and awe inspiring, for vast swaths of this country.