Lunatic Wind: Riding out the Storm of the Century

Overview

In late September of 1989, South Carolina was a sleepy southern state drowsing complacently in the late summer heat. No one was ready for what would happen the night of September 21, when the most destructive hurricane of the twentieth century slammed ashore, packing winds of over 135 mph, pushing a 20-foot tidal surge, and leaving behind it a trail of death and devastation hundreds of miles wide. In Lunatic Wind, author William Price Fox brings to vivid life the terrifying night of Hurricane Hugo. Mixing factual...
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Overview

In late September of 1989, South Carolina was a sleepy southern state drowsing complacently in the late summer heat. No one was ready for what would happen the night of September 21, when the most destructive hurricane of the twentieth century slammed ashore, packing winds of over 135 mph, pushing a 20-foot tidal surge, and leaving behind it a trail of death and devastation hundreds of miles wide. In Lunatic Wind, author William Price Fox brings to vivid life the terrifying night of Hurricane Hugo. Mixing factual reporting with the expert storytelling of a novelist, Fox's unique docudrama recreates what it was like for the people caught in the "Storm of the Century" - two teenage surfers who must swim for their lives as a beach cottage disintegrates around them, a father searching for his sons, a shrimp-boat captain who decides to ride out the storm in tiny McClellanville Harbor and becomes the only eyewitness to a town's destruction, and over 1,000 men, women, and children trapped in a high school gym, desperately trying to keep their heads above the rising flood. Intercut with gripping action and survival stories are excursions into the factual record of Hurricane Hugo, the history and lore of hurricanes, plus an insider's look at the local color of the state, the "Low Country," and at the remarkable, often eccentric people who inhabit it. William Price Fox's Lunatic Wind tells the story of a disaster - of an elemental, unforgiving force of nature that showed just how tenuous are the threads that hold together the fabric of everyday life. With no electricity, no television or radio, no phones, roads and bridges cut off, homes wrecked, and floodwaters rising, it is the story of people who must rely on their wits, their luck, and their friends to survive.

On the night of September 21, 1989, after leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, Hurricane Hugo slammed into the East Coast of the United States near Charleston, South Carolina. Based on exhaustive research and interviews, Fox's docudrama recreates the night of the storm and the people caught in it, along with intriguing bits of history and colorful lore. A gripping portrait of a quiet place suddenly thrown into chaos.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
``I don't know if I can ever listen to the wind again and not get scared,'' says a survivor of the terrible night of September 21, 1989, when Hurricane Hugo with winds of over 135 mph hit the South Carolina coast near Charleston with destructive consequences. In this ``docu-drama,'' novelist Fox ( Dixiana Moon , LJ 2/15/81; Southern Fried Plus Six , LJ 6/1/68) combines factual reporting with fictional techniques to vividly re-create the experiences of people who survived ``the Storm of the Century''--two teenage surfers caught in a disintegrating beach cottage, a shrimp-boat captain determined to ride out the storm, and the people of the tiny fishing village of McClellanville who faced drowning when they were trapped in their high school gym by a 20-foot storm surge. As in ``made for TV'' docudramas, Fox's fictional characters are cliched composites, and one could argue whether Hugo, while setting a new record for high dollar property damage, was as devastating as Hurricane Camille, considered one of the most destructive killer storms to hit the United States. Still, Fox's gripping descriptions of a hurricane's fury will delight armchair storm chasers. For popular collections.-- Wilda Williams, `` Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945575429
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 197
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.77 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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