Library Journal - Library JournalFisher (geophysics, Univ. of Miami) is the author of nine previous nonfiction books on geology and cosmology and seven novels. He is also a Dade County homeowner whose house was directly in the path of Hurricane Andrew's heaviest winds. His lively firsthand account of the 1992 hurricane that devastated south Florida and Louisiana offers readers a historical overview, a simple but comprehensive description of the known meteorological and physical processes that govern hurricanes, and commentary on the ineffective enforcement of building codes and mishandled disaster relief response by local and federal bureaucracies. Readers will identify with Fisher's hour-by-hour description of his wild night of worry during the peak of the storm: Will the patio doors be sucked out of their tracks by the low pressure? Will the turbine fans be blown off the roof? Will flying debris be thrown through vulnerable windows? Riveting and informative reading; recommended for public libraries.-Laurie Tynan, Montgomery Cty.-Norristown P.L., Pa.
Donna SeamanFisher's knack for suspense and clarity is evident in his fiction, such as the taut mystery "The Wrong Man" , as well as in his fine science writing, including "Across the Top of the World" and now this comprehensive look at hurricanes. Fisher begins with a bit of history, describing how typhoons (the Pacific's version of hurricanes) thwarted Kublai Khan's invasion of Japan and how Columbus had a sixth sense about their imminent arrival. To be sure we understand the ferocity of hurricanes, Fisher chronicles the devastation wrought by several of the world's worst, including the 1900 hurricane that destroyed Galveston, Texas, killing 9,000 people in the process; the 1970 typhoon that may have killed as many as one million people in Bangladesh; and, finally, Hurricane Andrew, a scourge Fisher experienced firsthand. In an engaging mix of science and anecdote, Fisher explains the causes and dynamics of hurricanes and the dangers inherent in studying them. He also discusses the evolution of meteorology and the use of computer models to make predictions more accurate. Fisher concludes with a warning: evidence indicates that global warming will increase the frequency and fury of hurricanes in the near future.
- Random House, Incorporated
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