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Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy Hardcover – October 16, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Superstorm

"Superstorm reads like the script of a blockbuster movie, transforming that Halloween storm into a nightmarish monster come to life. She provides horrifying vignettes of the storm's many personal tragedies." -- Washington Post  

"Wise and harrowing." -- Associated Press

"Fascinating...Meticulous...Heartbreaking...Miles's account--this year's Five Days at Memorial--is an important record for future planners and a gripping read." -- Library Journal (starred review)

"Deeply reported and richly detailed narrative...A masterful job of telling the human tale of the storm." -- Miami Herald

"Explains how a storm so strong it filled the windows of the International Space Station managed to catch the nation flat-footed." -- New York Post

"[A] wide-angle, ticktock account of the massive Atlantic storm system that slammed the Eastern Seaboard on Oct. 29, 2012." - Newsday

"Thrilling...Even for those of us who have heard countless hurricane stories, Superstorm, is a valuable addition. It goes beyond the scary radar screens and harrowing photos of the aftermath to the ongoing, massive problems of predicting and surviving such storms." - Tampa Bay Times

"A gripping book on an enormous scale." -- Book Trib

"Deftly describes the intricacies of meteorology, government bureaucracy and maritime travel while weaving together several narrative strands into a compelling tapestry." -- The Roanoke Times

"A great story...Miles got the essence of the event right, in a way that few books about hurricanes do. Most often the wind and the water, the damage, and the heartbreak are the story. and this book has plenty of that, but there's another layer here. The fabric of this story is the myriad of critical, heart-pounding, and life-altering decisions that people made -- in and out of government -- with less-than-perfect tools or information."
-- Bryan Norcross, Senior Hurricane Specialist, The Weather Channel

"Every great storm deserves its books, but only a storm as enormous and foreboding as Sandy deserves Kate Miles. From feckless mayors to anguished weathermen, from the desks of dedicated scientists to the captains of doomed sailing vessels, from unheard warnings to the emotion of shocked victims, from the Caribbean to New York Harbor, and finally to a looming preparedness disaster, Kate Miles creates the most harrowing and complete portrait of a weather event you'' ever read. A thinking person's thriller, a weather buff's dream, a warning we ignore at our peril, SUPERSTORM delivers on all fronts." - Bill Roorbach, author of Life Among Giants and The Remedy for Love

Superstorm exhumes a recent epic disaster from our denial-shortened memories and slams it back where it belongs, in all its amazing fury: a screaming alert, dead ahead, to brace for what may be next if we keep messing with nature. This is first-rate, exhaustive reporting, and a ripping read.” -- Alan Weisman, NYT bestselling author of The World Without Us

“Riveting. Miles follows Sandy as it grows from a benign tropical wave over the Sahara into the largest Atlantic hurricane on record. Reading like a cross between A Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, Superstorm is a wild story masterfully told.” --Murray Carpenter, author of Caffeinated

"The Big One is coming. This book will sweep into town, pick you up, and carry you away. Like a great and gripping novel, Superstorm takes us moment-by-moment through the days building up to and climaxing in the largest storm the world has ever seen, while making us care deeply for those in the storm's path. It's a thrilling book. Pick it up, read it, and be transported." --David Gessner, author of The Tarball Chronicles and Return of the Osprey

"A splendid account." -- Simon Winchester, author of Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded

About the Author

KATHRYN MILES is a faculty member at Chatham University and Green Mountain College. Her article for Outside on one Hurrican Sandy story was named a “must read” by The New Yorker, Longform, and The Daily Beast. Her writing has also appeared in Best American Essays. She lives in Belfast, Maine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (October 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525954406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525954408
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing. You don't have to be a Meteorologist to appreciate the research that went in to telling this spellbinding tale of the biggest storm to ever hit the USA. In fact, even though the weather science is behind it all, the story itself is in the people that faced the storm, some successfully and sadly, some not. The intricate details of Sandy are woven into a fabric that wraps you up and won't let you go until you have finished the whole book. Believe me, after you finish this one all you will be able to do is to sit back and say, WOW! Kudo's to Miles for this one!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Absolutely riveting....I could not put it down! It gives the reader a multitude of perspectives of the tremendous and devastating impact of this powerful storm. I actually felt like I was caught up in Sandy' s wrath! Extensively well researched and written with disturbing fact, and yet, sensitivity and intrigue. A SUPER READ!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even though I live in Connecticut and lost power for a week after Sandy, I had a two-month-old (and a 1.5 year-old) at the time and so remained clueless as to the real extent of the destruction along the coast. I particularly enjoyed reading the many personal stories interwoven with the large-picture meteorological weirdness that was "Hurricane" Sandy. The story of the ship Bounty -- which (according to Wikipedia) was used in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and sunk during Sandy -- and its passengers was utterly compelling. I also had no idea that the U.S. sends military "weather reconnaissance" PLANES straight INTO hurricanes to gather data! Talk about bravery. There are all kinds of weird-but-true facts like that in this book, so I feel like I really learned a lot reading it. It captured my attention and held it all the way through. Nicely written and researched, as well.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is awesome I couldn't put it down. Kathryn Miles did an amazing job of explaining what happened during hurricane Sandy and compassionately wove in personal stories of those that were victims of this tragic storm which made it such a gripping read. Miles extensive research was evident and appreciated for someone that does not have a passion for weather I learned so much from this book. It was more than just a rehash of the devastation that occurred which is clearly important to all those that lost loved ones and property but it helps remind us that we need to take Mother Nature seriously and we need to do a better job predicting the storms and getting the word out. I am personally connected to part of the story as Claudene Christian was my best friend and was killed when The tall ship Bounty sank during the storm. Miles tells Claudene's story and I am so grateful that she did such a wonderful job getting it right.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sitting cozy in California, I marveled at the courage, foresight and daring of people confronted with a storm they simply could not imagine ever happening. And, kudos to the author for including the stupid ones -only some of whom survived to tell lies over a beer later about their prowess.

I have never personally experienced a storm like this so the lead in was especially interesting. The weather bureau trying to figure out what all their computers were telling them, the officials who encouraged people to act smart and leave, the ones who did and didn't heed that advice, and the myriad of officials and just plain folks who found themselves in a storm that will be studied and taught for years.

Miles background as a news reporter is why this book reads so well, is organized, and tells the story emphasizing the old "Who, What, Why, When Where, and How" that used to be the mantra of every reporter and editor.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The research of Kathryn Miles is the superstar in this book. She is precise while presenting information in a well written, understandable format. She helps the layperson to understand and view the storm like a scientist. I kept thinking that this story was playing out like a movie, reminicsant of The Perfect Storm, only "this is no movie, this is really happening."
Living on the coast, Superstorm opened my eyes to crisis decision making and how convoluted it can be. Conditions can change on a dime, and you can bet I will be making decisions to be safe sooner rather than later after reading this book.
My only complaint is the abrupt ending of the book. Storm hits, story over, even though we watched the aftermath and the stories of tragedy and misery play out for weeks. I would think as an author, if you really wanted to convince people to take hurricane preparedness and evacuations seriously, you would include some descriptions of that outcome and the consequences of decisions made.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Meteorology is my hobby. Being 30 miles from landfall in NJ, I appreciated the accounts of the various weather station reports the week before the storm hit us. Good statistical info. Nice job to Kathryn Miles and thank you.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a weather-enthusiast and science geek, ‘Superstorm’ by Kathryn Miles is one of the few books I have ever come across that intricately weaves the reality of weather science together with the personal horror of big storms.

Superstorm tells the story of Sandy – tropical wave, storm, hurricane, extratropical storm, hurricane again – that wrought havoc across numerous countries alongside the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the 2012 hurricane season. Starting on Sunday the 25th of October, 2012, Superstorm goes day by day through the events of one of the deadliest storms ever to cross Earth’s oceans during human existence.

Written by “award-winning science writer” Kathryn Miles, Superstorm is a different sort of book than many ‘disaster’ books I have come across. The author places a lot of the heavy lifting in this book on the meteorology of Sandy, and presents the forecasters from the US National Weather Service and National Hurricane Service as heroes who did their utmost to warn the public and governments of the inherent danger that swept in with Sandy.

And the clear message that comes out of this book is what many within (and without) meteorological circles have been pleading for years – more funding is needed if accurate and timely forecasts are to accompany (what many scientists believe are soon to be more) hurricanes and tropical storms. More than that, society as a whole – governmental down to the average layperson – must begin to learn about the weather, rather than simply ignore it and then blame others in the aftermath.

Amidst Superstorm’s stories are the numerous heroic efforts of meteorologists, the Hurricane Hunters, coastguard members, and their various histories.
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