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The Man Who Rode the Thunder Mass Market Paperback – 1961


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Pyramid Books (1961)
  • ASIN: B0007FV7BY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,767,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
24%
3 star
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See all 21 customer reviews
The imagery was amazing to me, probably due to my connections to the subjects.
Joseph555
It was an amazing story I still remember today and highly recommend it to anyone especially aviators.
park alot
I am a 13 year old girl, and reading this book could be the most inspiring expeirience ever.
Vicky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Rankin on April 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It is with great sadness that I must report that my uncle passed away on July 6, 2009. He was a true American hero. My name is Wayne Rankin and Lt. Col. Wm. Rankin is my uncle. I grew up with him visiting us and I am very proud of what he accomplished during his career in the Marine Corps. His story has inspired me to be what I am today. My son joined the Marines and is a decorated hero of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was awarded a Purple Heart and nominated for a Silver Star. He always stated he did it in part because of my Uncle Bill. If anyone is interested and reads this [...] Thanks.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Vicky on July 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was the most moving book I have ever read. He was the first and only man to survive being inside a thunderstorm, and he is still alive and well right now. Every time I see a thunderhead of a storm cloud, I think of this book, and how this man could suffer through all of that and still stay alive. I am a 13 year old girl, and reading this book could be the most inspiring expeirience ever. It is an easy book to understand, but fit for all ages. I encourage anyone who loves a good story to read "The Man Who Rode The Thunder".
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By elders@fidnet.com on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read Lt. Col. Rankin's book in the early sixties while learning to fly and have never forgotten the book nor the author's name. I have told numerous fellow pilots about it. Movie producers are overlooking this possibility. Someday, I would like to meet Lt. Col. Rankin.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By grelat@baysidedist.com, Greg La Traille on August 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read this book (in paperback form) as a young man in the early 1960's. It made a great impression on me. As the years pass, I find myself remembering this amazing true story. Often I'm reminded of this book when I see a thunderhead, or storm system developing. (The only other aviator/writer that has impressed me equally is St. Exupery in his book, "Wind, Sand, and Stars.") Lt. Col. Rankin's book would make a wonderful film - if done with the same care as the classic Jimmy Stewart movie, "The Spirit of St. Louis". With today's special effects, and if filmed with daring and wonder, it would be a great. But read the book first. Its unforgettable!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jo Gusto on March 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am sad that this book seems to be out of print, because it is one hellofa story and a great, inspiring read. Way back in my junior high days, I got a paperback copy of this book from one of the bookmobile thingies that came around back then, along with a beauty of a book called "Rocket Manual for Amateurs" that described, among other things, how to build solid-fueled rocket motors from aluminum tubes and molton chemicals... but, I digress....

Lt. Col. Rankin tells a wonderful story of his most historic and singular flight, taking an F8U Crusader across country, and winding up with an engine failure and ejecting at 47,000 ft, without a pressure suit. Not only did the canopy not separate (and he ejected THRU it), but his chute opened just in time for him to be caught in the up- and down-drafts of a severe thunderstorm cell. A 10-minute ride to earth turned into nearly an hour of living hell.

I have never forgotten this amazing story. I have never forgotten how Rankin was troubled by his inability to recall some of the instrument readings just before his punch-out. As a pilot, I think of him as I make my own instrument scans, wondering if I would or could remember these things if I found myself in similar straits, in a failing airplane and needing to make a critical survival decision. I have never forgotten his recollection of trying to flag down passing motorists on the backwoods highway, and not succeeding, and only later realizing what a horrific sight he must have been, beaten, bruised, and bloodied by his ordeal and staggering along, barely conscious, trying to get a ride to civilization.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Howard E. Fornof on January 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Man Who Rode the ThunderIn 1963 I was stationed in HqCo H&SBn MCRDep SDiego serving as the Chief Clerk in G-1. Next door was a LtCol Rankin in G-2. In the hallway were soda & candy machines but if the good Colonel caught you buying from them you were in for a good fifteen minute lecture on how bad that stuff was for you and and he was a living example as he lived some 45 minutes between bailing out of his crippled aircraft and landing on the ground being thrown around with lack of air in the storm cloud. We would post a watch in hall and then one of us would run out and get what we needed and slip back in before the colonel noticed us.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
It has been 30 years since I read The Man Who Rode The Thunder. When I saw it in the junior high library, the title caught my eye. I was not interested in reading, but a book report was due. This was the first book that I ever read from cover to cover in one sitting. It opened my eyes to the world of books. I recently told my teenage son the story, and now he wants to read it. I hope it will open his eyes the way it did mine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By outintom on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read this book when I was in middle school. It was one of the many reasons that I joined the Marines. It was written back in the day when men were men and weren't afraid to be just that. I am trying to give my son, and daughter, the same mentality. Perhaps that is why they are BOTH good defensive ends. ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK! Thank goodness that my parents kept my library intact after I enlisted! My boy has already read it at 14 years old, the girl is next at twelve. There is still pride and honor in this country, it is just becoming a little bit more difficult to see.
Regards,
Sgt. VanderHorst
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