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Into the Storm: Violent Tornadoes, Killer Hurricanes, and Death-defying Adventures in Extreme We ather Hardcover – October 14, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Long before he was one of the stars of the TV series Storm Chasers, Timmer was no stranger to the thrill and danger of storm chasing. Ever since he was in college in the late 1990s, studying meteorology, he was drawn to tornadoes, hurricanes, and other big-weather phenomena. This book, which will unavoidably remind some readers of the movie Twister, is a mixture of autobiography and edge-of-your-seat adventure. Timmer tells us with almost breathless enthusiasm about tracking Hurricane Floyd as it approached the U.S. in 1999; about following Katrina in 2005 and helping its victims in the aftermath; and about, in 2000, barely escaping a potentially lethal hailstorm. The author also takes us through the history of storm chasing, which began with a University of Oklahoma project in the early 1970s in which meteorology students filmed tornadoes to learn how they behaved. For fans of “extreme weather” adventures, this is a must-read. --David Pitt


"Joshua Swanson narrates in the same energetic way that Timmer goes after storms—aggressively.…But it's Swanson's frenetic tone that puts the listener near the eyes of the storms." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton (October 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525951938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525951933
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey A. Kline on December 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First off - let me say that this is a GREAT book. It's well-written, it's interesting, and it engages the reader.

Ironically, the stories that engage the reader most are the ones that don't really involved tornadoes. I thought the hurricane descriptions and narration were far more interesting than the tornado ones. Don't get me wrong, the tornado tales were incredible, but the hurricane (especially Katrina) really had me going on the edge of my seat. In addition, Reed's story of starting his business, building connections with the media, etc. are fascinating.

What I was really looking for in this book was the background information on how most of us know Reed Timmer. I was truly hoping for some behind-the-scenes information about the Discovery show. (My theory is that there is another book planned on this material down the road...) The show goes into depth about Dr. Josh Wurman (the "Dean Wermer" of this last season, and earlier ones as well) and his sometimes contentious past relationship with Reed. None of this makes the book. Chris Chittick all of a sudden shows up at the end of the book as a "long-time" friend and chase partner. However, there is nothing in the past biography about him.

Something else I think that would be key to this book would have been an index. This book is FILLED with incredible weather information and chasing tips. An index would have made this book a practical tool in addition to being a fun tale.

Reed - Based on your many mentions of the book of checking the internet for critiques about your chasing, my thinking is that you're probably reading this. I do hope you are planning a follow-up book to cover the Discovery Channel years. Your interactions with Wurman, Casey, Samaras, etc...
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Format: Hardcover
"Weather" you watch Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" or "Weather" you don't there is very little chance that you will be able to pick up the book "Into the Storm" and then put it back down. If you do happen to watch "Storm Chasers" you will recognize Reed Timmer as the energetic and animated meteorologist/videographer in the burgundy colored Kevlar and Rhino Liner coated "Dominator" storm chase vehicle.

Reed, as you will learn in this book, is much more than an enthusiastic adrenaline junkie out for a fix. He chases for the science and the knowledge that is obtained by his adventures in the pursuit of his elusive prey, the tornado.

Reed is obviously a very intelligent young man with many hunts still to go. His prey is the cyclonic warriors that attack Middle America each year and every year. Rarely during the year is there not at least one life lost because of a tornado. In his efforts, Reed is not only trying to capture the powerful beasts on his video camera as they move across the grasslands, farmlands and wooded areas of the continent but he is also gathering previously unretrievable data that will be used one day to protect property but more importantly lives.

This book will guide you through what drives him to make the next journey and it will show you the seeds that were sewn early in his life that kept him on the path that he has found to be fulfilling and exciting. As you read this you will find yourself in the back seat of the car wondering if you should close your eyes or open them to see these monsters take you with him. You will also find that you are getting an excellent education as well.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to admit I was skeptical at first: Wouldn't a visually dynamic phenomenon like storm chasing suffer when translated to the written page? Fortunately, no. To the contrary, I found that all the extra details and context that you get in these pages help to put the reader in the passenger seat like no short clip or TV series can.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in weather or adrenaline. I would never personally risk my life to see storms and hurricanes up close, but reading this gave me a chance to experience what it's like for Mr. Timmer and the others who take that risk in the name of science and kick-ass video.

Highlights for me were the Moore, OK chase and the description of what it was like to go face to face with Hurricane Katrina. If I have a complaint, it's that reading about all these chases made me crave more. I'm not about to hop in a truck and head for the plains, so here's hoping for a sequel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was not able to put this book down. I read it in an afternoon. It's an interesting look at tornado chasing and you learn a lot about Reed Timmer. This is really more of an autobiography than a book on meteorology, but as someone going into a different field of science I appreciated Reed's passion for his field of study. I know a lot of other storm chasers don't like his style, but if they read this they'd at least have a better understanding of why he does what he does. Reed's personality is similar to mine -- extremely obsessive, passionate, and willing to do anything to be close to what I love studying (in my case, the nervous system).
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