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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A violent storm, affectionately known as Maria, sweeps through California and changes the lives of many in its path.
Paperback, 353 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Heyday Books (first published 1941)
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Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books of all time. This book is directly responsible for my interest in meteorology. I've read it at least 10 times in my life, and it never gets old. Particularly interesting is the sub-plot conflict between the old meteorologist's use of intuition and direct observation versus the young meteorologist's use of tools, math, and newfangled theories, which of course would nowadays be considered obsolete as well. Many different stories combine to create one giant narrative of a c ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Stewart, George R. STORM. (1941). ****. I found an old Modern Library edition of this book in a used book store. I had never heard of the author or the title, but I thought that since it was brought out by Modern Library, then... I Googled the author and learned that this title was a best seller when it was published and for many years after. The author also had many other books to his credit, including the definitive work on Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg and a well-praised scienc ...more
Mark Buchignani
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: george-r-stewart
Storm is similar to Fire, yet different – it’s pacing is more leisurely, its characters more developed, and the storm itself has less personality than the blaze in Fire does. The reader (and the characters) are farther from it, not only in distance but also in immediacy. So, overall, the story that develops is in itself less directly intense, yet more broadly and thoroughly positioned. It is interesting to contrast the two books; perhaps they were written with in mind how each subject would dire ...more
Warren Liebeman
Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
After recently reading Earth Abides I found this marvelous book and got a copy through the Interlibrary Loan system.

It was just as timely as it must have been when first written. Finding the anachronims was fun, but easy to ignore.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” and The Weather Channel got married and then jumped together through a time warp back to the 1940s, this book would be their child.

It is easy to see why Storm became a runaway best-seller when it was first published back in 1941: equal parts hard science and disaster-movie plot laced with touches of poetry and philosophy, it is difficult to put down. The state of weather forecasting in the book, cutting edge for when it was published, takes nothing away from
Oct 12, 2017 marked it as to-read-2nd
Recommended to Richard by:
I was looking into the history of naming hurricanes, and stumbled on this. The New York Times reviewed it as “phenomenal”, although I think the author was having a bit of pun, since a storm is a meteorological phenomena. Still, it was a very positive review. You can look at the original review from November 20th, 1941, (which was just about two weeks before Pearl Harbor). Here is an even more enthusiastic amateur review. Oddly, the tradition is to name tropical storms and hurricanes, not extra ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1941, this book is firmly set in its time, with slide-rules the latest meteorological innovation, streamliner trains traveling from Chicago to Oakland in 40 hours, 180mph airlines, telephones with actual wires...

The story traces the 12-day-long life span of a storm, from its birth over the western Pacific, to landfall over California, to its death. Every day starts with a sweeping description of the great meteorological and geographic forces that create and sustain a storm, a
Bob H
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
A tautly-written, and gripping, story of one winter storm system that, over 12 days, brings heavy rain and snow to Northern California. It's a powerful storm, but not unusual for a California winter, but Mr. Stewart tells an epic story of the many lives the storm will affect -- and in a few cases cut short -- across the state. It will bring floods, road hazards, mountain blizzards, utility failures, epic struggles to keep the highway and utilities and railroad over the Sierras open. While the bo ...more
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library, 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
I had to read this book for a class but my hopes and expectations for it were high. However, the book didn't measure up. It's got twelve chapters, less than 350 pages but it felt like it took forever to get through. The author introduces numerous characters and then just leaves them for a while so that it is quite easy for the reader to get confused. It's also hard for the reader to really connect to any of the characters since so few of them are truly expanded upon in the book. Stewart's dictio ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read a great old paperback copy issued to armed services personnel in WWII of this page turner whose central character is in fact a storm. The lives of those involved in predicting and reacting to massive life and property threatening storms are brought to sharp focus and the reader comes away with an appreciation of the macro forces of nature that that can, seemingly in an instant, change our lives.
Disappointing because I mistakenly thought this book was nonfiction, perhaps something like an early John McPhee work. Instead it was fiction, but written in a documentary style. Though the reviews were excellent, it just didn't capture my interest much. Maybe it's just that it's an old book now: descriptions of the "technology" used to track the storm -- reports from ships at sea, slide rules, hand-drawn weather maps -- made it seem merely quaint, rather than riveting.
Dec 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a great read if you're someone who appreciates a storm studied by the technology present in the 1940s. Stewart is a master writer. Written during the dark days of WWII, he creates a storm that lashes CA, reaches into the sierras with some challenging and at times devastating effects. If you know Donner Summit, you'll know the storm. Cause and Effect, 40s technology, meteorology, the storm described with human attributes, classic references -- Stewart ably puts the reader in the storm.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was published in 1941 and was very popular during WW-II. I happened to run across the title in Hurricane Hazel: Canada's Storm of the Century
by Jim Gifford, was curious, so I borrowed a copy from the library. It was interesting story about the development of a storm in the western Pacific, its manifestation in North America wit its effects on the people there.

Turned out that this book inspired the naming of hurricanes, effectively starting that process.
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
The author wrote one of my favorite books of all time, so I was excited to read this book. However, I was disappointed . There is little character development, and not much really happens overall. While I like his style of connecting seemingly random events into an overall story, this book was flat and not satisfying.
Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
From an historical perspective, this book is fascinating. The focus is the life cycle of a storm, covering the globe, but with a focus on California (primarily Tahoe to SF). It's a little pedantic, but the characters and setting are detailed enough to hold your interest.
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book!! The Main Character is a Storm named Maria and it's over the course of her lifespan (approximately 13 days) and the impact in California. I just wish there were more maps to go along with the development of the storm.
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Storm was another interesting and well written book, the descriptiobn of the train in the snow was very memorable.
Ralph Carlson
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was originaly published in 1941. I first read it in the 1960s and it became one of my favorites. Just finished reading it for the third or fourth time, and it is still one of my favorites.
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Takes one into the anatomy of a storm in the Sierra, and its impact on those who live there.
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Pretty dull. Couldn't wait to be done
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Interesting book that was on my father's shelf -- story of big typhoon crossing over to the US, with disastrous effects.
rated it liked it
May 13, 2012
Daniel Graybeard
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Oct 30, 2013
Richard Lecomte
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Mar 20, 2008
James Watt
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May 14, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2016
Camille Flores
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Nov 15, 2014
Jim Vorheis
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Jun 04, 2010
Donald Boen
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Feb 04, 2015
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George Rippey Stewart was an American toponymist, a novelist, and a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is best known for his only science fiction novel Earth Abides (1949), a post-apocalyptic novel, for which he won the first International Fantasy Award in 1951. It was dramatized on radio's Escape and inspired Stephen King's The Stand .

His 1941 novel Storm , featu
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