18 Miles: The Epic Drama of Our Atmosphere and its Weather
© 2018 Christopher Dewdney
Maybe it’s a life spent watching the skies for signs of tornadoes talking, but few everyday things strike me as more dramatic than the drama overhead — the goings-on of this ocean of air in which we live. 18 Miles is an enthusiast’s guide to understanding a little of what goes on above, and its effect on us — past, present, and future. Dewdney begins by exploring the various layers of the atmosphere, then examines its internal drama: clouds, wind, precipitation, storms, and more. The book wanders a bit toward the end, reviewing moments in which weather has influenced history. 18 Miles is unusual for a science book in that its subject has been of interest to all humans, at all times and places — and that universal interest is expressed here through the frequent and much-appreciation inclusion of poetry and art. The author’s own prose is artful in itself, often stirring the spirit as well as stimulating the mind. When I looked up the author to see what else he’d written, I was not overmuch surprised to see that he’s published volumes of poetry. Although it lost strength as it progressed, there’s much to appreciate in 18 Miles.
I previously shared some excerpts from the book; they may found here.