Tying Down the Wind by Eric Pinder

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Tying Down the Wind:
Adventures in the Worst Weather on Earth

Hardcover, 280 pages, Tarcher/Putnam, 2000

Audiobook, 10 hours, Blackstone Audiobooks, 2002
By Eric Pinder, read by Patrick Cullen


Tying Down the Wind by Eric Pinder

Tying Down the Wind

Where can you find the worst weather on earth? The surprising answer in Tying Down the Wind is: everywhere! You don’t need to climb Mount Everest or voyage to the icy desert of Antarctica to witness both the beauty and the destructiveness of weather. The same forces are at work in your own backyard.

Tying Down the Wind takes readers on a poetically descriptive voyage of discovery through the atmosphere, a swirling ocean of air that surrounds and sustains life. Drawing on the author’s experiences as a mountaintop weather observer in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Tying Down the Wind revisits the devastating Northeast Ice Storm of 1998, takes readers on a snow-blind walk through a Berkshire blizzard, and describes the impact of a 54,000-degree lightning bolt just a few yards away.

Praise (and other comments)

Tying Down the Wind is a great deal like Thoreau’s Walden, mixing as it does philosophy and natural science in a book chock-full of creative, memorable imagery…a pleasure to read. Whether Tying Down the Wind has the staying power of Walden remains to be seen. But I place this book in the same lofty literary category.” – Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

“Touches eloquently on such topics as windchill, avalanches, hypothermia, and Antarctica, with its six months of night and its overwhelming isolation.” – Boston Herald

“Patrick Cullen masterfully narrates this work, and the listener can easily imagine these weather conditions and their consequences.” – Library Journal

“The book is the product of deep insight. Pinder is a weather observer by trade, but his observations of humanity are equally exacting. He expresses the onset of goosebumps, the pain of snow blindness, the fragrance of a summer day, the rebirth of spring, and other common weather experiences with uncommon acuity.” – Weatherwise Magazine

“Nicely and descriptively written…covers many important scientific principles of meteorology.” – Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

“Eric Pinder pulls off the astonishing feat of turning the science of meteorology into the stuff of grand drama and stirring poetry.” – David Laskin, Braving the Elements

“Mixes strong science with a highly readable, witty, and often lyrical style…I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in nature’s great mysteries.” – McKay Jenkins, The White Death: Tragedy and Heroism in the Avalanche Zone

And my favorite:

“…like Annie Dillard on a bad day.” – Washington Post

(All writers hope to be compared someday to a Pulitzer Prize winner. Preferably favorably, but still…)