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F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most…
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F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the… (edition 2007)

by Mark Levine

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1015119,589 (3.67)1
Member:BamaGriz
Title:F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century
Authors:Mark Levine
Info:Miramax (2007), Hardcover, 336 pages
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F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century by Mark Levine

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Showing 5 of 5
What starts out slightly dry in the beginning ends up well written and interesting.
  BagABones | May 15, 2010 |
F5 is a really good non-fiction book that reads like the best type of fiction -- action, adventure, thriller, family drama. It's the true-life accounts of what many people lived through in April 1974, when the US suffered the deadliest outbreaks of tornadoes on record.

I read this book in a day, mostly because I didn't want to stop reading once I had started. Mark Levine has truly done his research, but he's written the story of these tornadoes in a way that never seems overbearing or gets so bogged down in pure science that you want to stop reading.

A great book and highly recommended. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Mark Levine’s F5 should be compelling, but it’s simply not.

The subject matter is gold: Levine recounts the horrific 1974 outbreak of tornadoes across the USA’s southeastern and Ohio Valley states, in which nearly 150 twisters killed hundreds and did appalling amounts of damage. He focuses on Limestone Country, Alabama, one of the worst-hit areas, tracking several families who were at the epicenter of the disaster.

Levine squanders his well-chosen story in two ways.

First, he fails to establish most of the characters he follows. It’s telling that the first page of the book provides a guide to who’s who. Unfortunately, it’s needed almost throughout the book, as Levine doesn’t do enough differentiation for even an avid reader to keep track.

Second, Levine punctuates the book with periodic ruminations on the state of the nation in 1974, trying to use this weather disaster as a kind of metaphor for the sorry state of the late Nixon years. This ham-fisted symbolism is totally unnecessary; it’s not as if a catastrophe in which so many people died needs its impact bulked up with a lot of added ‘significance’.

I love weather books, but not this one. Not recommended. ( )
  mrtall | Mar 16, 2009 |
ugh...dood. this book is soo freaking lame. i should have just read the wikipedia article instead. (search for "super outbreak") it reads like a tv movie of the week. too much inner dialogue, too much freaking drama. not enough real documentation. i feel like i didn't learn anything at all. poo poo. ( )
  arsmith | Oct 15, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Levine, a contributor to the New York Times, focuses on the impact in the rural county of Limestone, Ala., where dozens of tornados cut a ruinous swath across the land on April 3, 1974.

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