Book: Shattered Air

Book: Shattered Air

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Tina Orem

A True Account of Catastrophe and Courage on Yosemites's Half Dome
by Bob Madgic

This is the nail-biting true story of a group of hikers who were struck by lightning on top of Half Dome in 1985. Adrian Esteban and most of the other people there that day worked with Madgic on the book, which is one reason why this dramatic tale is full of detail (some of it gory) and insight.

Shattered Air (Burford Books) is not only a guide to understanding the power of lightning, it's a horror story. It starts off a bit slow because Madgic first sets the cast of characters, describes the geography of Half Dome, and explains the science of lightning. This is all very important background (a detailed map of Half Dome would have helped), and if you can hang on until about page 120, you are in for a suspenseful, terrifying, and page-turning ride. The hikers were struck twice, and the jaw-dropping account of what happened afterward will knot your stomach and make you think twice about screwing around in that next thunderstorm.

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