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Oklahomans have long been known for their fatalism and grit, but even old-timers are troubled by the twisters that are devastating the state with increasing frequency. On May 20, 2013, the worst tornado on record landed a direct hit on the small town of Moore, destroying two schools while the children cowered inside.
Oklahoma native Holly Bailey grew up dreaming of becoming a storm chaser. Instead she became Newsweek's youngest-ever White House correspondent, traveling to war zones with Presidents Bush and Obama. When Moore was hit, Bailey went back both as a journalist and a hometown girl and spoke with the teachers who put their lives at risk to save their students, the weathermen more revered than rock stars and more tormented than they let on, and many shell-shocked residents. In The Mercy of the Sky, Bailey does for the Oklahoma flatlands what Sebastian Junger did for Gloucester, Massachusetts, in The Perfect Storm, telling a dramatic, pause-register story about a town that must survive the elements - or die.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Bryan E. Garcia on 12-21-17
Should be No-Mercy From The Sky
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
What did you like best about this story?
The Intensity of the narrator
Which character – as performed by Erin Bennett – was your favorite?
It's an amalgamation of characters and the story is told from each of their own prospectives.
If you could give The Mercy of the Sky a new subtitle, what would it be?
The Story of the 2013 Tornado Outbreak and Heartbreak
Any additional comments?
I read quite a few comments before I decided to go with this book. Originally I chose Into The Storm by Reed Timmer but once I gobbled thru that on a cross-country road trip I downloaded this one. I've been a weather nut my entire life and while in the end, I decided to go with physics-related studies (the university I was at did offer an Atmospheric Sciences program) I always secretly wished I'd attended the A/S program. There are a few negative reviews about this book, most of which circulate around the narrator or the way the story was delivered. Having worked with the National Severe Storms Laboratory and the National Weather Center (and Service) doing research related work in the realm of severe weather I can say that, for me, the delivery of the narrative of this book was spot on. I think the author and narrators are both trying to deliver the confusion, frustration, anxiety and fright these victims experienced thru her writing, having seen some of this horrible devastation first hand I can place the feelings they're trying to convey with the looks or actions I've seen on others faces while they're trying to make sense of what's just happened to their lives. The narration can be over the top the way she delivers it, but that lends it'self to the way she's attempting to frame the story and how these poor people felt. Personally, I loved this book and how it was written. First 9-10 chapters are about different meteorologists and their own stories of the devastating 2013 Moore OK tornado but that gives the book a solid narrative and it doesn't become mundane. Listening to how these weather professionals from meteorologists, to news station chopper pilots to the chasers on the ground relaying video and info back to the stations to the HERO teachers whom literally laid on top of children to shield them from flying debris, some of whom lost their lives this book is amazing, it's worth a read/listen if you're on the fence about it. Your eyes will get a little watery and throat a little thick listening but it was a fantastic book and I'm sure I'll be listening to it on my back across the country to Norman for storm season in 2018. Cheers.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By LRK on 06-25-17
I was hooked the whole time
Any additional comments?
I really enjoyed this book and could see myself listening to it again. My mom joined me in the car one day, and I couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen to the characters next so I asked if she'd like to listen. She was sad she wouldn't get to hear the rest of it!
I enjoyed the surprise of getting to hear about the history of weather forecasting in addition to stories from the tornado. Being an Oklahoman, I'm familiar with the weathermen mentioned and found their stories interesting. But I also enjoyed the stories of the people who lived through the storm.
I do wish the author had broken the stories up a little bit more in timeline form. I did find it mildly emotionally exhausting to relive the tornado over and over again, and I had trouble figuring out what was happening at what time in relation to everything else. My mom and I (even in the short time she listened to it) found it really annoying how frequently the author uses the word "tiny" to describe things. Every town to her that isn't Oklahoma City is a "tiny town". This was really annoying because the towns she described as tiny really aren't that tiny at all, and it makes me wonder what word she'd use to describe the smaller ones. Probably "tiny" because it's her word of choice.
All that being said, once I was able to get over the author using several words repeatedly, the story was very fascinating, and I was hooked the entire time.