STORM $2.50 By George R. StewartRANDOM HOUSE
MARK TWAIN would be glad to know that after all these years of talk about the weather someone has finally done something about it. In writing the biography of one hypothetical storm Mr. Stewart is still only talking, but in doing so he tells all that needs to be told about storms in general, and he tells it with a significance which neither meteorologists nor common men have ever before achieved. The Storm, which a west-coast Junior Meteorologist christened Maria, was conceived and delivered in accordance with the latest theories of the Weather Bureau, somewhere over the Pacific. Her father was a cold but amenable air-mass from Siberia, her mother a warm and seductive vagrant from the South. The offspring of such a union was destined not wholly for good, and before her twelve days of tempestuous life were over Maria had stirred up a generous parcel of the earth. During the few brief days of her maturity she breezed into the affairs of a great variety of men, sweeping them from the tight little grooves of their customary behavior into her own wider and freer orbit. A large part of the unique spell of her life story comes from the feeling of this reorientation. Mr. Stewart’s style is rather febrile and blown up, but so was Maria’s. His distaste for understatement can be forgiven him in view of the originality of his theme and the imagination of its treatment, or forgotten in the course of a most absorbing tale.