Gavin Pretor-Pinney started wondering about waves when he found himself in a glider 'surfing' a gigantic Australian cloud called the Morning Glory; its similarity to an ocean wave was startling. So he embarked on a global journey of wave discovery that was at first intended as an excuse for a holiday to Hawaii. But other kinds of wave kept cropping up to impede his departure. Brain waves, radio waves, infrared waves, microwaves, shock waves, light waves, Mexican waves--all played a role in delaying Gavin's arrival on Waikiki Beach. If you've ever wondered why your heart beats, snakes slither, suspension bridges collapse, butterfly wings shimmer, saucers fly, traffic jams--it's all about waves.
Gavin Pretor-Pinney is the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. He also co-founded the Idler, a magazine that defends the noble art of doing nothing. Gavin is no surfer. In fact, he is rubbish at surfing. But he loves watching waves in every form, and has come to realise that they are at the very heart of the world around us.
"The Wavewatcher's Companion used relatively straight-forward science to transform our perspective on the world around us, both visible and invisible, in a completely radical way. From Mexican waves to electro-magnetic waves, it gave us a new delight and fascination in our immediate surroundings. We were inspired to see waves everywhere, and we were given an almost poetic vision of a dynamic universe. It is a book of old-fashioned charm and wit, provocatively organized and illustrated, and marvellously deft with its presentation of hard modern science. In short, it is a delightful winner."
- Richard Holmes, Chair of the judges for the Royal Society Winton Prize for a Science Book
"Page after page is patient, open, rational and clear... an eye opening experience"
- Daily Mail
"Pretor-Pinney is clever, passionate, indomitable in his determination to share his knowledge."
- Daily Telegraph
"He is an entertaining and informal teacher... a unique book"
- Daily Mail
"Dotted with photos and diagrams, 'The Wavewatcher's Companion' is a perfectly paced combination of whimsical, digressive wonder and in-depth knowledge that renders a potentially esoteric subject engaging to all"
- Financial Times