Book Review: American Coasters

I remember as a child walking into bookstores scavenging through shelves in hopes of finding a roller coaster book that I did not have. Sadly, however, new roller coaster books were and still are rare.

When I opened my copy of American Coasters: A Thrilling Photographic Ride, a new book by photographer Thomas Crymes, I was taken back to my adolescent days void of internet access, where I would spend hours flipping through pages of roller coaster pictorials.


“Amazing” is the best word I can find to describe Crymes’ photography. The book contains photos of over 100 different roller coasters from 21 parks. Also included in the book are 40 coaster profiles full of need-to-know statistics. A few of the parks featured include Cedar Point, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kings Dominion and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Below are a few of my favorite photos from the book.


The pictures are large and crisp. The colors are vivid. The book’s simple design places more emphasis on the photographs. Nothing beats seeing pictures of roller coasters printed on a physical page (sorry, internet).


The book also includes stunning panoramic shots, some of which span a full page (or more). The clarity of the photos allows for detailed analysis.


Crymes took many of the photos from unfamiliar angles. Never having been to some of the parks featured, I found the new angles refreshing. I also appreciated Crymes’ inclusion of a few roller coasters that are no longer. They were a nice surprise to see as I was reading the book. I won’t spoil which ones those are.


The photographs are not the work of an amateur. They are professional photos that will impress even the most seasoned photographer (coaster enthusiast or not).

American Coasters: A Thrilling Photographic Ride is perfect for anyone who enjoys roller coasters. A first-time roller coaster rider will love this book. A 50-year-old roller coaster enthusiast who  knows everything about every roller coaster that ever existed will love this book as well. The hardcover book spans 176 pages.

As of this posting, the book was available for pre-order at Amazon for $22.07.

Otherwise, order American Coasters: A Thrilling Photographic Ride here for $34.99. Also, like American Coasters on Facebook for more updates about the book.

We would like to extend a special thanks to author Thomas Crymes for sending us a copy of his book to review.


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7 Responses

  1. Kyle says:

    I remember checking out the same coaster book at our middle school library every week! This book also looks great! Can’t wait to check it out!

  2. Rob says:

    Wow, beautiful images.

  3. Kevin VH says:

    Like the varied perspective of the imagery.. will take a look!

  4. Greenhorn says:

    Hope you still see this: I just recently got into Roller Coasters and actually thought about buying some books. Since you seem to have read a couple of them – do you maybe have a short list of recommendations? The best books about Roller Coasters? History, Nowadays, whatever. Thanks a lot!

    • Nick says:

      Hi. There’s a list of books we’ve reviewed on our Links page. Or you can use the search bar and search for “book review.” Additionally, Robert Coker’s book is really good. If you’re interested in coaster design you can check out Coasters 101. Hope that helps!

  5. Joseph Gerber says:

    This book is incredible. My favorite picture is the aerial photo of the Son of Beast at Kings Island…May it RIP!

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