Book Review + Giveaway: American Coasters 2 - Coaster101

Book Review + Giveaway: American Coasters 2

Packed full of beautiful roller coaster photography, the American Coasters 2: Coast to Coast book is author and roller coaster enthusiast Thomas Crymes’ followup to 2013’s American Coasters (which we reviewed here).

Keep reading for a chance to win a copy of American Coasters 2: Coast to Coast!


The book features a selection of park profiles that photographically cover some of the United States’ most popular amusement and theme parks, including:

  • Six Flags Great America
  • Valleyfair
  • Holiday World
  • Six Flags St. Louis
  • Worlds of Fun
  • Six Flags over Texas
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • and many more

But don’t worry about the parks that don’t receive their own section— the “Best of the Rest” pages highlight additional parks — big and small — with more beautiful photography.


Banshee at Kings Island. Photograph © Thomas Crymes.

While every photo in the book may not be a contender for a Pulitzer Prize, there are countless stunning photos — some of which appropriately span two pages. Many require two (or three) glances to fully appreciate.

Other pages are filled with a mosaic of photos. I really liked the large number of up-close photographs depicting riders’ faces, which are often very amusing (I have ugly ride face, on-ride photos confirm).


While the photography is the focus in American Coasters 2: Coast to Coast, I also learned some interesting tidbits of roller coaster history and trivia. For instance, I had no idea that Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ Superman: Krypton Coaster was originally designed with seven inversions — a dive loop was nixed to allow for larger, then-record-breaking vertical loop.

And if all that wasn’t enough, a Q&A with Great Coaster International (GCI) senior engineer Adam House is both insightful and an excellent excuse for more beautiful photos showcasing GCI’s works of wooden coaster art.

thunderbolt-american-coasters  iron-rattler-american-coasters

Thunderbolt at Luna Park (L) and Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas (R). Photographs © Thomas Crymes.

The book is great to pick up whenever you have a few minutes to spare, but you may find yourself reading it from cover to cover in one sitting (speaking from experience). The combination of amazing photography and interesting information about the parks and coasters featured in the book guarantee a fun-filled read.

American Coasters 2

Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement Park. Photograph © Thomas Crymes.

American Coasters 2: Coast to Coast makes for an excellent gift for any casual or hardcore roller coaster enthusiast. It also makes for a far-from-ordinary addition to any coffee table — the stunning cover photograph of Cedar Point’s Gatekeeper wing coaster threading through one of its keyhole elements will undoubtedly attract attention.

As of this posting, American Coasters 2: Coast to Coast is available at Amazon for $23.87.

American Coasters 2: Coast to Coast Giveaway

Author Thomas Crymes has kindly agreed to provide a copy of American Coasters 2: Coast to Coast to give away.

To enter, let us know your favorite American coaster by leaving a comment below. We’ll randomly draw a winner. Please include an email address that we can use to contact you should you win.

One entry per person. Enter by this Friday, July 22, 2016 at 11:59 EST. We’ll announce the winner shortly thereafter.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Katherine D. for winning the giveaway, and thanks to everyone who entered!


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30 Responses

  1. Nathan Felde says:

    My favorite American coaster is Millennium Force, with Maverick and Twisted Colossus close behind it. Millennium force offers such a rush and constant fast speed and pacing that no other coaster can offer

  2. Nate Hessburg says:

    I am in love with Millenium Force at Cedar Point. Such a thrilling ride!!

  3. Troy Parsh says:

    My favorite steel coaster is Fury 325 at Carowinds and my favorite wooden coaster is Lightning rod at Dollywood.

  4. John Roach says:

    I have a thing for dive coasters, and my favorite American coaster is Griffon at Busch Gardens Williamsburg (profiled in book 1, pg 90). That said, I haven’t gotten on Valravn yet (which will happen next month) so that might change.

    Looking at the other comments so far, Millie, Maverick, Twisted Colossus (heck, any RMC for that matter), and Fury 325 are all excellent choices.

  5. Heather S says:

    My favorite is California Screamin in Disney’s California Adventure.

  6. Benjamin Ramsey says:

    My favorite American coaster that I have ridden is the Fury 325!

  7. Kevin Wilson says:

    I have two favorite woodies: El Toro @ Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ &
    Thunderbolt @ Kennywood, Pittsburgh PA
    Fave steel coaster: Nitro @ Six Flags Great Adventure

  8. Gregory says:

    If I had to pick a couple coasters, they would be Fury 325 and The Beast. Especially the beast at night!!

  9. John H. Campbell says:

    It’s a tie for me: Although my all time favorite steel coaster with inversions is X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, for a non-inverting coaster, it’s without question Fury 325 at Carowinds.

  10. Will Stevens says:

    For me it’s definitely Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City!

  11. Jacob says:

    My favorite coaster has to be Kingda Ka at SFGAD. The acceleration is amazing.

  12. Sean says:

    Maverick at Cedar Point!

  13. Eric says:

    My favorite is the American Eagle at Six Flags Great America. I grew up with it and was a ride operator there for a few seasons. Close runner up: Viper at SFGAm. Favorite roller coaster not at SFGAm? Millennium Force. That thing is all speed!

  14. Alex Shell says:

    Maverick at Cedar Point. Very intense and very fun

  15. Lionel Simms Jr says:

    My to two favorites are Makko and Iron Rattler.

  16. Marty Crosson says:

    The Red and Blue Racers at Kings Island. I think they were the first roller coasters I ever rode and later, when I worked at Kings Island in high school, I’d hop a ride every night before closing. Good times.

  17. Cynthia says:

    For me its the X2 in Six Flags Magic Mountain! Such a rollercoaster don’t exist here in Europe!

  18. Luke Otten says:

    My favorite is Millennium Force at Cedar Point!

  19. Shane J says:

    My favorite is Superman: The Ride at Six Flags New England. It’s a phenomenal Intamin that has (deservingly) won best coaster in the US many times!

  20. Lizzy P. says:

    The Phoenix at Knoebels. It is my happy place.

  21. Katherine DiLeo says:

    My favorite is Gold Striker at California’s Great America. The best ride GCI has developed to date in my opinion -a thrilling ride from start to finish and a wonderful traditional woodie!

  22. Robin Theisen says:

    My favorite is unfortunately a thing of the past, Thunder Road at Carowinds. They tore it down last year for a water park expansion. The park lost a great piece of Carolina history. It was a classic out and back wooden coaster the whole family could enjoy.

  23. Joshua Wood says:

    My favorite would definitely be Fury 325 at Carowinds.

  24. Tracee says:

    As the local Pennsylvania publisher of American Coasters 2, we love your comment Lizzy P! Thank you Coaster 101 for the review of this thrilling book. Good luck to everyone who posted comments.

  25. Cassandra McCraw says:

    I grew up on Thunderoad at Carowinds, so that will always be my first love! My introduction to speed and power on a tiny track.

  26. Melissa says:

    My favorite is X2, followed by Millennium Force.

  27. Erik says:

    Sheikra in Busch Gardens Tampa!

  28. Kevin says:

    While I have yet to ride Fury, My pick is a Tie between Apollo’s Chariot at Bush Gardens and Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure. Both have great track length and lots of air time.

  29. Dennis says:

    My favorite coaster would have to be Raptor at Cedar Point. Such nostalgic memories associated with that coaster.

  30. Daniel says:

    My favorite coaster is Bizzaro (formerly known as Superman: Ride of Steel) at Six Flags New England. A back seat ride is the most intense coaster experience I have ever had.

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