Pyrospective Book Review – The Practical Pyromaniac

The Practical Pyromaniac: Build Fire Tornadoes, One-Candlepower Engines, Great Balls of Fire, and More Incendiary Devices

By: William Gurstelle 2011 Paperback & Kindle


When I started this site I also began searching for books to read and review.  In my search, I came across The Practical Pyromaniac.  From what I had read I thought it would be a book full of experments, best for middle school age kids.  I was wrong.  Instead it is an interesting book, with some fun experiments, lots of history and the fundementals of fire science.  Each chapter takes you step by step through a process of discovery much like the fore fathers of modren science.

With the book are a number of links in each chapter.  Some of the links are to videos of the aurthor on youtube and others are lists of supplies and where to get them.  The videos are related to each chapter but expand to other experments not included in the book itself.  The videos can tend to be a bit slow in parts but still fun and educational.

This book should be read by any pyro minded individual as an introduction to the fundmentals of fire science.  You might be surprised what you learn from this book.  Over all this is a good book, with lots of great information.  If you are a thrill seeking pyro this may not be the book for you.  Most of the experiments are rather small and tame.  Overall this book seemed more like a high school text book then anything else.