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Bibliography: Books: Roller Coasters

This bibliography covers books which may be useful in researching theme parks, amusement parks, and related subjects. Some of these books are available from the publisher or your favorite bookstore, while others are out of print but may still possibly be obtained through a used book dealer or from your library (in stock or through interlibrary loan). When possible a link has been provided to where you may check availability and order the book directly.

Bennett, David.
Roller Coaster: wooden and steel coasters, twisters, and corkscrews. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books. 1998. 192p. Color Photos. Well illustrated (but not always accurate) coffee table book about roller coasters and rides.
Check availability at

Burgan, Michael.
The World's Wildest Roller Coasters. Mankato, MN: Capstone Books. 2001. 48p. Color Photos. Small book for younger readers covers the history of roller coasters and profiles The Beast, The Big One, Volcano: The Blast, and Superman: The Escape. Part of the Built For Speed series.
Check availability at, or Amazon UK.

Cartmell, Robert.
The Incredible Scream Machine: a history of the roller coaster. Fairview Park, OH: Amusement Park Books. 1987. 252p. B&W Photos. The classic and most authoritative history of the roller coaster.
Out of print. Search for a used copy at

Chandler, Gil.
Roller Coasters. Mankato, MN: Capstone Books. 1995. 48p. Color Photos. Hi-Lo book for younger readers ages 9-12 on the design and operation of roller coasters. Part of the Cruisin' series.
Check availability at, or Amazon UK.

Coker, Robert
Roller Coasters: A Thrill Seeker's Guide to the Ultimate Scream Machines. NY, NY: Main Street. 2002. 144p. Many Color and B&W Photos. Heavily illustrated coffee table book with a history of roller coasters and description of current rides. Includes glossary and operating coasters list.
Check availability at Check availability at, or Amazon UK.

Munch, Richard
Harry G. Traver: Legends of Terror. Fairview, OH: Amusement Park Books/ACE. 1982. xvii,175p. Many B&W Photos. Biography of the designer of classic roller coasters and rides like the infamous Crystal Beach Cyclone.
Check availability at

Preedy, Robert E.
Roller Coasters: Shake Rattle and Roll. Leeds, UK: Preedy. 1996. 64p. Many B&W Photos. Photos of great old wooden roller coasters in the United Kingdom.
Not available through US, Check Amazon UK.

Reynolds, Robert R.
Roller Coasters, Flumes, and Flying Saucers. Jupiter, FL: Northern Lights. 1999. 192p. B&W Photos. Tells the story of Ed Morgan and Karl Bacon, founders of Arrow Development and inventors of the tubular steel roller coaster, the log flume, the modern looping roller coaster, and more, including the ride systems for many of Disneyland's most popular rides.
Check availability at, or Amazon UK.

Rutherford, Scott
The American Roller Coaster. Osceola, WI: MBI. 2000. 160p. Many Color Photos. Big, lavish coffee table book celebrating the history, design, and construction of roller coasters.
Check availability at, or Amazon UK.

Schafer, Mike & Rutherford, Scott.
Roller Coasters (Enthusiast Color Series). Osceola, WI: MBI. 1998. 96p. Color Photos. A park by park guide to the United States. Includes glossary.
Check availability at, or Amazon UK.

Throgmorton, Todd H.
Roller Coasters of America. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks, Intl. 1994. 160p. B&W Photos. A park by park guide to the United States and Canada.
Check availability at

Wyatt, Mark.
White Knuckle Ride. London: Salamander Books. 1996. 112p. Color & B&W Photos. Coffee table book highlighting many of the world's most impressive coasters.
Out of print. Search for a used copy at

See Also:

Bibliography: Park & Coaster Videos
Bibliography: Carousels/Rides
Links: Amusement Ride Safety
Links: Enthusiast Clubs
Links: Rides & Roller Coasters
Links: USA Theme Parks, Waterparks, & Zoos

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