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The names are designed to inspire terror in the faint of heart: The Beast, Raptor, Steel Phantom, Colossus, Cyclone and Demon Drop. In amusement parks and boardwalks all over the world, the roller coaster is king. Beginning as far back as the turn of the century, roller coasters' designers have competed to build them faster, taller, steeper. They've flipped riders upside down, made them weightless, and applied more g- forces to their bodies than pilots experience in a fighter jet. As technology advanced through the twentieth century, roller coasters kept pace. Today, they are pushing the outside of the envelope in terms of what the human body is capable of withstanding. And still, eager patrons are demanding bigger and better thrills. From their origins in Russia to the high-tech wonders of the mega-amusement parks, this is the thrilling story of the development of roller coasters.
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