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Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival (P.S.)by Norman Ollestad
Synopses & Reviews
A riveting and moving memoir, written in crisp Hemingwayesque prose and set amid the wild, uninhibited surf culture of Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s.
From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. Yet it was these exhilarating tests of skill that ultimately saved his life when the chartered Cessna carrying them to a ski championship ceremony crashed 8,000 feet up in the California mountains, leaving his father and the pilot dead. The devastated eleven-year-old Ollestad had to descend the treacherous, icy mountain alone.
Crazy for the Storm is a powerful and unforgettable true story that illuminates the complicated bond between an extraordinary father and his extraordinary son.
"Cinematic and personal . . . Ollestad's insights into growing up in a broken home and adolescence in southern California are as engrossing as the story of his trip down the mountain." Carolyn See
"A heart-stopping adventure that ends in tragedy and in triumph, a love story that fearlessly explores the bond between a father and son and what it means to lead a life without limits." Susan Cheever
"Cinematic and personal...Ollestad's insights into growing up in a broken home and adolescence in southern California are as engrossing as the story of his trip down the mountain." Chicago Tribune
"Tragic and exotic ...[with] short, punchy chapters and...nonstop emphasis on adrenaline-fueled excitement." New York Times
"The memoir is as much about a father-son relationship as it is a survival story...Ollestad says his father's life philosophy about surfing and skiing — 'knowing there's always a place to go and find peace, clear your mind' &mash; got him down the mountain and through life." Washington Post Book World
"Engrossing...Ollestad hits several notes that should make his memoir irresistible to those looking for page-turning but thought-provoking summer reading along the lines of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air (1997)...Deep and resonant." Houston Chronicle
"Never a dull moment....[Ollestad has] written a beautiful story about a thrill-loving father — 'the man with the sunshine in his eyes' — who taught his boy not just how to live, but how to thrive." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"At times beautiful, at times heart-wrenching, Crazy for the Storm is a commanding read — a tale that proves the power of the human spirit can rise against any challenge, and a father's legacy can be more than he imagines." Entertainment Weekly
"Riveting." Chicago Tribune
“Breathtaking....Crazy for the Storm will keep you up late into the night.”
Norman Olsteads New York Times bestselling memoir Crazy for the Storm is the story of the harrowing plane crash the author miraculously survived at age eleven, framed by the moving tale of his complicated relationship with his charismatic, adrenaline-addicted father. Destined to stand with other classic true stories of man against nature—Into Thin Air and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; Sebastian Jungers The Perfect Storm—it is a literary triumph that novelist Russell Banks (Affliction) calls, “A heart-stopping story beautifully told….Norman Olstead has written a book that may well be read for generations.”
About the Author
Norman Ollestad studied creative writing at UCLA and attended UCLA Film School. He grew up on Topanga Beach in Malibu and now lives in Venice, California. He is the father of a nine-year-old son.
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