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South of Normal [Kindle Edition]

Norm Schriever
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $14.96 (75%)
 
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  • Length: 344 pages
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Book Description

Have you ever sat at work and thought about leaving the rat race behind? Do you secretly question if it all makes sense, fantasizing about moving to a white sand beach in the tropics to live the easy-breezy life in paradise?
Well, Norm Schriever did just that.

Frustrated and unfulfilled with his comfortable existence in the States, successful businessman Norm Schriever knows there is something more he is supposed to do with his life. So, he quits his job, sells and donates all of his possessions, and moves down to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, with nothing but a laptop and a surfboard, vowing to chase his long-forgotten dream of being a writer.

But Norm soon finds that paradise has its dark side, and the perfect life in a little seaside town isn’t always as easy as it seems. Whether it’s adapting to the local customs and the language barrier, dodging lawless drug traffickers and corrupt cops, or spending “quality time” in a Third World prison, Norm always keeps his sense of humor and forges ahead, intent on finding the paradise he has been looking for.

Will Norm achieve his dream, and gain a new appreciation for life, love, and happiness in one of the most beautiful places on earth? Or will he succumb to the jungle heat, scorpions, and machete-wielding marauders? Grab your sunblock and buckle up, because you’re in for a gonzo blast of laughter and adventure…south of normal.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Norm Schriever is an author, humorist, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone.  He just released "South of Normal," a gonzo blast of laughter and adventure about a year living in the tropical paradise of Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  His first book, "Pushups in the Prayer Room," is a wild, irreverent account of a year spent backpacking around the world. 

Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of over-studying, and went on to live in North Carolina, Colorado and most recently in Northern California. 

Dissatisfied with a conventional existence, Norm sold or donated all of his possessions and moved down to Costa Rica in 2011.  In the sleepy surf town of Tamarindo he pursued his passion of writing, armed with his secret weapons: fresh ocean air and Baileys in his morning coffee.  He then migrated just a chicken bus ride north to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, where he settled into a local barrio and wrote "South of Normal" with his puppy, Panda, curled up at his feet. 

He sees his words as a way to illuminate the commonalities of human existence, and thereby hopes to leave this planet a little better than how he found it.  

You can find him on Twitter @NormSchriever

Product Details

  • File Size: 981 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Authority Publishing (April 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CFU9FZ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,780 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Vicarious Adventure! May 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Length: 0:51 Mins
At first, I thought this might be a travel book, but then, from the first page, I knew I was in for an adventure and a half! However, I definitely consider this more of a literary memoir--that just happens to be filled with a whole lot of kick-ass, edge-of-your-seat scenes. Additionally, the author has a very strong voice that pulls you in even further, so half the fun is hearing what his reaction to the situations will be. At times I imagine him as Bruce Willis, and at other times, Adam Sandler with a surf board. Lots of wit and hilarious passages. Also, if read a bit deeper, the author has some important messages and ideas to share. The perfect by-the-beach-book for this summer. Highly recommend it and will be eager to read his next book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Misinformation November 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wanted to read this book and give it 5 stars, but the shoddy editing made it difficult to digest. I tried my best to enjoy Norm's adventures in Costa Rica. I am from the neighboring country of Nicaragua and I like reading about other people's experiences in our part of the world. But I was quickly disillusioned by the plethora of mistakes the author and editors allowed into print. The Spanish throughout the book is full of misspelled words and grammatical errors. Place names and even the names of acquaintances are often misspelled or spelled differently from one page to the next (for example: Repollito is often spelled "Repellito")The name of the city of Rivas, Nicaragua is spelled incorrectly, even though Norm supposedly lived in 25 minutes away in San Juan del Sur at one time. He states, incorrectly, that 80% of Nicaraguans live on a little over $300 a YEAR (Nicas are poor, but not THAT poor, hermano!). It was difficult for me to put much stock in what Norm writes about Costa Rica after catching so many errors about Nicaragua. All of these mistakes could have been avoided with a little research on Google.
Apart from that, the book is stilted, too wordy, and definitely meant for a the frat boy type. I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if there wouldn't have been such an intense focus on the drinking, drugs, and the "critters." There is more to our countries than con artists and drug dealers, after all. It appears that Norm deliberately avoids anyone who can't assist him in cultivating his bad boy image. Trying so hard to be a local isn't always such a good thing.
The book could have been a lot better if the editor would have worked a little harder for his or her money. As it is, though, I can only give it 2 stars.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Heartwarming, & Insightful May 27, 2013
Format:Paperback
Now that I have finished 'South of Normal', I must say how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Norm's experiences and misadventures in Tamarindo. Awesome read; I absolutely laughed out loud throughout, it warmed my heart, and inspired me to explore life and all its possibilities beyond my comfort zone. Look forward to receiving my copy of Pushups in the Prayer Room soon, as well as any future projects he has forthcoming #puravida
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In a world where people you don’t know are eager to point out your mistakes, yet reluctant to celebrate your success and at times even question it, it is refreshing to read about the transformation and enlightenment of a regular guy. Norm lived the normal life that so many struggle to achieve, but this normal life lacked fulfillment. Rather than continuing in the wrong direction (for him) he chose to follow his dream of becoming a writer and did so in another culture embedded in a third world country lacking many of the things we take for granted. Like a hospital and, for a period of time, law enforcement. Um, no thank you. Ha! Somehow he not only survived but adapted and thrived in this totally unfamiliar environment.
One of the many things that stood out in his book aside from the excellent writing and humorous stories is the number of people calling him crazy for refusing to conform to society’s standard of living and following his dream. He questions his sanity at times too. I personally feel it’s crazy NOT to follow your dreams. I'm glad he did follow his dreams and hope it encourages others to do so as well.
This is a great book I highly recommend. We need more people like this in the world!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Trying a little too hard to be cool January 12, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As another reviewer implied, this book is written from a frat boy perspective. Throughout the book, his cruel little jokes on tourists are juvenile and churlish, although he seems to think they make him more "local". I also found it interesting that he had been in Costa Rica six months prior to moving there and had stayed high the entire time. Six months later, he's contemplating turning 40, doesn't want to get high, and sees himself as a father figure to girls he would gladly have had sex with a few months ago. Sorry, dude, not buyin' it. I think his earlier experiences in the drug world have stunted his intellectual growth, and, possibly, deluded him into believing he is a writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, Well Written and Inspiring May 13, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of my friends mentioned Norm to me and said the he was writing a book about living in Tamarindo. I myself had lived in Tamarindo for about 5 months so I was extremely intrigued. The way Norm translates the experience of Tamarindo and of living in as an expat is absolutely poetic. He gives us a no BS look into the world of living in Costa Rica. I laughed out loud at so many parts of the book. The characters are brought to life in an amazing way and this is an incredible and inspiring memoir of a life experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Husband loves it
Published 5 days ago by Ellis Blevins
1.0 out of 5 stars Weak and desperate
Was looking forward to exploring his concept, but it falls flat. Having experiencing the lifestyle myself it is apparent the author hasn't the slight clue on what its really about. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Been to both those places
San Juan del sur has a way of grabbing your heart. Tamarindo is just a cool place. I recommend visiting both places
Published 26 days ago by Adam Hudson
5.0 out of 5 stars or are planning a trip to Central America this is a great read. Norm...
If you are an adventurer, traveler, or are planning a trip to Central America this is a great read. Norm does a fantastic job of portraying small ocean towns and the vibe you get... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matt Franke
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ
Awesome book!!!
Published 2 months ago by jeffrey w morgenstern
3.0 out of 5 stars good read
I would give it a 3.5 if that was an option. Loved his writing style but felt like the story kind of petered out towards the end.
Published 3 months ago by B. Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read!
Published 3 months ago by cornelius ducker
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Fun, entertaining, easy to read and above all- thought provoking. Reading this book felt a lot like having a casual conversation about the meaning of life with a beach bum.
Published 4 months ago by Rhiannon Hollenbeck
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull or no story
Has nothing to do with surfing. Written with a very naive voice. Dull or no story.
Published 5 months ago by Tim B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining Read!
I found this book very entertaining. Norm did a great job capturing and describing an all too common angst. Even more impressive, in reality he went out and faced it head on. Read more
Published 5 months ago by john christopher polimeni
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More About the Author

Norm Schriever is an author, pro blogger, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His latest book, "South of Normal," is a gonzo blast of laughter and adventure about a year living in the tropical paradise of Tamarindo, Costa Rica that has earned him a place on the Amazon.com best seller list and won a silver medal with the Nonfiction Book Awards. His first book, "Pushups in the Prayer Room," is a wild, irreverent account of a year spent backpacking around the world.

Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of over-studying, and went on to live in North Carolina, Colorado and most recently in Northern California.

Dissatisfied with a conventional existence, Norm sold or donated all of his possessions and moved down to Costa Rica in 2011. In the sleepy surf town of Tamarindo he pursued his passion of writing, armed with his secret weapons: fresh ocean air and Baileys in his morning coffee. He then migrated just a chicken bus ride north to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, where he settled into a local barrio and wrote "South of Normal" with his puppy, Panda, curled up at his feet. He is currently living in exotic southeast Asia, where he survives super typhoons, writes his heart out and explores other cultures daily.

He sees his words as a way to illuminate the commonalities of human existence, and thereby hopes to leave this planet a little better than how he found it.

You can find him on Twitter @NormSchriever
Or visit his blog at NormWrites.com/blog


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