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South of Normal [Kindle Edition]

Norm Schriever
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $14.96 (75%)
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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: 635 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:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,505 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 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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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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6 of 6 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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5 of 5 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware of turning fantasy into reality! September 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Norm skillfully demonstrates that a two week vacation cannot be stretched into a lifestyle without straining the fibers of escapism. In the end, a beautiful address doesn't change much about a person's nature or character - those things travel with us wherever we go. I especially enjoyed the unexpected twists of the book, complete with monsoons and prison visits. I picked up the book wanting to run off to a new life, and put it down thankful for my old one. Rarely does a pleasure read make me think with such clarity. Well done!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars easy read
I started reading this book during one of the cold spells this winter and it helped me make it through with it's warm vibe!
Published 1 day ago by Jeanmarie
1.0 out of 5 stars The Guy is a Jerk.....
I thought a sample might be worth a look based on the premise of the book and number of five stars. As a guest lecturer on a cruise ship I had gotten to Costa Rica quite often and... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Clay Artist
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Normando
This book could have been a short story or an article in a magazine. I barely could finish it. I did not find this book very interesting.
Published 9 days ago by Charles Gaugar
4.0 out of 5 stars iCosta Rican Adventure
Very enjoyable book about making a change in your life that isn't about being upwardly mobile. I hope to tread more from this author to see where life has taken him.
Published 11 days ago by M. Owens
5.0 out of 5 stars Rated it!
Loved it! I thought it was entertaining, easy to read, light hearted but with some serious bits chucked in. A great read!
Published 19 days ago by Nicola Major
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Having met Norm during his recent travels, I was quickly engaged by his energy and light. South of Normal captures his voice as a traveller. Read more
Published 21 days ago by K'pelli
4.0 out of 5 stars loved it!!
I was lost in Costa Rica every time I picked up the book! I'm sad that I've finished reading it.
Published 22 days ago by tam-i-am
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
I have been to the areas of costa rica as visting surfer and the author paints a great picture with words of the area and characters I remember.
Published 1 month ago by ed mccormick
2.0 out of 5 stars kinda boring
Repetitive hard to stay with the story until the end there were a few good stories sprinkled in overall wouldn't read again
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Life's lessons lived like many would choose....if they would!
It's a talent to tell of one's life experiences south of normal and keep the adventure interesting and want to keep on keeping-on because it feels like your favorite song sounds. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David G
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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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