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The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean Paperback – Illustrated, May 31, 2011
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“Examines big waves from every angle, and goes in deep with . . . mariners, wave scientists and extreme surfers. . . . [A] wonderfully vivid, kinetic narrative.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Immensely powerful, beautiful, addictive and, yes, incredibly thrilling. . . . Like a surfer who is happily hooked, the reader simply won’t be able to get enough of it.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“[An] adrenaline rush of a book. . . . As terrifying as it is awe inspiring.”
“Casey’s descriptions of these monsters are as gripping in their own way as any mountaineering saga from the frozen peaks of Everest or K2.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Susan Casey's white-knuckle chronicle . . . delivers a thrill so intense you may never get in a boat again.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Reading The Wave is almost like riding one, paddling in the expositional surf of vivid imagery and colorful description thrown at you in ever-escalating surges.” —The Plain Dealer
“Casey does an exceptional job of explaining the natural forces (winds, currents, ocean-bottom shape) that create these daunting, at times fatal, surfing spots. . . . Terrific.” —Wall Street Journal
“Extraordinary. . . . I’m only allowed 800 words for this review. Here are a few: fascinating, heroic, dazzling, terrifying, amazing, unbelievable, mesmerizing, instructive, enlightening, superb. This is a . . . powerful, articulate ride into a world you never knew existed but that you will never, never forget.” —Richard Ellis, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Utterly engrossing.” —Salon
“Something is stewing in our seas, and Susan Casey—traveling, and in some cases swimming, all around the world—is eager to find out what it is. Both a rollicking look at the ocean’s growing freakishness and a troubling examination of our ailing planet, The Wave gives new meaning to the term ‘immersion reporting.’” —Hampton Sides, author of Hellhound on His Trail
“[Casey] is a powerful voice in adventure writing. . . . Masterful.” —Outside
“Like the surfers and scientists she profiles, Casey lived and breathed giant waves for years. Casey combines an insane passion for craft with an uncanny ability to describe the indescribable. In The Wave she whisks the reader off to unimaginably surreal settings and puts them in the middle of mind-blowing scenarios. This book sucked me in like the undertow at Pipeline.” —Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Packing for Mars
“[A] breath-snatching thrill ride.” —Elle
“Compelling and wonderfully detailed. . . . An engrossing set of stories about the quest for bigger, stronger, more dangerous.” —Los Angeles Times
“A fabulous page-turner.” —NPR
“This book is adrenalin. You don’t want to surf the waves described herein. Read the book. It’s safer that way.” —Eddie Vedder
“Reading The Wave is the closest most of us will ever come to the sensation of riding, or even seeing, one of these towering monsters of the sea. It’s exhilarating, astonishing, and, not infrequently, terrifying. Brace yourself.” —Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt
“A probing look at both the passionate and the pragmatic sides of these oceanic wonders. . . . Casey’s curiosity in learning about every conceivable aspect of waves makes for compelling reading, regardless of whether you look at waves as a great ride or with great concern.” —BookPage
“At once scary and fun, The Wave surprises at every turn.” —Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe
“[A] captivating hybrid—an intro to the mind-melting physics of waves and a ride-along with the scientists and surfers who chase after them.” —Men’s Journal
“The Wave is an amazing look at humble yet larger-than-life people who live by daring feats, honorable acts, and selfless denial. . . . Terrifying, beautiful, her prose is shot through with the haunting half-light of a storm.” —Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers
About the Author
- Publisher : Anchor; Illustrated edition (May 31, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0767928857
- ISBN-13 : 978-0767928854
- Item Weight : 14.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.16 x 0.9 x 7.98 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I am coming from the containerships and have sailed the South African coast as a master for years on regular basis.
Had a lot of quite bad weather down there. That's true. And shure freakwaves exist. But there are good warnings from the SA weather service about the posibility of their ocurance by time and area (normaly near the 200m depth line on the Wild Coast. But haven't heard a single
discripcion of even only 1 ship lost due to freak waves between 1996 and 2010. And I listened to all the costal talk from pilots agents etc. during these years.
We meet some very interesting people along the way: mariners; extreme surfers; weather forecasters; and scientists. In the latter category is Bill McGuire (aka Disasterman), Director of the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Center, volcanologist, Benfield Professor of geophysical hazards at the University of London, and author of the books Apocalypse and Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) . His section of this book (entitled "Wave Good-Bye") is where Casey works in some serious predictions about how the changing climate is going to affect (among other things) wave height: "McGuire had a lot to say about waves, unimaginably large waves."
Nevertheless, the surfers almost steal the show. Here is the author's description of someone who looked like a surfer: "He had the same disheveled cool, a hint of a hell-raising look in his eyes, and a movie star smile." Better yet, here is her description of a wave called 'Mavericks' off of the California coast: "The Aleutian swells thunder three thousand miles across the North Pacific, barging past the continental shelf until their progress is rudely halted by a thick rock ledge...When it hits this shallower depth, the wave energy rears up, shrieking and screaming, forming the clawed hand that is Mavericks."
Mavericks is one of the many waves that the surfers in this book ride...or die under. As if the sheer size and ferocity of the wave wasn't daunting enough, "Mavericks was located at the southern end of a region known as the Red Triangle because more attacks by great white sharks had occurred there than anywhere else on earth."
The descriptions of Big Water in this book are so harrowing, that I cancelled my cruise around world (that I was going to take if I hit it big in the lotto). This author can write! She dumps the reader into the midst of Nature's most dangerous places in a way I haven't experienced since I read " Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster " by Jon Krakauer.
Top reviews from other countries
Then came the Jaws and the Jet Skis. The book could have been more interesting to read had it not been punctuated by the feats of and conversations with Hamilton and his surfing mates at almost every alternate turn of page. Overall, a well-written narrative on rogue waves.
I began to teach myself the trick of mentally tuning out or altogether skipping whole sections wherever Hamilton figured in the pages. I am probably being impolite by saying so. I am no surfer. I do, however, think that a chapter or two at the most could have sufficed.