CRAZY FOR THE STORM: A MEMOIR OF SURVIVAL

Dear Reader,

When I finished reading Norman Ollestad’s memoir Crazy for the Storm, I thought “when it’s good it’s very good, when it’s bad . . . it’s really bad.” Ollestad pivots episodes from his childhood—time spent with extreme-sports-enthusiast dad who’s financially successful and a knocked-about mother who’s financially dependent—around a plane crash he survives when he’s 11 years old. The scenes around the crash and his trip down to safety are well written, descriptive, and suspenseful. He delivers blow by pain-staking blow of every rock and ledge he had to deal with.

The rest of the book? Painful to read, especially when he describes his dad’s girlfriend’s hair as silky one too many times or refers to his dad’s curls and bright blue eyes. It reads like he was told to add details, so he did. Too bad. I know the author wants to link his survival skills and instincts with his father’s actions, and he’s right to do so, but it just doesn’t work.

Men who haven’t grown up, like Ollestad’s dad never did, will appreciate all the sports events and adventures Ollestad is involved in. Men/women who lived the surfing life in the 70s will enjoy this book, as well as people who get a kick out of great action scenes and survival stories (but don’t mind the rest) will also enjoy this book.

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