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Book Review: The Wave
Summary from GoodReads: From Susan Casey, bestselling author of The Devil’s Teeth, an astonishing book about colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves and the surfers who seek them out.
For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dis missed these stories—waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet’s waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea—including several that approached 100 feet.
As scientists scramble to understand this phenomenon, others view the giant waves as the ultimate challenge. These are extreme surfers who fly around the world trying to ride the ocean’s most destructive monsters. The pioneer of extreme surfing is the legendary Laird Hamilton, who, with a group of friends in Hawaii, figured out how to board suicidally large waves of 70 and 80 feet. Casey follows this unique tribe of peo ple as they seek to conquer the holy grail of their sport, a 100 foot wave.
In this mesmerizing account, the exploits of Hamilton and his fellow surfers are juxtaposed against scientists’ urgent efforts to understand the destructive powers of waves—from the tsunami that wiped out 250,000 people in the Pacific in 2004 to the 1,740-foot-wave that recently leveled part of the Alaskan coast.
Like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, The Wave brilliantly portrays human beings confronting nature at its most ferocious.
My Review: I have to admit, when I decided to read this book, I really wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. I've always had a fascination with surfers. The freedom they must feel to *ride the wave*. Come on, didn't we all? Especially after seeing Point Break? I've tried surfing, if you can call what I did that. I was awful, it was hard. Did I mention that I was really bad at it?
Every surfers dream -- to ride that 100 foot wave that for so long was an impossibility to scientific minds. But, the surfers knew. Ten years ago, scientists finally had to admit it too. They had devices on board a ship that measured many waves at 60 feet and some as high as 90.
These rogue waves mess with what your scientific mind tells you is possible. Casey also asks many questions about how global warming will affect the oceans and waves.
This book was as much about the past as the present and future of surfing and the wave and what will or may happen in upcoming years.
A great read, if you surf, if you've ever tried -- even if you haven't. A definite page turner.
Review copy of this book provided by the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.