Reader reviews and comments on The Wave, plus links to write your own review.

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The Wave

In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

by Susan Casey

The Wave
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2010, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2011, 432 pages

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There are currently 19 reader reviews for The Wave
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Gunta K. (Glens Falls, NY) (08/17/10)

Fascinating Mystery with a New Twist
Sailors world over, for centuries, have talked of rogue waves a hundred feet high. Waves which sink huge cargo ships leaving no one behind to tell about it. "The Wave" is a book not for the faint hearted. Susan Casey is traveling across the world to observe, experience, these monster waves. She talks to famous surfers, Hamilton, a surfing legend, others as well, the daring, the fearless and the just plain crazy. They chase these waves as a sport and a means of living.

The author gives minute details on the preparations of these men prior to riding these taller than a skycraper, nasty, unforgiving waves. They come from Tahiti, Hawaii, Australia to ride, many times encountering sharks deep in the waves. Much is talked about the families, children, lovers of these guys. This is a closed society. One which lives only for the thrill of riding the waves wherever they can be found. Any time.

"The Wave" is also a terrific geography lesson on the waters covering our world. Many well known scientists and oceanographysts are mentioned here. Lloyd's of London has several pages explaining to the reader as to whom and what Lloyd's has insured and a description in detail of their method of assessing resulting claims. Much information is logged in this tome in term of names of ships, cargoes, dates and their time of disappearance or serious damage after surviving one of these monsters. Interesting discussion on tsunamis, their origin and size. The author's description of being in a boat to catch the swell of Ghost Tree a monster wave on the west coast of Calilfornia, is nothing short of sublime.

I like this book as there is not one boring page in it.
Barb W. (Mechanicsburg, PA) (08/13/10)

The Wave
I've always been fascinated by the ocean and its many personalities, so I couldn't wait to start this book. It did not disappoint, and I've been recommending it to friends and co-workers, who teased me about waiting until after our recent cruise to read the book! The combination of scientific data and "real-life" experiences kept it entertaining and educational at the same time.
Vicki O. (Boston, MA) (08/12/10)

How High "The Wave"?
Having read Susan Casey’s enthralling and gripping book, “The Wave,” I will view the ocean through a different lens, one that sees it as both powerful and mysterious. The author takes us on a journey that is as thrilling as the surfing challenges she describes. She travels with the select group of extreme surfers as they track down the seven most formidable waves, all of which have “a distinct character.” Interspersed between the wave chases are fascinating profiles of the scientists seeking to understand what causes the ocean’s unpredictable behavior. “The Wave” will not disappoint.
Karen J. (Bremerton, WA) (08/12/10)

What a Ride!
Well, I’m back – a bit soggy but unbowed. I’ve traveled on the boat Discovery to Waveland in the North Sea with a group of scientists, who are studying how the ocean’s basic characteristics are shifting; surfed in Hawaii with a tribe of tow surfers who are chasing the elusive 100 foot wave; entered with great trepidation the T-shaped Lituya Bay in Alaska where I met a 1740 foot wall of water and lastly swung down to Capetown, South Africa where I learned about the Agulhas Current, so treacherous that it keeps four boat salvage companies in business full time.

If you are at all interested in rogue, freak, giant waves, the scientists who study them and the adrenaline junkies who crave to conquer them – grab your wetsuit for this is one heck of a ride!
Mary G. (River Forest, IL) (08/09/10)

Too many waves?
If you're a surfer, you'll read this book in one night. Certainly there's lots to learn but, frankly, I had to push through the scientific jargon to get back to the people and their stories. Even then, I never got to know them well and didn't get to actually feel their experiences. I'm not a surfer, but I'm not a mountain climber either, and I read every mountain climbing book I can get my hands on. This is no "Into Thin Air," as touted on the back cover. I'm giving it 3 stars, because it will rate either 5 or 1 with you, depending on your interest in oceanography.
Bea C. (Liberty Lake, WA) (08/07/10)

Facts and Fear
This book is for people who like to read textbook type data about climate change and waves, with some awesome stories about surfers who are addicted to fear and their search for the next humongous wave. Not as engaging as "The Perfect Storm", but there is plenty to fear and be depressed about with the dire climate change predictions and huge waves growing larger, especially if you live near a coastline..anywhere.
Power Reviewer Priscilla M. (Houston, TX) (08/04/10)

Remind me not to cruise in the North Atlantic!
As I began 'The Wave', I expected it to be more about rogue waves round the world and the damage that ensues, and at first that is what pulled me into the book. I am a big fan of cruising as a vacation choice, and while I never worry about getting seasick, I do occasionally think about those monster waves that appear out of nowhere for no reason. The first part of the book addresses those situations, and I was properly horrified and fascinated.

The author, Susan Casey, then moved into the world of surfing and the people who pursue the big waves for the thrill and glory of the ride. A flatlander for most of my life, I found myself both appalled and amazed at the risks surfers such as Laird Hamilton take to ride the big ones. An accomplished writer, Ms. Casey helps you understand the allure of surfing and the mechanisms of the giant waves. It was an informative and entertaining glimpse into to a watery world about which I knew very little before I read this book.
Judith G. (Ewa Beach, HI) (08/04/10)

Warning!
I expected a treatise and found a very readable (yet alarming) story of waves, tsunamis, climate, change, and concerned people.

I'm a native Southern Californian and have lived on the island of Oahu for 20 years and feel most comfortable at the ocean's edge. I know the places discussed in the book, e.g., Maui, Ensenada, South Africa, and especially the North Shore of Oahu. I saw the Eddie Aikau competition in 2009 and have hundreds of photos of North Shore swells and waves.

I finished this book in a day and recommend it to anyone interested in climate change and its effects on our earth and living conditions.
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