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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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Nancy M. (Warminster, PA) (08/02/10)

The Wave
Susan Casey has led a life of outdoor adventure including surfing waves. Along with her and the world's greatest surfers the reader vicariously experiences the terror and exhilaration of riding waves all around the world including a 100 foot wave, the holy grail of waves. Reported by sailors and long seen as impossible, satellite imagery has verified their existence. Waves pose a danger not only to surfers who seek them out. The world’s most eminent wave scientists fear the rising sea level, which rose approximately 6.7 inches in the twentieth century, will create waves which not only threaten the world's coastal shores but some of our greatest cities. There is a sense in this book that not only surfers but all of us should as one scientist says, "Go grab a couple of those total 'now' moments, because that’s all there’s gonna be anyway."
Colleen L. (Casco, ME) (07/29/10)

The Wave
I found this book to be interesting and informative. I enjoyed the way the author skipped between the technical aspects of waves to surfing. Not something I expected. This book would appeal to someone who was new to the topic of waves and unfamiliar to the subject matter. Since I knew nothing about either surfing or the mechanics of waves, this was an excellent beginning. The author did a solid job covering a a large number of avenues: shipwrecks, wave symposiums, weather experts, insurance specialists, etc. as well as top surfers. For those people who have more detailed background, however, I think this book would be a bit too summarized. Any one of the topics covered could become an in-depth book by itself. For a person who knew very little such as myself, though, this was an excellent way for me to learn something new!
Les G. (Fort Collins, CO) (07/29/10)

Freaks, rogues, and giants
The Wave by Susan Casey is an excellent chronicle of the people who chase big waves, and the people who try to understand and predict them. About half of the book follows Laird Hamilton as he chases the biggest waves in the world to surf, while the other half documents the scientists who strive to understand what causes rogue waves and how to build ships and platforms to withstand them.

Laird Hamilton and his fellow tow surfers are insane. They risk their lives to ride ever larger waves. Casey does a great job of capturing the surfers intensity and the risks they face. I would have liked to read more about the scientists and their work in predicting waves and also more detail about the destructive power of the waves. However, all in all, this is a wonderful book and well worth reading.
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Beyond the Book:
  Giant Waves

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