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Crazy for the Storm  By  cover art

Crazy for the Storm

By: Norman Ollestad
Narrated by: Norman Ollestad
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Publisher's Summary

From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties, young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that prepared "Boy Wonder," as his father called him, to become a fearless champion - and ultimately saved his life.

Flying to a ski championship ceremony in February 1979, the chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his father, his father's girlfriend, and the pilot crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains and was suspended at 8,200 feet, engulfed in a blizzard. "Dad and I were a team, and he was Superman," Ollestad writes. But now Norman's father was dead, and the devastated 11-year-old had to descend the treacherous, icy mountain alone.

Set amid the spontaneous, uninhibited surf culture of Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s, this riveting memoir, written in crisp Hemingwayesque prose, recalls Ollestad's childhood and the magnetic man whose determination and love infuriated and inspired him - and also taught him to overcome the indomitable. As it illuminates the complicated bond between an extraordinary father and his son, Ollestad's powerful and unforgettable true story offers remarkable insight for us all

©2009 Norman Ollestad (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Crazy for the Storm

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting!

Muscular writing, great narration, and a tale that stands up to the best in suspense fiction. I stayed up half the night listening to this memoir, which is part coming-of-age story and part homage to 1970s Los Angeles beach culture. More than anything, however, the book is a tribute to the author's larger-than-life father, who died in the same plane crash that his 11-year-old son was able to survive by applying the lessons his father had drilled into him from birth. Ollestad does an impressive job of conjuring the free-wheeling surf-and-sex beach culture of his formative years. Equally cool is the way he organizes this remarkable story, which weaves back and forth between memories of his childhood and his harrowing experiences on the icy mountaintop where the plane crashed, killing everyone but the author. For nail-biting suspense combined with a child's-eye view of what it's like to grow up with magical but flawed parents, I can't recommend this one highly enough....

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Crazy For This Book

Because this book is mainly about a boy and his father, women might not find it quite as entertaining as myself. However, I must confess I found Tom Wolfe's "I Am Charlotte Simmons", about a girl, thoroghly entertaining. Although the story revolves around a plane crash, the adventerous stories of Norman's life leading up to the fateful moment, especially the trip to Mexico, maintain a high level of interest.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Nice But Not Great

Nice book but not all I was hoping for. The author was obviously not a professional writer so the book has a lot of weak spots.

The first 2/3's of the book moved between memories of writers father and escaping the airplane crash that killed him. These are the best parts. The last third was how he lived with his father's death for the next half year or so. This part doesn't really go anywhere and has a lame ending.

This book is not really an adventure or survival book but more a tribute to a man's love of his father and his memory. We would have all loved a father like him.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Not too Crazy

Aside from the story surrounding the plane crash, I found this memoir unbelievable and uninteresting. Most of the story seemed like filler since the story of the plane crash was a short story in itself. It was hard to believe a boy, let alone a man recalling these events 30 years later would be so observant and have such recall of the events and facts written about in this book. The book seemed more fiction than fact. The narrator was not interesting and sounded angry most of the time. Save your money and listen to something else more interesting.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Boy Wonder!

Aside from Norm Ollestad's monotone delivery of this audio book the subject matter is quite interesting. I am surprised that he lived through most of his dad's antics and predicaments!!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Nothing Great

Not a great book. In comparison to other great survival stories the plane crash did very little live up to any epic event. I found the rest of the book monotonous and barely entertaining. The author’s writing style is simple and very formulaic. His monotone deliver became annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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great book

great narration great book really enjoyed it you should read it. 3 words remaining

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Don't waste a credit

Narrator sounds the same if plane is crashing or he is sleeping. Boring and predictable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

brutally beautifully honest

Norm is pretty dry. He lets the story do the telling. It won't disappoint.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Gulleys, ridge lines and funnels?

Terrific story read by the then-child survivor of a horrific plane crash. But, you better get the Google ready for a lot of skiing and surfing slang! I learned a lot about life by his story of survival. Well done, boy wonder. 😉

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  • Hannah
  • 11-07-22

A gripping story of strength, and self actualisation.

This is a captivating story, fantastically written and narrated. It’s hard to believe Ollestad’s age when going through this ordeal given the maturity and determination required to just keep going. Absolutely a worthwhile read.

I only gave three stars for Performance as I found the random inclusions of music to be distracting and disconnected.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ken Kroeger
  • 07-13-21

Great story

Very nicely told. A good book for fathers that aspire to raise boys into confident young adults.