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Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival

Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival

Scritto da Norman Ollestad

Narrato da Norman Ollestad


Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival

Scritto da Norman Ollestad

Narrato da Norman Ollestad

valutazioni:
3.5/5 (43 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
7 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 2, 2009
ISBN:
9780061901928
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

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.

A HarperAudio production.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 2, 2009
ISBN:
9780061901928
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Norman Ollestad studied creative writing at UCLA and attended UCLA Film School. He grew up on Topanga Beach in Malibu and now lives in Venice, California. He is the father of a nine-year-old son.

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43 valutazioni / 36 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    Norman shares his life growing up with his father and the actual plane crash in alternating chapters; both of which were captivating. There was never a dry patch, and I was very touched by the relationship that Norman and his dad developed. The attitude of his dad made me smile and was infectious - it's one of life's lessons that I will take away with me.I truly appreciated Norman's story and wanted to give it a 4.5/5; however, two relatively large aspects of the book prevented me from doing so. First is the fact that there were no quotation marks around the dialog. It wasn't difficult to read, but it would have been easier had they been used. Second, the detailed descriptions of surfing, skiing and surviving were somewhat difficult to follow. I'm not familiar with the lingo, so often I couldn't visualize particular events. Gratefully, there was one picture provided, and it added so much to my experience - I would have loved to have seen more. All the best to you, Norman. (4.25/5)Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy
  • (4/5)
    Compelling story and well written. Two plots of the author's life - one is the relationship with his father and growing up in Malibu and the other is him as the sole survivor in a small plane crash. Each chapter goes back and forth and soon you understand how they are related, as the strength and lessons his father taught him helped Ollestad to survive. It is a quick read and positive affirmation. Enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    Young Norman Ollstad shared a tight bond with his reckless, charismatic father, a man who pushed his son to excel in dangerous sports such as surfing and skiing. When a terrible small-engine plane crash results in 11-year-old Norman being stranded at the side of a California mountain, the survival skills his father taught him serve him well.Crazy for the Storm is not the easiest book to read. The chronology jumps around and the narrative is sprinkled with jargon from skateboarding, surfing and skiing. I had a hard time picturing the action, and in the scenes that take place after the plane crash, young Ollstad doesn't come across as an eleven-year-old boy at all, but as an adult man. Even in such an extreme situation, he has an implausible knowledge of what to do next. Despite these reservations, however, I found this tribute to an unusually strong father-son relationship unexpectedly moving.
  • (5/5)
    Thrilling and moving!
  • (1/5)
    another possibly good book ruined by the arthur. could not
    listen to slow monotone narration
  • (3/5)
    An epic story, equal parts inspiring and troubling. The hardest parts were not the physical challenges, but the abuse from people that were supposed to be watching out for him. Payoff wasn’t worth the ride for me.
  • (2/5)
    Well, all I can say is wow, I can't believe I read this. Let's see... the crash story is interesting. Other than that? Hmmm... If you've ever felt like you wanted to learn more about a rich spoiled arrogant "surf kid" and how shallow he can possibly be, this is as good as it gets - bonus, you get to learn about his views on life as if they were incredibly deep and prophetic. About 4 times longer than it should have been, tthis book had some interesting tidbits about life on Topango Beach, CA in the 70s... perhaps a chapter's worth. Another high point: Mr Ollestad is a decent narrator.
  • (4/5)
    Crazy for The Storm is a very well written, detailed novel that will blow you away. This book takes place in the 1970’s, which is also an auto-biography of the Author Norman Ollestad. The book is based on the family of the Ollestads. Norman, who is the main character, is a strong willed, ignorant teen who adores outdoors. His dad is an avid explorer, and loves being out in nature. He is also an ex-FBI agent. In this book, Norman was flying to a hockey championship game when his plane crashed and he had to find his way out on his own. After that the book is based on the life after the crash. I believe this was a fantastic book and people who enjoy autobiographies would like this book. The author, which is Norman himself, did a great job writing about his time of fear.
  • (4/5)
    Crazy For the Storm is a compelling memoir that reads just like a novel. The chapters alternate between his time on the mountain after the plane crash and his life leading up to that point. Norman Ollestad recounts his unusual upbringing and how he had to rely on his earlier experiences and lessons taught by his dad in order to survive on the mountain.

    I was astounded by the activities that Norman's father made him participate in at such a young age. He was surfing and downhill skiing at a very young age, and it wasn't just that he was participating in these activities, but that his father pushed him to try things that were challenging to the point of being dangerous. In the first few pages of the book there is a photo of Norman strapped to the back of his dad while his dad was surfing - he was only one year old.

    In one of my favorite sections, he recounts a road trip he took with his dad to Mexico. They have so many dangerous and exciting adventures on this trip that it made for great reading. (There were Federales with guns, a car chase and an idyllic time spent with some native Mexicans, just to give you a little preview.)

    At times it was hard to put this book down. I was always wondering what was going to happen next. What crazy adventure was Norman's dad going to take them on next? Or what about his mom's boyfriend? Was he going to stay nice or start drinking again? And then of course there's the breathtaking story of how Norman got down the mountain.

    I had read someone else's review of this book a while back and so I knew that there was a video on YouTube that showed footage from the news when Norman spoke to the media after he got off of the mountain. I made a point of not watching the video before I read the book because I didn't want to see any spoilers, but I can honestly say that I wish I would have watched it first because it really brings home just how young Norman was during the time period the book covers. I was shocked by how young and small he was because he had already had so many adventures and done so many crazy and dangerous things with his dad, and then survived the descent from the mountain. Because of his achievements and bravery on the mountain I had been picturing someone older in my head (even though his age was given in the book).

    There were a lot of descriptions of surfing and skiing in the book that used the technical terminology of each sport. I did not understand many of them, but it didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of the book.

    If you like reading memoirs about survival situations then I'm sure you will love Crazy For the Storm.
  • (2/5)
    This book as been summarized well in other reviews. Although there was much that I admired about the story, including vivid descriptions and imagery, I mostly found it unpleasantly disturbing. I understand that he loved his father, and that his father taught him remarkable life skills. But his father was also hugely negligent and self-centered. Most of the problems for which his father prepared him were brought about by his father's own recklessness. I was also uncomfortable about his portrayal of his mother and his father's girlfriend. Did I really need to read descriptions of his mom having rough post-fight make-up sex?I know this is a book about fathers and sons (and father-figures), so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that his portrayal of his mother's troubled boyfriend is far more nuanced than anything he wrote about his mom. And while I was genuinely fascinated by his adventure with his own son, which was insightful and touching, I was put off that he made no mention of his son's mother. That is weird. It would have been far less weird if he had simply written, even parenthetically, that his son's mother has requested privacy, and that he is honoring that request. Or if that's not true, then just tell us whether she died, whether she abandoned them, or whether they have joint custody but she lives elsewhere. Instead, she simply doesn't exist, and that's a significant omission that bugs me.
  • (3/5)
    The author tells the true story of how he survived--as an 11 year old boy--a plane crash that left him stranded at the top of an ice covered mountain. To survive he had to make his way down an ice covered slope that threatened to send him tumbling down the treacherous chute at it's center. As he describes this remarkable feat, he explains how the lessons his father taught him were the real reason that he survived. In flashbacks he describes his childhood--a childhood filled with surfboards, skiing, the breakup of his parents, and an antagonistic new boyfriend of his mother's.I enjoyed the survival parts of this story...I kept listening to see just how he was going to make it off of that mountain. Some of the descriptions of his youth are pretty wild and pretty interesting as well, but some parts it drug a bit. Still, I would recommend it to anyone who likes true tales of survival.
  • (1/5)
    Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad is a autobiography. Norman lives with his mother and her abusive husband Nick. they live in the inland of California. Normans dad lives off the coast of California with his girlfriend Sandra. Normans dad is all about skiing. one trip with Norman and Sandra, the plane crashes into a mountian. "in less than 9 hours, 2 are dead." This book was really bad. the beginning was boring and i didnt want to read it at all. It had no action what so ever and was not very well written. its set up was weird. it would bounce back and forth to before and during the crash. I rate this a 1/2 a star.
  • (4/5)
    A well-paced father/son memoir, it contains engaging characters that defy the cliched categories of hero/villain that I find in childhood memoirs -- I'm no fan of annoyingly precocious kids waxing philosophical, but Ollestad is a very restrained writer with only a moment or two where I felt like the characters had some memoir-affectation that disrupted the "reality" of the story. Not that you have to believe every detail in any memoir, this one or others -- but usually I find memoirs to have a lot of those shifts from dead-on accurate storytelling that rings true (e.g. age-appropriate and believable like "Freaks and Geeks") to fanciful, ornate, and fairy-tale-false (e.g. 90210/Gossip Girl), and I prefer the former. Ollestad's book does a remarkable job of allowing us to believe, anyway, that his memoir is not discolored (too much) by the intervening years or the desire to manipulate what is supposed to be non-fiction.
  • (3/5)
    First-person survival story--pilot, father & father's girlfriend were killed in a plane crash. The author (at 11) was the only survivor. I liked the relationship between the father and son--the unconventional upbringing that probably contributed to his ability to reach civilization following the crash. I didn't like how the book jumped back and forth abruptly between past and present. I enjoy listening to an author read his own book as he can convey the drama in a way that only a person who was there can. Unfortunately, Norman Ollestad was a horrible reader with a monotone that was about enough to put you to sleep in a book that should keep you on your toes. Kudos for surviving, kudos for writing a book. Don't do any more narrations!
  • (5/5)
    This is a story of survival after a plane crash but more so a story of love and strength. It is the '70s, and "Little Norman" Ollestad is 11 years old and growing up on the ocean in California. His mom and dad are divorced, and he lives with his mom and her boyfriend Nick, but the story mostly revolves around the relationship between Little Norman and his dad, "Big Norman" Ollestad. Big Norman is a lawyer by day and a surfer/skier/all-around daredevil the rest of the time. He loves his sports and loves living on the edge and is trying to teach Little Norman the beauty of that way of life. At times, his "training" of Little Norm seems harsh, but in the end, it saves his life. This is an amazing book that I couldn't put down. Definitely one of the best memoirs I've ever read!
  • (4/5)
    Norman exposes his thoughts about his father and how they prepared him for the crash that he experienced. Through the alternating back story of his childhood right before the crash and the events of his survival, Norman makes you feel like you truly understand what he went through as a child and in the immediate aftermath of the crash. An engaging read that was difficult to put down.
  • (3/5)
    2 Words that describe the book: Survival memoir3 Settings where it took place or characters you met:1. Setting: late 1970s California and Mexico2. Norman Ollestad Jr.—The author had a unique upbringing in the uninhibited and freedom-loving surf culture of the 1970s. (He lived on Topanga Beach.) At age 1, his father strapped him to his back and took him surfing (see photo at right). This was the start of a childhood filled with extreme sports. Norman was continually pushed by his father to surf, play hockey and ski at levels that were both frightening and somewhat dangerous. Yet this background gave Norman a unique mindframe and skills that ended up helping him to survive a plane crash that killed his father, his father's girlfriend and the plane's pilot. Norman was only 11 at the time of the crash.3. Norman Ollestad Sr.—A fearless man with a taste for adventure, Norman Ollestad was many things: a former FBI agent who wrote a book exposing the weaknesses of the agency, a successful lawyer, and a devoted father who wanted to make sure his son (who he affectionately called "Boy Wonder") experienced the exhilaration and beauty of living life fully by pursuing extreme sports like powder skiing and surfing.4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:1 . I liked the trip to Mexico that father and son take shortly before the plane crash. In many ways, it acts as a "coming of age" journey for young Norman. This extended sequence is (in some ways) more the heart of the book than the actual plane crash.2. I disliked how Ollestad structured the book. The chapters alternate between his childhood and his struggle for survival on the mountain after the plane crash. This technique for telling the story didn't work for me. I felt like I kept losing the "momentum" of the survival aspect of the story. The book might have worked better if it had been told in chronological order.3. I disliked that I never got a real grip on the survival story. I'm not sure if it was Ollestad's writing or my unfamiliarity with some of the terms he used, but I never felt that sense of "I'm right there" you get with some survival stories (such as Jon Krakauer's excellent Into Thin Air.)4. I liked the ending where Ollestad writes about his grown-up assessment of his father and his own struggle to find the right amount to push his own son. In many ways, Norman might not have survived if his father hadn't raised him the way he did. But in other ways, it seems almost negligent or cruel the pressure his father put on him and the situations he was forced to experience. 5 Stars or less for your rating?I'm giving the book 3 stars. I really wanted to like it more than I did. I'm a big fan of real-life survival stories, but this one just didn't do it for me. I think much of it was due to the writing. Although he has a gripping story to tell, I think Ollestad might have benefited from having a co-writer that could have helped him tell his story better. Surprisingly enough, the most interesting part of the book for me was the father-son relationship and the unique way Ollestad was raised.
  • (3/5)
    A son's experience of his own father’s unconventional approach to parenting, and how it led to the boy’s ability to survive in a situation his father had not planned—the crash of their chartered Cessna into a mountainside. Ollestad recounts between his travels with his surfer father, his life with his mother and her abusive boyfriend, and his fight for life as the lone survivor of the plane crash. It is a story of both a father’s successes and his failures, and is as much about surviving the actions of child-like adults as about the dangerous descent down the ice-covered mountain. At times remarkable, at times heart-wrenching, Crazy for the Storm is a father, son read—a tale that proves the power of the human spirit can rise against any challenge. i reviewed it in Bookreporter as a arc reviewer, but I have mixed feelings to this book, being a mother it was a very sad read.
  • (3/5)
    Men have it rough in our world, and boys have it even rougher. Norman Ollestad tells the story of the tough time he had growing up with a demanding father and a demanding stepfather. The trials he suffered as a boy served him well when he had to find a way to survive after a plane crash. I liked this book but I think men would find it even more captivating. It seems to be a rare book these days, a coming-of-age memoir of a boy.
  • (4/5)
    In February 1979, a small chartered plane carrying the author, then 11 years old, his father, his father's girlfriend, and the hired pilot crashed into the side of a Southern California mountain. This memoir is the remarkable story told some 30 years later. Little Norm grew up surfing, skiing, skateboarding, and was pushed and challenged beyond any normal expectations by his dad, who claimed that competing wasn't about winning, not always with complete conviction. Big Norm was an attorney, had been a child actor and an FBI agent who wrote a book exposing some of the FBI's dirty little secrets. Among other things, his dad took Little Norm on a needlessly dangerous trip to Mexico, always confident that things would work out. Ultimately, the tough training saved the author's life. I am not a surfer, skier, or skateboarder, so some of the sports terms were foreign to me and the descriptions seemed overly detailed. For me, some of the language was a little too...flowery isn't the right word, but something close to that. Chapters about the author's early life are interspersed with chapters about the flight and the hours after the crash, and the book included a section of photographs that really added to the story. Crazy for the Storm was a sad, interesting, worthwhile read.
  • (4/5)
    When he was 11 years old, Norman Ollestad had become a true California jock-- he was a fantastic surfer, he'd shredded his skin skateboarding, had just won a state skiing championship, and was gearing up for a hockey team tournament. In between the ski championship and hockey practice, his father chartered a plane to get them from one place to the next-- but the plane crashed in the clouds of a California mountain. The pilot and Ollestad's father were killed, his dad's girlfriend survived just a short time longer. The memoir tells the story of not only the crash but the childhood pressures and adventures he faced, all of which led up to the crash. Ollested's father was driven to make his son the best, and adults (Ollestad is now nearing his mid-40s now) and teens alike will likely be surprised at the things the elder Ollested forced upon his son. The story is well written, alternating between flashbacks of his younger childhood and surviving the crash, and will appeal to anyone with interest in outdoor survival stories. The high school at which I am currently a librarian has Into the Wild in the curriculum, and this is certainly a book I'll recommend for anyone who liked that story. It certainly has appeal to high school and middle school students, although some more conservative individuals might balk at some of the drug references.
  • (3/5)
    Little Norman Ollestad was raised on the beach in California, where his attorney dad spent every free minute surfing. Of course, Dad wants Norman learn to surf, too--and to ski! He doesn't seem to care that Norman is a timid little kid, who really doesn't want to be pushed into these activities. But push, he does.Perhaps it's a good thing, because when Norman is eleven, he is a passenger in a small plane that crashes into a California mountain. The skills he has learned from the grueling training his dad has put him through help keep him alive as he scales down the steep ice and snow covered incline during a huge storm. Amazingly he walks out, although hope had died that there were any survivors on the plane.The story is told in alternating chapters of Norman's life with his dad, and his perilous trek down the mountain. At first this felt awkward, but as we drew closer to the end, it seemed to work better, and the reader can understand why the author (little Norman himself) chose to tell his story in this manner.
  • (5/5)
    An incredible story of survival. I enjoyed the converging story lines that alternated chapters. The ending is particularly poignant as the author struggles to push his own son into that place where he will struggle but, if he can get through it, will fill empowered and confident. By relating his own story, Ollestad shows the reader how pushing beyond "effortless fun" pays off.
  • (4/5)
    Amazing story of survival and the bond between father and son. A little too much technical wording when describing the mountains and surfing.
  • (5/5)
    This book was really interesting; I read it all in one sitting. At first the chapters switching between the plane crash and the author's childhood leading up to that point annoyed me because I wanted to know the survival story right away. I began to also get sucked into the background story though and in the end, I found the alternating format very instrumental to the overall memoir. It's an amazing thing that the author survived such an ordeal at the age of eleven but he at least had the knowledge of all the previous dangerous experiences that his father had pushed him into at an even earlier age.
  • (3/5)
    The book was compelling and well-written; you wanted to find out what happened to young Norman in the end. However, the book is not for persons easily offended by language and sexual innuendo. Beach culture is not a pretty thing. Still Norman managed to craft a life for himself that appreciated his father's rather cavalier approach towards introducing his son to danger. And, his adult self could see both the good and the bad in his mother's boyfriend's interactions with him.
  • (4/5)
    Very good. Couldn't stop reading, professionally written in way that it becomes an easy page turner.It's very easy to relate to the themes of the book when you're a man, son and father.
  • (3/5)
    Norman Ollestad's Crazy for the Storm is a memoir of the horrific plane crash he survived and the upbringing that taught him the skills that made it possible for him to survive. The chapters alternate between his ordeal on the mountain and his relationship with a demanding, driven, and loving father. To me, the most remarkable thing about this story is how young Norman was when all of this happened. He was just 11 when he had to make his way away from the plane crash, down a mountain in a blizzard while also taking responsibility for the life of his father's girlfriend. Unfortunately the perspective of an 11 year old doesn't really come through and its easy to forget he is so young. It's very likely that Norman matured very early due to his harsh upbringing and at 11 he was more sophisticated then most kids his age. Still, the author writes with a little more detachment then I would like.I listened to this book on audio and it is narrated by the author himself. As with many authors this is a mistake. He is not an actor and his voice has little inflection or emotional for such a thrilling story. The plot will hold your interest but ultimately the book's flatness is disappointing.
  • (4/5)
    This book was a super quick read, well written and it is easy to feel you are there watching it all unfold. While Norman is very descriptive as someone who has never surfed nor skied sometimes it is a little over kill. The book tells two stories at once. One chapter tells about the plane crash that took Norman's father and his girlfriends life including the story of Norman's struggle to save his own life. The next chapter then tells the story of Norman's past with his father and all their adventures. It continues in this format throughout the book. As I said, a very quick and simple read, but well written and entertaining as well.
  • (4/5)
    In February 1979, a small chartered plane, carrying an eleven year old boy (the author), his father, the father's girlfriend and the pilot, crashed into a mountain in northern California. Only the boy and the badly injured girlfriend were alive. Young Norman decides to head down the face of the mountain,all 8,600 feet,to look for help and to avoid freezing to death on the treacherous, blizzard-choked mountain. This is a quite amazing story. The back story of the history and relationship of the boy and his father is equally as fascinating. Highly recommended!