Crazy for the Storm

A Memoir of Survival

By Norman Ollestad
(Ecco, Hardcover, 9780061766725, 288pp.)

Publication Date: June 2, 2009

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the June 2009 Indie Next List
“Crazy for the Storm is a riveting account of survival. Norman Ollestad weaves the story of his unconventional early childhood and the details of a horrible airplane crash into a brilliant tribute to his adventurous father.”
-- Jamie Robinson, Bestsellers Books & Coffee Co., Mason, MI


Description

Dad Said

Olestad, we can do i t all. . . .

Why do you make me do this?

Because it's beautiful when it all comes together.

I don't think it's ever beautiful.

One day.

Never.

We'll see, my father said. Vamanos.

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 eleven-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.




About the Author

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.




Reviews from AltWeeklies.com
From The Georgia Straight, Vancouver, British Columbia

A Memoir of Survival: How to capture the spirit of a father and son?s relationship? Norman Ollestad, the son in this equation, does it grippingly and gorgeously in Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival.

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