The Wave

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

By Susan Casey
(Doubleday Books, Hardcover, 9780767928847, 326pp.)

Publication Date: September 14, 2010

List Price: $27.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the October 2010 Indie Next List
“As with Devil's Teeth, her earlier study of great white sharks, Casey's newest effort combines engaging hard-science with adrenaline-infused raw action. Drop into The Wave and charge these monstrous ocean creatures with an eclectic cast of sun-bleached watermen and intrepid researchers. This read will definitely pull you out of your beach chair and into the water. Surf's way up!”
-- Jamie Reiner, Elliot Bay Book Co., Seattle, WA


Description
From Susan Casey, bestselling author of "The Devil's Teeth," an astonishing book about colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves and the surfers who seek them out.
For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dismissed these stories waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet's waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea including several that approached 100 feet.
As scientists scramble to understand this phenomenon, others view the giant waves as the ultimate challenge. These are extreme surfers who fly around the world trying to ride the ocean's most destructive monsters. The pioneer of extreme surfing is the legendary Laird Hamilton, who, with a group of friends in Hawaii, figured out how to board suicidally large waves of 70 and 80 feet. Casey follows this unique tribe of people as they seek to conquer the holy grail of their sport, a 100-foot wave.
In this mesmerizing account, the exploits of Hamilton and his fellow surfers are juxtaposed against scientists urgent efforts to understand the destructive powers of waves from the tsunami that wiped out 250,000 people in the Pacific in 2004 to the 1,740-foot-wave that recently leveled part of the Alaskan coast.
Like Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air, The Wave "brilliantly portrays human beings confronting nature at its most ferocious.



About the Author
Susan Casey is the development editor of Time Inc. She was previously the editor in chief of "Sports Illustrated Women" and an editor at large for Time Inc.'s 180 magazine titles. She also served as the creative director of "Outside" magazine where, with editor Mark Bryant, she led the magazine to three consecutive, history-making National Magazine Awards for General Excellence. At "Outside" she was part of the editorial team that developed the stories behind "Into Thin Air" and "The Perfect Storm". Her writing has appeared in "Esquire, Time, Fortune", and "Sports Illustrated". She lives in New York City.


NPR
Saturday, Sep 11, 2010

Huge waves have confounded sailors, scientists and surfers for years, but author Susan Casey dives deep into the story of ship-swallowing seas in The Wave with history, scientific research and intrepid surfer Laird Hamilton. More at NPR.org

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CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Why do you think there isn’t more news coverage on sunken freighters, tankers, and bulk carriers? Do tragedies at sea strike a different chord in the popular imagination than say, a plane crash?

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