Sue's Reviews > Crazy for the Storm

Crazy for the Storm by Norman Ollestad
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's review
Jul 16, 2010

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Only three stars but still worth reading...Crazy for the Storm is an unforgettable true story (see YouTube: but the writing has some serious flaws: The juxtaposition of the narration, shifting back and forth from chapter to chapter (Ollestad shifts between the events on the mountain and earlier events of his young life) and the use of too many irrelevant and descriptive details, adjectives and analogies. All of which made for a tedious and somewhat boring read and I found myself skipping over sections that involved sordid details of his dysfunctional family life, and insipid details of his youthful adventures in skateboarding and surfing, etc. Altho I grew up in So. California in the 70's, belonged to that first generation of children of divorce, frequented the same places the author described (Baja, Big Bear, Mammoth, beaches etc,) I didn't come away with any new insights into the bohemian surf/ski culture of the 70's. A disappointing narrative redeemed in two ways: the powerful lesson found in the story and the epilogue at the end of the book. Lesson: a parent's influence can be such a powerful force in their child's life--in this case, it was a force for good--it's what gave a young 11yr old the confidence, determination, and skills to descend an 8000 ft icy mountain after a plane crash that had left everyone dead. Epilogue: (probably the best section of the book)the author retraces the events that led to the crash and returns to the crash site for the first time since the accident took place. Before take off, he and his pilot friend go over the doomed flight's transmissions and then retrace the 1979 flight path. The details from this section of the book are compelling.
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