Steve's Reviews > Crazy for the Storm
Crazy for the Storm
by Norman Ollestad
by Norman Ollestad
Surprisingly worthwhile, and clearly not for everyone, this book grew on me, warts and all. First and foremost, an epic survivor's tale, it details a tragic father-son relationship in an other-wordly surfing culture (which I simply cannot relate to) with forays into skiing and travel (with which I'm far more familiar, but which bear no resemblance to any of my (far more mundane) experiences). The remarkable (and seemingly squandered) talent of both father and son pervade the yarn. I picked this up in the airport jack-of-all-trades store with low expectations; then I couldn't put it down. I don't disagree with the (many) critics that concluded that the writing lacks flair, beauty, or even sophistication; and I believe a good editor could have propelled this book into classic status. But the story is both unique and, in parts, incredible (in the truest sense of the word). The author's childhood experience, which he narrated many decades later, is frightening, inspirational, depressing, and, all to often, inexplicable. Parenting in complicated business, and the father-son bond prompts any number of pathologies, but the author describes a relationship that teters between creatively supportive and criminally abusive - somehow leading him to (at least in the short term) one redemptive moment. Kudos to the author for not sugar-coating the realities of his painfully dysfunctional family. I'm sure there was catharsis in writing the book. Unfortunately, I was left wondering how the author traversed the undiscussed decades that, apparently, led him to some type of normal, stable existence today. Overall, however, well worth the time invested....
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