Ryan's Reviews > The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding

The Impossible by Cole Louison
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's review
Sep 01, 2011

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Read from July 18 to 23, 2011

I was once a skateboarder: from 1987 - 1989 I terrorized the streets of my Macon, GA neighborhood. I still have my Rainbow Gator board as a souvenir. But I broke my Caballero deck long ago.

This book describes the two primary figures in recent skateboarding - Rodney Mullen, who invented nearly every trick done today, and Ryan Sheckler, who's perfected nearly every trick done today. Tony Hawk is thrown in for good measure, and a number of other skaters show up a long the way. Louison describes the ebb and flow of skateboarding's popularity through the years and how it's changed in the last 10 years.

I bought this book as a vacation read and became so engrossed, I nearly finished it before even getting to my destination. It's a quick read, especially if you remember much of the history as I did. And I claim it's truly an interesting story. Rodney Mullen is an interesting character - essentially a skateboard monk, taking it to the edge purely for the joy of discovery.

The writing in the book is a little weak though. Sometimes, Louison sounds a little like a middle schooler who's unable to get his thoughts down on paper. He apologizes for having to talk about "uncool" stuff like wheel and board technology. And has an annoying of telling the reader he's going to talk about something before talking about it. Just talk about it, for god's sake.

Nonetheless, worth a read.
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