The Wave by Susan Casey
In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

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Synopsis

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 Susan Casey

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SUSAN CASEY, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Devil's Teeth, is the Editor-in-Chief of O, the Oprah Magazine, and has also served as creative director of Outside magazine.
 
Published September 14, 2010 by Anchor. 434 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Action & Adventure, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wave

The New York Times

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Amid the images of demolition, Casey hangs on to the magic and beauty of waves, “always out there, racing toward an uncharted finish line, as uncountable as the stars in the sky, as present as your next breath.” Humanity most definitely needs to face the waves, to find a way to grapple with their...

Sep 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

The New York Times

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Susan Casey, the editor in chief of O: The Oprah Magazine and the author of “The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks,” examines big waves from every angle, and goes in deep with those who know the phenomenon most intimately: mariners, wave scie...

Sep 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

BC Books

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Casey follows Laird Hamilton and others as they surf around the Pacific Ocean catching monstrous waves.

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BC Books

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She’s in the surf with photographers on a sixty-foot wave at Teahupoo, and ends by riding a jet ski over an eighty-foot wave.

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BC Books

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In The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, Susan Casey takes the reader on a journey of excitement and awe.

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The Wall Street Journal

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Casey interviews oceanographers, physicists, marine insurers) and part explorational—a search for something to gawp at, including the "tow-in" surfers who use Jet Skis to gain the power and acceleration needed to take off on waves higher than 40 feet.

Sep 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

The Globe and Mail

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Susan Casey takes you on a powerful, articulate ride into a world you never knew existed

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Entertainment Weekly

History and surfing lore are crammed with tales of monster 100-foot waves, but scientists had long scoffed at them, claiming that physics didn't allow for such massive swells.

Sep 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

Los Angeles Times

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Susan Casey's new book on waves and the people who love them begins in January 2000 with scientists aboard the 295-foot British research ship Discovery trying to collect data from the North Atlantic.

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The Telegraph

Or most of them did anyway, proudly limping into the nearest casualty department and banging unstoppably on about their experiences – 'Brett’s leg was like a smashed orange!’ Relief, of a kind, comes when Casey goes to something called the '10th International Workshop on Wave Hindcast...

Oct 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

Seattle PI

In The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, Susan Casey takes the reader on a journey of excitement and awe.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

News Review.

Casey treads a lot of water with her manifold approach to the subject of big waves—from accounts of a third-of-a-mile-high tsunami that hit a section of Alaska in 1958 (several boaters survived the maelstrom), to getting out in rough seas to witness maniac surfers—such as the widely known Laird H...

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Hutchinson Leader

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Nashville Public Library

I gotta read that!” So anyway, Casey’s book chronicles her quest chasing guys who chase monster waves.

Oct 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

TreeHugger

A couple months ago Brian got a chance to talk with Susan Casey, author of the (fairly) recently released book The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean, and ask her about the effect that climate change is having and will continue to have on our oceans.

Dec 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wave: In Pursuit of the R...

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