I try to read books that might inform my ignorance and this book fit the bill just fine. Here Susan Casey mixes science, maritime history and engineering, and surfing to the benefit of all who come to this book. The emphasis is on waves and surfing, but the portions on 津波 (tsunami) and maritime experience with waves is really informative. I can't say that this book has a broad appeal, but I would encourage anyone to give it a try. You will learn a lot, be excited and thrilled, and come to apreciate the ocean in a different way. The writing is very good and the reading of Kirsten Potter is excellent.
What is great about this book is how Susan Casey brings the oceans to life through the eyes of great surfers, scientists, and seafarers. Not a dull moment in the book. Kirsten Potter's narration was first rate.
The narrator is perfect for this book, she really makes it comes alive. Probably the best narration I've ever heard.
First the good. Then the not quite as good but still okay.
When this book is actually discussing waves and the science, it's well written and fascinating. A truly interesting study of something we still understand little of.
When it's discussing surfers......well that's something different entirely. Laird Hamilton is a god among men and the rest of the surfers are merely lesser deities. All chiseled features and tans and muscular whatnot. Sure the scientists get similar discriptions, but it's the surfers she adores. Not as interesting as the science to me, but I'm a geek and a guy so hearing about hot bodied surf gods isn't really my cup of tea. ;-)
Even then, it's still a great book. The narration is excellent and the subject matter (even the surf stuff) is interesting. Perfect for a summer listen or a winter listen when you're wishing it was summer. Highly recommended.
I've just finished three books on the financial meltdown so this has been a welcomed diversion. It's a travel log/ tow surfing intro/ wave science intro and the subject matter is light. I find the reader excellent which is important with audiobooks.
I haven't read the print version, but Kirsten Potter's reading was wonderful.
The writer! Her enthusiasm and admiration for her subjects: the people, the science, the cultures and the ocean itself, made the book completely engaging. I could practically feel the hissing of the foam on my skin. She put me there.
Non-fiction can be on the dry side. The combination of Potter's narration with Casey's prose made this book lively. Potter's performance is terrific and she's got one of the best voices that I've ever heard performing an audiobook.
Moving Mountains of the Sea
This is a subject matter that interests me and I've read a lot of books on oceanographical topics. This is one of the really good ones. The pacing is great. The descriptions of the locations are sumptuous, adventure-travel porn of the highest order. And Casey really connects with the people she covers. I'll be looking for more books from her. And I will be looking to hear more from Potter as well.
The Wave is an informative read and a lesson in ecology. The mix of science and first hand stories from surfers captured my attention from the very first chapter. The statistics in this book amazed me. The unbelievable size and power of the "rogue" waves and the huge numbers of ships lost at sea every year quite simply astounded me. On the down side, Casey seems rather obsessed with Laird Hamilton's rippling abs. At times, she moved into the realm of a Mills & Boon romance. But that aside, I did find the book a worthwhile read. The narration was good except for a few mispronunciations that grated on the nerves a little. I recommend The Wave as an easy read and a mostly pleasant listen.
Entertainingly written and good narration, and if you're interested in the subject it's definitely engrossing, but overall it comes across as a year in the life of a Big Wave Surfer groupie, a lot of it could be straight out of a surfing fan magazine. Which is not necessarily a bad thing but probably good to know up front.
Don't expect any fascinating scientific revelations or insights because at the end of the day there aren't really any - again not a bad thing, just the way it is.
In the same genre as "Shadow Divers," this is a fun, gripping and informative read. The writing is fresh, and the narration is perfect. Highly recommended.
This is an immensely entertaining and gripping book. I loved hearing the stories, learning the small amount of science, and feeling the awe of the author. But the narrator! So bad. The problem is that she has no, zero, idea what Laird Hamilton and his crew sound like. I've only seen Step Into Liquid, but I know that these guys sound nothing like the chill surfer dudes the narrator lazily chose to characterize them as. Every time she related their dialogue I cringed at her generalized dude voice. Do note that the book is largely about these surfers and not much about anything else. As enthralled as I was with the surf stories, I wanted more science and more history. Ah well.