Peter Heller
AUTHOR

Peter Heller

Peter Heller is a longtime contributor to NPR, a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and Men's Journal, and a frequent contributor to Businessweek. He is an award winning adventure writer and the author of four books of literary nonfiction. He lives in Denver. Heller was born and raised in New York. He attended high school in Vermont and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he became an outdoorsman and whitewater kayaker. He traveled the world as an expedition kayaker, writing about challenging descents in the Pamirs, the Tien Shan mountains, the Caucuses, Central America and Peru.At the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he received an MFA in fiction and poetry, he won a Michener fellowship for his epic poem "The Psalms of Malvine." He has worked as a dishwasher, construction worker, logger, offshore fisherman, kayak instructor, river guide, and world class pizza deliverer. Some of these stories can be found in Set Free in China, Sojourns on the Edge. In the winter of 2002 he joined, on the ground team, the most ambitious whitewater expedition in history as it made its way through the treacherous Tsangpo Gorge in Eastern Tibet. He chronicled what has been called The Last Great Adventure Prize for Outside, and in his book Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River.

The gorge -- three times deeper than the Grand Canyon -- is sacred to Buddhists, and is the inspiration for James Hilton's Shangri La. It is so deep there are tigers and leopards in the bottom and raging 25,000 foot peaks at the top, and so remote and difficult to traverse that a mythical waterfall, sought by explorers since Victorian times, was documented for the first time in 1998 by a team from National Geographic.

The book won a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, was number three on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" of all pop culture, and a Denver Post review ranked it "up there with any adventure writing ever written."

In December, 2005, on assignment for National Geographic Adventure, he joined the crew of an eco-pirate ship belonging to the radical environmental group the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as it sailed to Antarctica to hunt down and disrupt the Japanese whaling fleet.

The ship is all black, sails under a jolly Roger, and two days south of Tasmania the engineers came on deck and welded a big blade called the Can Opener to the bow--a weapon designed to gut the hulls of ships. In The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals, Heller recounts fierce gales, forty foot seas, rammings, near-sinkings, and a committed crew's clear-eyed willingness to die to save a whale. The book was published by Simon and Schuster's Free Press in September, 2007.

In the fall of 2007 Heller was invited by the team who made the acclaimed film The Cove to accompany them in a clandestine filming mission into the guarded dolphin-killing cove in Taiji, Japan. Heller paddled into the inlet with four other surfers while a pod of pilot whales was being slaughtered. He was outfitted with a helmet cam, and the terrible footage can be seen in the movie. The Cove went on to win an Academy Award. Heller wrote about the experience for Men's Journal.

Heller's most recent memoir, about surfing from California down the coast of Mexico, Kook: What Surfing Taught Me about Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave, was published by The Free Press in 2010. Can a man drop everything in the middle of his life, pick up a surfboard and, apprenticing himself to local masters, learn to ride a big, fast wave in six months? Can he learn to finally love and commit to someone else? Can he care for the oceans, which are in crisis? The answers are in. The book won a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, which called it a "powerful memoir...about love: of a woman, of living, of the sea." It also won the National Outdoor Book Award for Literature.

Heller's debut novel, The Dog Stars, is being published by Knopf in August, 2012. It will also be published by Headline Review in Great Britain and Australia, and Actes Sud in France.

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Best Sellers

    • The Dog Stars

    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
    • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2,534
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,281
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 2,274

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • beautifully written and narrated!

    • By Mike Naka on 06-08-14

    Regular price: $28.00

    • Celine

    • A Novel
    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
    • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 285
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 260
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 263

    From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars and The Painter, a luminous, masterful novel of suspense....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • <br /><br />Setting, characters, better than plot

    • By G. Minott on 04-12-17

    Regular price: $28.00

    • The Painter

    • A Novel
    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
    • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 462
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 415
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 416

    Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout best seller The Dog Stars, returns with an achingly beautiful, wildly suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • The good, the bad, and the ugly

    • By Kathy on 05-23-14

    Regular price: $28.00

    • Kook

    • What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave
    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
    • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 37
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 32
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 32

    Heller explores the technique and science of surfing the secrets of its culture, and the environmental ravages to the stunning coastline he visits....

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • Narrator....

    • By Jimmy P on 12-14-17
    • What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave
    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
    • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
    • Release date: 03-15-16
    • 4 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

    Regular price: $27.99

    • Hell or High Water

    • Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River
    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
    • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 73
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 36
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 38

    A grand adventure! An elite kayaking team's heroic conquest of the world's last great adventure prize: Tibet's Tsangpo River....

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Hell or High Water (Unabridged)

    • By Tory on 06-21-05

    Regular price: $24.49

    • The Whale Warriors

    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: James Boles
    • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 60
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 36
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 36

    For two months, journalist Peter Heller rode aboard the vegan pirate ship Farley Mowat as it stalked its prey, a Japanese whaling fleet, through the storms and ice of Antarctica....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A book everyone needs to read!

    • By Eric Taylor on 07-20-08

    Regular price: $24.49

    • Das Ende der Sterne wie Big Hig sie kannte

    • By: Peter Heller
    • Narrated by: Olaf Pessler
    • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
    • Abridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    Die Welt ist untergegangen, aber Hig hat überlebt. Ebenso sein einziger Nachbar, ein menschenfeindlicher Waffennarr mit dem Herz auf dem rechten Fleck, der ihn - brutal...

    Regular price: $7.12

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