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Publisher's Summary

With grit, poetry, and humor, Peter Heller, acclaimed author of The Whale Warriors, recounts his remarkable journey of discovery - of surfing, an entirely new challenge; of the ocean's beauty and power; of the strange surf subculture; of love; and, most of all, of how to seek adventure while crafting a meaningful life.

Having resolved to master a big - hollow wave - that is, to go from kook (surfese for beginner) to shredder-in a single year, Heller travels from Southern California down the coast of Mexico in the company of his girlfriend and the eccentric surfers they meet. Exuberant and fearless, Heller explores the technique and science of surfing the secrets of its culture, and the environmental ravages to the stunning coastline he visits.

As Heller plumbs the working of his own heart and finds joy in both love and surfing, he affords listeners vivid insight into this fascinating world, with all of its perils and pleasures, its absurdity and wonder. Exhilarating, entertaining, and moving, Kook is a love story between a man and his surfboard, a man and his girlfriend, a not-so-old man and the sea.

©2010 Peter Heller (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Heller has learned that surfing is not simply about staying up on your board; it's about love: of a woman, of living, of the sea."( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator....

Narrator has kook voice. Midwest accent made story sound ignorant, not a growth learning story

No, save you money

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, makes you want to paddle out

really liked it some passages were a bit too drawn out. sections on the enviroment, wales, japan for example.

but the story on a whole is great.
really wjat you meed whem you camt get out and surf, or are just startimg out.

also good lessons on patience and love, life.

good book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Useful but long winded and hard to believe

found it useful for beginner surfing tips, got a little tired of the dramaticizing...... too much waxing poetic, not enough waxing boards. lots of repetive themes and statements on environmentalism. personally would have preferred a more straightforward account.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Call it Average

As a book, there’s not that much info on surfing, it is not a book of surf tips. It also is not a “road trip” book centered around surfing, like Captain Zero. It also is not at all insightful about relationships (the author travels with his girlfriend/wife). While I really liked the author’s book Dog Stars, which was powerful and not entirely predictable, this book could have been condensed down into a long magazine article. Call it average because it was still interesting, especially for anyone who surfs.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

If you'd like to listen to a good book on surfing check out William Finnegan's "barbarian days: a surfing life" because this book is simply not worth your time. Its uninspiring tone and stereotypical oversimplification of the sport of kings was disappointing.