Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: The Wave, by Susan Casey

Susan Casey
September 14, 2010
$27.95, 352 pages

If you want to experience a sense of what The Wave is about, watch the book trailer below entitled: The Wave, by Susan Casey.

My Review

Bravo to Susan Casey! 

Susan Casey had a challenge ahead when she decided to write about freakish, unexplained waves. After viewing the trailer, you probably ask yourself how could a book about waves be that interesting.  I was skeptical prior to reading this book, but her narrative is spectacular. 

The Wave is an engaging and enlightening non-fictional account from three points of view, the scientist, the mariner, and the extreme sports enthusiast.  These are the people who have experienced and witnessed the dynamic turbulent and frightening force of these freakish, seemingly unexplained and unbelievably massive waves, that years ago would be considered unheard of. Casey takes the reader on a geographical tour around the globe as she relates stories, interviews as well as her own first hand accounting of super waves.  

Most readers will recall the tsunami that crashed ashore in 2004 in the Pacific, killing over 250,00 people and decimating villages in its path. Casey presents countless other shocking seafaring tragedies, mysteries never solved and the scientists predictions for earth’s future.  Surfers who are compelled with a frenetic impulse to ride these behemoths have valuable, first hand information.  Mariners encountering a rogue, have reliable information they experience traveling the shipping lanes. Scientists sifting through many scenarios have come to realize that they are more than just old fish tales.  Unfortunately, some information is gathered from the bottom of the ocean, through salvage. Sometimes only small pieces of wreckage are found despite the grave human loss and destruction of formidable ships.

My own relationship with the power of the ocean began at a very early age. I was a toddler in fact. Respect for it’s force and appreciation for its awesome beauty was a lifelong gift from my parents.  I think I knew what an under-toe and a riptide was before I could even walk.  Once, an elderly lifetime resident of a beach in Rhode Island, told my parents,

“When the sands of Quonochontaug get in your shoes, you will soon be back.”  

My parents never forgot this woman or her sage and prescient advice.  They did in fact, return many times each year until they took up permanent residency near the ocean.  To this day, I love the ocean and all it’s grandeur, it’s power has given me perspective and a centering when I most needed it. There is just something magical about looking over the ocean, the mirror of reflection is both internal and external, with a reverent understanding and respect for it’s unpredictable nature. 

The Wave is fascinating and will interest so many readers today who want to gain an understanding of our environment, nature and the effects of global warming.  Her book reveals disturbing facts and information about the ocean and rogue waves both past and present, with a glimpse from the scientific world of what may lay ahead. Casey succeeds in her intent as her book delivers a stimulating narrative that offers what I would term anxious realism.  Thrilling scenes so compelling you will want to close your eyes. Highly recommended.

Disclosure: I received my copy of The Wave as a gift from the publisher. My review is my honest and unbiased opinion. 

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011]. 

1 comment:

serendipity_viv said...

Living by the sea, the waves that come have always fascinated me. I can remember walking along the beach on Boxing Day 2004 and then going home to hear about the tsunami. Waves are frightening and powerful, yet also mystical.