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The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding [Paperback]

Cole Louison

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The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding + The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself + Hawk: Occupation: Skateboarder (Skate My Friend, Skate)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So many errors! 8 July 2012
By Dan M - Published on
This guy does not know what he's talking about. Early on, he describes landing "bolts" as landing with all four wheels on the ground. Huh? Landing on all four wheels is the norm, not a challenge, and landing "bolts" means (as you might imagine) landing with your feet On The Bolts. From there, the author continues to fill the book with so many errors and inaccurate descriptions that I had to stop reading. Was there any fact-checking or copy-editing done? To top it off, he then claims that the film "Dogtown and Z-Boys" made a major error. So I'm supposed to believe a writer who has established absolutely no credibility for himself over the people who were actually there? I don't think so.

Fortunately, there are lots of good books on skating that you could read instead of this one, like Stalefish, The Answer is Never, Concrete Wave, or the autobiographies by Rodney Mullen and Tony Hawk.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars quite the overview... 1 Oct 2011
By Michael Brooke - Published on
This book spins an intriguing tale and covers a lot of ground. Fans of Rodney Mullen will not be disappointed...same goes with Ryan Sheckler.
There are a few glaring errors (Eric Desden?!), but despite these, the book is a very comprehensive look at something I've enjoyed for almost 4 decades: skateboarding.
I'd would have loved to have seen some images, but what can you do.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Writer 24 July 2011
By WintertimeFun - Published on
Cole Louison has a unique writing style. He creatively captures details in a simple, yet perfect way and has a prose-like tune to his work. It's easy to follow and fun to read. It's always enjoyable reading Cole's stuff! I got a glimpse with this: [...]. It's about time a good book came out about a sport that has experienced many attitudes and created it's own cultures throughout the years.
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and well-written account of the mind of a creative pioneer, and the birth of an industry 21 May 2013
By pr0saic - Published on
I really, really enjoyed Cole Louison's THE IMPOSSIBLE--it made the perfect companion piece to my post- and pre-workday skate sessions.

With direct access to Mullen himself and many others, Louison writes evocatively on the early days of Rodney Mullen's career and his family life. These chapters really jumped off the page for me--I started skating in about 1999, yet didn't know _any_ of this, despite the fact that Rodney vs. Daewon Round 2 was my first ever skate video and Mullen was my favorite skater for years. It's amazing to think of someone that talented growing up in such an adversarial environment and being able to revolutionize his passion the way Mullen did. The section on suicide and depression stuck me probably the hardest. To accomplish everything Mullen has, and not be proud, grateful, and exuberant every waking moment? In a just world, it would beggar belief--but that's human nature for you.

The stuff about The Industry is also enlightening--I'd suspected for a long time that the magazines are wholly funded by sponsors, but it's alarming to learn how much can be traced back the investments of just a few people. (Still true, though, with the corporate buyouts of recent years?) There's something especially gut-wrenching about the idea of Steve Rocco playing golf on some Pacific Island, so far removed from the hobby off of which he made his millions...

I did notice a few factual errors that probably resulted from not having a quality copyeditor--Leo Romero is not being the first person to grind up a handrail (Jeremy Wray did that first in the late 90s), Pat Duffy not belonging in the same category of young Plan B super-athletes but being an OG pro who had the opening part in their first video as one of the original handrail skaters, etc. And I've been in the anti-Sheckler camp for awhile so wasn't really able to view that side of the story as impartially as I probably should have. These days, too, I'm sure Nyjah Huston would have been a better counterpoint. Those quibbles aside, though, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a thorough, well-written and insightful labor of love about a still-developing past-time, industry and art form, and I'd wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone curious about the birth of the industry and the story behind one of, if not the, most talented and most influential athletes of the past half century.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good 3 Jan 2013
By Kristen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this book cuz it tells a lot about skating.also I have seen videos with Rodney skating.the dude is gnarly
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