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Kook: What Surfing Taught Me about Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave Paperback – 1 Jul 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743294203
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743294201
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Breathtaking. . . . As Heller slips deeper and deeper into the surfing world, he teeters at the edge of obsession. . . . Over the course of this journey, Heller comes to understand the power of the waves, the value of the ocean and its suffering at the hands of man. Perhaps most important, he discovers his ability to commit, to love.”

—"The Dallas Morning News"

“Told with an honesty and self-deprecating sense of humor, Heller’s tale is as much about surfing as it is about his personal growth as an individual once he starts getting his glide on. With a finely trained ability to both have insight and share it, Heller connects the dots between the simple act of surfing, emotional health, personal redemption, and our duty to work as stewards of Mother Earth. Next time an employer, a parent, or a significant other questions why you surf or what the bigger meaning of so much time getting waterlogged actually adds up to, this book is the ideal answer to give them.”

—"Santa Barbara Independent"

“The book may be about surfing, but the real subject here is obsession. How far is one man willing to push his body, mind, and relationship to achieve a singular goal? Though Peter Heller may end up catching a wave that is perfect, the life lessons along the way are even more powerful.”

"—"Mark Obmascik, author of "Halfway to Heaven" and "The Big Year"

“Heller is a guy you would want to go on an adventure with: likeable, fallible, good-humored, given to near-fatal bouts of love—for the ocean, for his girl, for the perfect wave. What begins as a mid-life crisis evolves, in this engaged and engaging story, into a deeply impassioned stand on behalf of marine-life, and of all life. "Kook" makes the dangerously unhip suggestion that it is still possible to find meaning--even transcendence--in the ever diminishing natural world.”

—Pam Houston, author of "Sight Hound"

“Heller takes us on a wild, unforgettable adventure with the poet's gift for capturing the quintessential in risking everything and the transformation that comes with it. This book is a funny, compelling exploration of love, surfing and the everyday, even when life proves as uncompromising as the wave.”

—Rebecca Rowe, author of "Forbidden Cargo"

"Breathtaking. . . . As Heller slips deeper and deeper into the surfing world, he teeters at the edge of obsession. . . . Over the course of this journey, Heller comes to understand the power of the waves, the value of the ocean and its suffering at the hands of man. Perhaps most important, he discovers his ability to commit, to love."
--"The Dallas Morning News"

"Told with an honesty and self-deprecating sense of humor, Heller's tale is as much about surfing as it is about his personal growth as an individual once he starts getting his glide on. With a finely trained ability to both have insight and share it, Heller connects the dots between the simple act of surfing, emotional health, personal redemption, and our duty to work as stewards of Mother Earth. Next time an employer, a parent, or a significant other questions why you surf or what the bigger meaning of so much time getting waterlogged actually adds up to, this book is the ideal answer to give them."
--"Santa Barbara Independent"

"The book may be about surfing, but the real subject here is obsession. How far is one man willing to push his body, mind, and relationship to achieve a singular goal? Though Peter Heller may end up catching a wave that is perfect, the life lessons along the way are even more powerful."
"--"Mark Obmascik, author of "Halfway to Heaven" and "The Big Year"

"Heller is a guy you would want to go on an adventure with: likeable, fallible, good-humored, given to near-fatal bouts of love--for the ocean, for his girl, for the perfect wave. What begins as a mid-life crisis evolves, in this engaged and engaging story, into a deeply impassioned stand on behalf of marine-life, and of all life. "Kook" makes the dangerously unhip suggestion that it is still possible to find meaning--even transcendence--in the ever diminishing natural world."
--Pam Houston, author of "Sight Hound"

"Heller takes us on a wild, unforgettable adventure with the poet's gift for capturing the quintessential in risking everything and the transformation that comes with it. This book is a funny, compelling exploration of love, surfing and the everyday, even when life proves as uncompromising as the wave."
--Rebecca Rowe, author of "Forbidden Cargo"

"The author has a great feel for people... As a result, the reader gets to know a collection of fascinating characters: surf stars, expats, and environmentalists, to say nothing of the creatures of the sea...Mr. Heller's colorful and informative paean to humility belongs on the bookshelves of kooks and surf gods alike." --"The East Hampton Star"

"In this rich and gracefully written book, Heller's creative and artistic abilities are on full display. We follow along with him on an insightful, year-long quest as he grapples with the dual, ever capricious, challenges of love and the sea."
National Outdoor Book Award"

Breathtaking. . . . As Heller slips deeper and deeper into the surfing world, he teeters at the edge of obsession. . . . Over the course of this journey, Heller comes to understand the power of the waves, the value of the ocean and its suffering at the hands of man. Perhaps most important, he discovers his ability to commit, to love.
"The Dallas Morning News""

Told with an honesty and self-deprecating sense of humor, Heller s tale is as much about surfing as it is about his personal growth as an individual once he starts getting his glide on. With a finely trained ability to both have insight and share it, Heller connects the dots between the simple act of surfing, emotional health, personal redemption, and our duty to work as stewards of Mother Earth. Next time an employer, a parent, or a significant other questions why you surf or what the bigger meaning of so much time getting waterlogged actually adds up to, this book is the ideal answer to give them.
"Santa Barbara Independent""

The book may be about surfing, but the real subject here is obsession. How far is one man willing to push his body, mind, and relationship to achieve a singular goal? Though Peter Heller may end up catching a wave that is perfect, the life lessons along the way are even more powerful.
" "Mark Obmascik, author of "Halfway to Heaven" and "The Big Year""

Heller is a guy you would want to go on an adventure with: likeable, fallible, good-humored, given to near-fatal bouts of love for the ocean, for his girl, for the perfect wave. What begins as a mid-life crisis evolves, in this engaged and engaging story, into a deeply impassioned stand on behalf of marine-life, and of all life. "Kook" makes the dangerously unhip suggestion that it is still possible to find meaning--even transcendence--in the ever diminishing natural world.
Pam Houston, author of "Sight Hound""

Heller takes us on a wild, unforgettable adventure with the poet's gift for capturing the quintessential in risking everything and the transformation that comes with it. This book is a funny, compelling exploration of love, surfing and the everyday, even when life proves as uncompromising as the wave.
Rebecca Rowe, author of "Forbidden Cargo""

"The author has a great feel for people As a result, the reader gets to know a collection of fascinating characters: surf stars, expats, and environmentalists, to say nothing of the creatures of the sea Mr. Heller s colorful and informative paean to humility belongs on the bookshelves of kooks and surf gods alike." --"The East Hampton Star""

About the Author

Peter Heller is a seasoned adventure journalist and a senior contributor to Outside magazine.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having got into Surfing through my son james who is only 8 years of age and me nearly 48, this book was true inspiration for me, i thought i was the only 40+ age new to surfing bloke in the world, but this book gave me some great insight into another mans love of the of a sport,lifestyle and i must admit that Surfing has taken me too, so much in fact i went on a surfing holiday to Sri Lanka with some "proper" surfers having not evan tried surfing properly before. The line in the book that most resinates with me is "the best surfer is the one having the most fun" i have to tell you it was life changing for me..read the book and be inspired..
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I read a lot of surf related books, technical stuff, wave and weather analyst etc - I find the story books all take the same kind of route...some sort of quest, pilgrimage with a bit of eastern philosophy thrown in. For surfers we get descriptions of waves, rides, boards and crowds (or lack of them) etc... I love it, its exactly what I want after a day in the North Sea of the coast in Norfolk, freezing my butt off. Kook is a good read, I like the characters on the journey and the ecologist view that we're all aware off. May irritate a few surfers if it encourages more old farts into the water !
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With great life, love and surfing tips, info on conservation and world issues, it had me laughing and crying all the way through. I was so upset when it finished - I wanted it to last so much longer.
A great, great read. I can't rate it highly enough. I'm in my forties, learning to surf and well it inspired me to carry on with the sport and my love of the sea and planet.
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Like experiencing summer and adventure. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and light read. Moved me to tears at one point nough, about Dolphins. Heller is very honest and modest which I liked, he doesn't sort of go - so I was out there and tearing it up and...what more can you want from a surf story than this book.
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This book is nothing short of an inspiration, it has a lovely on the road type of feel, backdropped with interesting headlines and facts about the environment and cetaceans, I am only half way through and already can't wait to read the rest. But don't be too fooled Heller may disarm you with charm but he's not half the kook he makes out to be.

This can be a serious tale for surfers who take the ocean seriously.
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great book for surfers and non-surfers who just like the coast.
A fun book that takes you into a beginners world.
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great book, living the dream all surfers want to live! if you yearn to travel, surf and chill on the sand, read this!
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Terrible book, horribly written, the guy is more than a kook, can't believe I wasted my money on this book, although it has made me realise I could quite easily write my own story about learning to surf and it will be 100 times better than this! In fact where is my pen I will start straight away.....
It was 2001 and after a weeks holiday in Cornwall, England spent learning to surf with the Winter brothers, I decided to quit my job, pack up a small holdall with some clothes and book a one way trip to Australia.
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