Reading: Crazy For The Storm

Personal Background

Really nothing special to how I got to this book. I think it was an Amazon recommendation after I looked at some Jon Krakauer books. I expected the "Crazy For The Storm" to be a "tough-surviver" story, of someone who couldn't get enough adrenaline and for whom surviving a plane crash would give the ultimate "I-did-it" thrill.
Boy, was I mistaken. The book is not a simple survival story. But more on that later.


The author Norman Ollestad tells the story of how he survived a plane crash as an eleven-year old and the events leading up to the crash.
Living with his mother and her boy-friend, after their parents got divorced in his early childhood, Norman still has quite a intense relationship with his father, an ex-actor turned surfing- & skying lawyer in California. The father-son relationship is aptly summed up by the name with which Norman Sr. calls his son on important occasions: "Boy Wonder". Norman Sr. teaches his son how to surf and ski, and pushes his limits in not only these sports over and over again. Norman Jr. almost always hates it, and shows it openly. But his father either ignores it or pushes his son gently but firmly towards and past his fears.

The book's chapters alternate between describing the plane crash, and Norman Jr's survival thereof, and Norman's life with and later without his father shortly before and after the crash. The pace of the alternating chapters steadily increases throughout the book and climaxes shortly beforce the book's end.


Quite in contrast to my above mentioned expectation, the book is instead a very strong and heartfelt account of a very intense father-son relationship. Similarly to my previous read "The Mutt", although the book tells a very different father-son relationship, I found the story very gripping and incidently very much of what interests me at the moment.

Of course the book is very sad at times. But you always know while reading, that the book doesn't want to simply make you sad, but rather wants to tell you, that there are greater and more important things in life. That, no matter what, the current moment must be lived to the max. And that it's (in part) a father's responsibility to show this to his children.

And again, similarly to "The Mutt", it's a strongly told example on the importance and power of parents in one's life.