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Download The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,864 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Casey Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9780307578082
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In her astonishing new book, Susan Casey captures colossal, ship-swallowing waves, and the surfers and scientists who seek them out. 

For legendary surfer Laird Hamilton, hundred-foot waves represent the ultimate challenge. As Susan Casey travels the globe, hunting these monsters of the ocean with Hamilton’s crew, she witnesses first-hand the life or death stakes, the glory, and the mystery of impossibly mammoth waves. Yet for the scientists who study them, these waves represent something truly scary brewing in the planet’s waters. 

With inexorable verve, The Wave brilliantly portrays human beings confronting nature at its most ferocious.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] breath-snatching thrill ride.”

    Elle

  • “[Casey] is a powerful voice in adventure writing…Masterful.”

    Outside

  • “Utterly engrossing.”

    Salon

  • “Extraordinary…I’m only allowed 800 words for this review. Here are a few: fascinating, heroic, dazzling, terrifying, amazing, unbelievable, mesmerizing, instructive, enlightening, superb. This is a…powerful, articulate ride into a world you never knew existed but that you will never, never forget.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Casey does an exceptional job of explaining the natural forces (winds, currents, ocean-bottom shape) that create these daunting, at times fatal, surfing spots…Terrific.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Reading The Wave is almost like riding one, paddling in the expositional surf of vivid imagery and colorful description thrown at you in ever-escalating surges.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Susan Casey’s white-knuckle chronicle…delivers a thrill so intense you may never get in a boat again.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Casey’s descriptions of these monsters are as gripping in their own way as any mountaineering saga from the frozen peaks of Everest or K2.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “[An] adrenaline rush of a book…As terrifying as it is awe inspiring.”

    People

  • “Immensely powerful, beautiful, addictive, and, yes, incredibly thrilling…Like a surfer who is happily hooked, the reader simply won’t be able to get enough of it.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Examines big waves from every angle, and goes in deep with…mariners, wave scientists, and extreme surfers…[A] wonderfully vivid, kinetic narrative.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • [Susan Casey] examines big waves from every angle, and goes in deep with those who know the phenomenon most intimately....Casey makes a convincing, entertaining case (nifty cliffhangers and all) that there is a heretofore little-known monster in our midst....She pushes the scientists on the big question.....Casey is fluent in 'gnarly' and proficient in 'wonk,' and she writes lucidly so the rest of us can come along for the ride. Her wonderfully vivid, kinetic narrative....offers a prescient vision of watery perils--and sometimes, bittersweet triumphs....Amid the images of demolition, Casey hangs on to the magic and beauty of waves. New York Times Book Review
  • Immensely powerful, beautiful, addictive and, yes, incredibly thrilling....takes the reader into the hearts and minds of the world's renowned surfers....Through the eyes of the surfers, readers get a remarkable sense of how they choose their waves, the skill that it takes to rocket across them, what it feels like to fall, what happens when surfers and Jet Skis are flung into coral reefs, what it's like to be rolled and pounded by tons of water, and what it is like physically and psychologically to be held under for too long - how some surfers make it back to the surface, and others drown.
    But "The Wave" is far more than a book about surfing. Casey's quest is also to understand the characteristics of giant waves and rogue waves. She explores the impact giant waves have on ships, oil rigs, fishing boats and passenger ships.....Casey explains the science of waves in a straightforward but always engaging manner.....Casey also illuminates recent mind-boggling discoveries.....Casey unlocks the mysteries of waves in her fascinating and enlightening book. And like a surfer who is happily hooked, the reader simply won't be able to get enough of it.
    San Francisco Chronicle
  • Susan Casey's white-knuckle chronicle — which follows the surfers pursuing the waves and the scientists struggling to understand them — delivers a thrill so intense you may never get in a boat again. Entertainment Weekly
  • [A] thrilling tale Time
  • Casey does an exceptional job of explaining the natural forces (winds, currents, ocean-bottom shape) that create these daunting, at times fatal, surfing spots....Casey's account of the impromptu adventure is terrific Wall Street Journal
  • "Gripping....we are thankful she included us on the ride. The Washington Post
  • The book dives deeply into the world of top-level surfers....Casey does a commendable job of surveying the broader problems confronting wave studies....compelling and wonderfully detailed....engrossing....Casey adroitly moves beyond what we think we know about big-wave surf culture and churns out a series of action chapters that are not for the faint of heart. Los Angeles Times
  • Reading the 'The Wave' is almost like riding one, paddling in the expositional surf of vivid imagery and colorful description, thrown at you in ever-escalating surges Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Extraordinary....fascinating, heroic, dazzling, terrifying, amazing, unbelievable, mesmerizing, instructive, enlightening, superb. This is the Dragon Tattoo, Moby Dick, Into Thin Air for our time; a powerful, articulate ride into a world you never knew existed but that you will never, never forget. I am honoured to write this review. Bravo, Susan Casey.-- Globe and Mail (Canada)
  • Utterly engrossing Salon
  • A fabulous page-turner John Hockenbery, NPR
  • [A] captivating hybrid--an intro to the mind-melting physics of waves and a ride-along with the scientists and surfers who chase after them...Fascinating Men's Journal
  • [A] breath-snatching thrill ride Elle
  • Casey pursues....with tenacity and literary grace....a powerful voice in adventure writing....delves into the science....masterful Outside
  • ffers a probing look at both the passionate and the pragmatic sides of these oceanic wonders....compelling reading Bookpage
  • Something is stewing in our seas, and Susan Casey—traveling, and in some cases swimming, all around the world—is eager to find out what it is. Both a rollicking look at the ocean’s growing freakishness and a troubling examination of our ailing planet, The Wave gives new meaning to the term ‘immersion reporting.’ Hampton Sides, author of Hellhound on His Trail, Blood and Thunder, and Ghost Soldiers
  • Like the surfers and scientists she profiles, Casey lived and breathed giant waves for years. Casey combines an insane passion for craft with an uncanny ability to describe the indescribable. In The Wave she whisks the reader off to unimaginably surreal settings and puts them in the middle of mind-blowing scenarios. This book sucked me in like the undertow at Pipeline. Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Packing for Mars
  • Reading The Wave is the closest most of us will ever come to the sensation of riding, or even seeing, one of these towering monsters of the sea. It’s exhilarating, astonishing, and, not infrequently, terrifying. Brace yourself. Candice Millard, author of The River of Doubt
  • "THE WAVE is an amazing look at humble yet larger-than-life people who live by daring feats, honorable acts, and selfless denial-- in short, these guys don't care if anyone is looking as they attempt what seems impossible: riding waves the size of ten story sky scrapers. Casey was there in the middle of the action, and she writes with such precision about such strange, wondrous things, that it seems that many objects rising out of the ocean in this book belong only to mythology. Terrifying, beautiful, her prose is shot through with the haunting half-light of a storm. You can hear the waves crashing on your head as you read. I'm not kidding. You feel the waves grow with each turn of the page. Doug Stanton , author of Horse Soldiers and In Harm’s Way
  • This book is adrenalin. You don't want to surf the waves described herein. Read the book. It's safer that way. Eddie Vedder
  • “[A] captivating hybrid—an intro to the mind-melting physics of waves and a ride-along with the scientists and surfers who chase after them.”

    Men’s Journal

  • “A probing look at both the passionate and the pragmatic sides of these oceanic wonders…Casey’s curiosity in learning about every conceivable aspect of waves makes for compelling reading, regardless of whether you look at waves as a great ride or with great concern.”

    BookPage

  • “A fabulous page-turner.”

    NPR

  • “Compelling and wonderfully detailed…An engrossing set of stories about the quest for bigger, stronger, more dangerous.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • You think Jaws made you fear the ocean? In this adrenaline rush of a book, Casey....describes 'nature's biggest tantrum'....Her eerie, majestic descriptions...make THE WAVE an unsettling thrill ride that's as terrifying as it is awe inspiring. People
  • At once scary and fun, The Wave surprises at every turn. Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the October 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 2/6/2014

    " While the writing is a bit unsophisticated, the stories are gripping and the possibility of increasing numbers of rogue and monster waves is certainly scary to contemplate. If you have a curiosity about these phenonmena, or if you are into tow-surfing, you'll enjoy this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shamit | 2/6/2014

    " Both the science of rogue waves and the sociology and nature of the big wave surfers were fascinating for me in this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robb | 1/31/2014

    " Waves both rogue and freak in size cause destruction to ships both large and small, while providing extreme surfers an adrenaline rush high. Follow the author as she travels around the globe following big wave surfers who are towed into the big waves via jet skis and also explores the big wave phenomenon from the science point of view as we try to understand what causes these monsters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry | 1/29/2014

    " Really interesting book about huge waves, the effect they have on our world and what the future of global warming might hold. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merelise Antekeier | 1/29/2014

    " absolutley loved this book and its theme! as a great lover of the ocean & obsessed with its power i was instantly intrigued by this book! susan casey does an amazing job of telling the real stories of this "freaks of the sea." laird hamilton himself is a beast if i may add. love him and this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete Williamson | 1/22/2014

    " hard to put down. a terrifying and awe-inspiring portrait of the watery part of God's creation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 1/2/2014

    " I burned through this book in about three days. It's a page-turner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie Stevens lebofsky | 12/31/2013

    " Very interesting. I found it helpful to view some footage of Hamilton actually doing what was described, which can be found on YouTube. OHMYGAWD. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 11/17/2013

    " I thought this book was great....it was really fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Flora | 11/11/2013

    " Good if you like stuff to do with oceans and the sea. Some fascinating facts and stories. A bit too much surf fandom for me. I learnt a lot but also had to skim some bits. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elysabetheline | 10/5/2013

    " This book is why I love to read. Smart, fun, informative and likeable, it's easy to feel like you're Susan Casey's best friend, along for the (rogue wave) ride. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 2/17/2013

    " Wonderful stories about some real characters. Does make you think twice about ever getting in or sailing on the ocean ever again.... My grandmother was right -- those rogue waves are just lurking out there, ready to get you! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Przybylinski | 2/5/2013

    " This is a pretty good book that tells the story of big waves along with surfing legends and their ability to ride them. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it for sure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louisa Morris | 9/25/2012

    " Liked it a lot. Great info on giant wave phenomena and the crazy, gorgeous surfer dudes that ride these humongous waves, as well as scientists that study them. The stories are great. It's the first eBook I read on my new Nook! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 9/13/2012

    " Good book and an interesting read. The stories of big wave surfing and storms at sea are great. The author did seem a little adrift when it came to her search for answers about the effect of climate change on waves. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Camilla | 7/15/2012

    " While I enjoyed the book, I definitely think that her book about the Farallon Islands was a much better written piece. Still, her descriptions and adventures in writing the book were well-worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 7/12/2012

    " Beautifully written. Easy to understand. Google keeps showing me surf-related ads because I've Googled so many surf-related items from the book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tamara Gruber | 6/23/2012

    " I may be afraid to live in a city, go to Hawaii, or ride on a cruise ship but this book was great. Very well written, presented in an engaging format. I am in awe of the crazy big wave surfers that actually look for these monsters to ride but then again, I'm not a thrill seeker. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 4/10/2012

    " I do not read a lot of nonfiction, but I could NOT put this book down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa Leigh | 3/3/2012

    " Very interesting & well done for a non-fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susie | 1/27/2012

    " This is a really, really good book, but don't take it on a cruise or beach vacation. Lots of facinating stories about unbelievably huge waves told from the perspective of scientists, salvagers and big-wave surfers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 11/21/2011

    " Great narrative, whether she's talking about extreme surfers or the science of waves. Casey is skilled at taking what could be a dry scientific study and making it an understandable, readable and very compelling tale. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stan | 7/24/2011

    " Wow Peter. We read the same book at the same time! This one was not too good given that I have read more or less the same thing in different articles. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Lloyd | 6/23/2011

    " Amazing how good a book about waves can be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 6/18/2011

    " A fun read. Surfers will particularly enjoy this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louisa | 5/24/2011

    " Liked it a lot. Great info on giant wave phenomena and the crazy, gorgeous surfer dudes that ride these humongous waves, as well as scientists that study them. The stories are great. It's the first eBook I read on my new Nook! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Perry | 5/24/2011

    " Really cool read. It's about more than surfing, plus it has great pictures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Avi | 5/22/2011

    " I picked this book up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Who knew that someone could describe waves in so many different and descriptive terms? a 8 out of 10. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natasha | 5/18/2011

    " This was an extremely facinating book. Its amazing how these guys surf waves that have distroyed towns and communities, and even lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 5/16/2011

    " The author goes between surfing the biggest wave to the science behind rogue waves and all the people involved in between. Let's just say, I will think twice about taking another cruise. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ana | 5/12/2011

    " Just loved it ! It's more about surf, than about science, but it's ok, because the surf is great!
    Maybe the author has a crush on Hamilton, but I don't care, because the book made me feel this way to... A great book, quick and amusing reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 5/10/2011

    " Given to me by my friend Nicole. A great read, interesting and informative, and not just for the amazing stories from the surfers we used to oogle over. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffani | 5/6/2011

    " While reading this book i was conflicted with a desire to learn how to tow surf and a similarly strong desire to never go near the ocean again. Do ypu know that on average two large ships are lost at sea each week? Neither did i. Fascinating read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/4/2011

    " Could not put this down! It also inspired me to get back into my mile swim routine because I miss being in the water. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christina | 4/30/2011

    " I was interested in the subject and science behind it, but most of the book focused on glowing portraits of surfers. The writing was cloying, so much so that I could barely get through it. "

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About the Author

Susan Casey, author of New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks, is editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is a National Magazine Award–winning journalist whose work has been featured in the Best American Science and Nature Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Magazine Writing anthologies; and has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Outside, and National Geographic.

About the Narrator

Kirsten Potter, who graduated with highest honors from Boston University, has narrated numerous audiobooks and has performed for television and in theaters across the country. She has won several awards, including eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others.