In a spare, brisk prose, Ollestad tells the tragic story of the pivotal event of his life, an airplane crash into the side of a mountain that cost three lives, including his father’s, in 1979… Although the narrative core of the memoir remains the horrifying plane crackup into the San Gabriel Mountains, its warm, complex soul is conveyed by the loving relationship between the former FBI agent father and his son, affectionately called the ‘Boy Wonder,’ during the golden childhood years spent in wild, freewheeling Malibu and Mexico in the late 1970s. Ollestad’s unyielding concentration on the themes of courage, love and endurance seep into every character portrait, every scene, making this book an inspiring, fascinating read.
I could not stop reading this thrilling memoir. Why do we sometimes feel most alive when we are risking our lives? Ollestad answers this question with a heart-stopping adventure that ends in tragedy and in triumph, a love story that fearlessly explores the bond between a father and son and what it means to lead a life without limits.
Extraordinary --- an adventure story with a rich psychological foundation from an enormously talented author. CRAZY FOR THE STORM is a powerful book. It deserves to be a bestseller.
—Pulitzer Prize–winner Lucinda Franks, author of MY FATHER'S SECRET WAR
As much a thriller as a memoir... gorgeously written, perfectly controlled.
—Carolyn See, author of MAKING A LITERARY LIFE
This is a heart-stopping story beautifully told, an 11-year-old boy’s story that deals with profound and challenging moral and philosophical issues. When does the quest for ecstasy become a danger-junkie’s kick? How does a good boy become a good man? How do you raise a child in a busted-up family? Norman Ollestad has written a book that may well be read for generations. It’s a book that fathers should give to their sons, but sons should give it to their fathers, too. And mothers, wives, sisters and daughters -- read it and weep for all the boys and men you have ever loved.
CRAZY FOR THE STORM is an absolutely compelling book which I read in one long sitting. The fact that it’s true made me shudder, but then Norman Ollestad is a fine writer and every detail is convincing.