A Memoir of Survival
On Sale: June 2, 2009
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Ollestad, we can do it
all. . . .
Why do you make me do this?
Because it's beautiful when it all comes together.
I don't think it's ever beautiful.
We'll see, my father
From the age of three, Norman
Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and
competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic
father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were
riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties,
young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and
demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests
of skill that prepared "Boy Wonder," as his father called
him, to become a fearless champion--and ultimately saved his
Flying to a ski championship ceremony in
February 1979, the chartered Cessna carrying Norman, his
father, his father's girlfriend, and the pilot crashed into
the San Gabriel Mountains and was suspended at 8,200 feet,
engulfed in a blizzard. "Dad and I were a team, and he was
Superman," Ollestad writes. But now Norman's father was
dead, and the devastated eleven-year-old had to descend the
treacherous, icy mountain alone.
Set amid the
spontaneous, uninhibited surf culture of Malibu and Mexico
in the late 1970s, this riveting memoir, written in crisp
Hemingwayesque prose, recalls Ollestad's childhood and the
magnetic man whose determination and love infuriated and
inspired him--and also taught him to overcome the
indomitable. As it illuminates the complicated bond between
an extraordinary father and his son, Ollestad's powerful and
unforgettable true story offers remarkable insight for us
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