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The Wave

In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


From Susan Casey, bestselling author of The Devil’s Teeth, an astonishing book about colossal,  ship-swallowing rogue waves and the surfers who seek them out.

For centuries, mariners have spun tales of gargantuan waves, 100-feet high or taller. Until recently scientists dis­missed these stories—waves that high would seem to violate the laws of physics. But in the past few decades, as a startling number of ships vanished and new evidence has emerged, oceanographers realized something scary was brewing in the planet’s waters. They found their proof in February 2000, when a British research vessel was trapped in a vortex of impossibly mammoth waves in the North Sea—including several that approached 100 feet.

As scientists scramble to understand this phenomenon, others view the giant waves as the ultimate challenge. These are extreme surfers who fly around the world trying to ride the ocean’s most destructive monsters. The pioneer of extreme surfing is the legendary Laird Hamilton, who, with a group of friends in Hawaii, figured out how to board suicidally large waves of 70 and 80 feet. Casey follows this unique tribe of peo­ple as they seek to conquer the holy grail of their sport, a 100­-foot wave.

In this mesmerizing account, the exploits of Hamilton and his fellow surfers are juxtaposed against scientists’ urgent efforts to understand the destructive powers of waves—from the tsunami that wiped out 250,000 people in the Pacific in 2004 to the 1,740-foot-wave that recently leveled part of the Alaskan coast.

Like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, The Wave brilliantly portrays human beings confronting nature at its most ferocious.

Publishers Weekly Review

Aug 09, 2010 – Casey, O magazine editor-in-chief, travels across the world and into the past to confront the largest waves the oceans have to offer. This dangerous water includes rogue waves south of Africa, storm-born giants near Hawaii, and the biggest wave ever recorded, a 1,740 foot-high wall of wave (taller than one and a third Empire State Buildings) that blasted the Alaska coastline in 1958. Casey follows big-wave surfers in their often suicidal attempts to tackle monsters made of H2O, and also interviews scientists exploring the danger that global warning will bring us more and larger waves. Casey writes compellingly of the threat and beauty of the ocean at its most dangerous. We get vivid historical reconstructions and her firsthand account of being on a jet-ski watching surfers risk their lives. Casey also smoothly translates the science of her subject into engaging prose. This book will fascinate anyone who has even the slightest interest in the oceans that surround us.

Customer Reviews

The Wave by Susan Casey

Fabulous book. Well written. Respectful. Non fiction. All new information for me, also timely, as I am moving to Kauai this month. Any sailor who has been caught in high seas will appreciate the descriptions of the waves, I didn't know there were words. I'm on to the next Susan Casey's book. As good as Shadow Divers. Fascinating like Piracy on the High Seas.

A great read

One of those rare books that captures the essence of the moment in such a way you feel a bit of adrenaline rush during the excitement. Nicely balanced between the supercharged insight into those insane surfers seeking monster waves and a global look at the science and scientists trying to get a handle on why mega-waves happen. The surfer stories made me jealously envious, while the wave facts and science opened my eyes to a global issue I had never considered. Well done.

Only bad part was having to turn the final page.

Loved The Wave!!

I loved this book!! I learned so much. Thank you Susan and Laird and all the people in the book... For all you do to push the envelope and to research our planet

The Wave
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Nature
  • Published: Sep 14, 2010
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Random House, LLC
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings