The Wave - Susan Casey

The Wave

By Susan Casey

  • Release Date: 2010-09-14
  • Genre: Nature
Score: 4.5
From 209 Ratings


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.


  • Fantastic on all levels

    By adaml7
    A person can read a book about anything as long as the author’s style is fluid and the material written in a captivating way. Although I am a surfer, diver, and all around lover of the sea, I believe this book fits the bill to capture anyone’s interest. Casey’s authoritative and well researched dive into the world of huge waves is a fast read and magnetic. Her first hand accounts of the legendary surf spot Jaws were thrilling and nerve wracking and made me feel as if I were there with her, Laird, and Brett. If you enjoy water based activities I am confident you will enjoy this book. If you don’t know very much about the ocean I am confident you will enjoy this book. I am confident anyone will be hard pressed to put this down once they start.
  • Fantastic

    By Pdstem
    This book is fantastic, I could not put it down. I did not want it to end. Easily the best non fiction book I've read in a long time
  • Fantastic

    By john mayer fan1
    A must read for surfers or any type of ocean lover.
  • I only wish.....

    By Revlis77
    I'll never tow surf or catch a monster but this book makes me want to! Dramatic tales of days surfers yearn for alternating with scientific chapters that aid in the understanding of the climatic changes occurring on the planet help you appreciate what a rogue is and can be!! In a word.....terrifying!!
  • The wave

    By C Godur
    Wonderful, did not want it to end! The poetic descriptions of nature's power were quite beautiful and in my next life I would hope to arrive as a surfer! A great read on land, forget reading it on a cruise! I highly recommend it and I look forward to reading it again!
  • Great Book

    By get_barreled
    A must read. Exceptional!
  • Loved The Wave!!

    By Not a bossypants
    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
  • A great read

    By shoudawoulda
    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.
  • The Wave by Susan Casey

    By Water reader
    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.