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Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love,…

Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect…

by Peter Heller

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This book really nails the brief... keeps the surfing dream alive for all of us that just want to pack up the bags, hit the beach and learn how to surf. ( )
  kenno82 | Jun 25, 2018 |
This is a beautifully told story of the author (and his girlfriend/wife) spending six months learning to surf, mostly in Mexico.

The author paints a vivid picture of each of the places they go and of the people they meet. It reminded me of the books written by Theodore Roosevelt about his adventures in the Bad Lands of Wyoming.

You don't need to be a surfing fanatic to enjoy this book (I'm not). It does help to be a little familiar with the sport and the "lingo". ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 24, 2015 |
The back of the book says it all. This is a story of a mid forties man learning about Love. His love for his girlfriend, who becomes his wife, and the changes he needs to make of himself. It is also a love story of the outdoors, in this case a love of the Ocean. Finally it is a story of a man who takes up surfing at this late stage and how it becomes an obsession. WARNING!!! If you love animals especially Whales and Dolphins, then be prepared to become OUTRAGED by what is described in the chapter called THE COVE. I loved this book. ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 25, 2012 |
"Surfing is an addiction". It is impossible not to believe Peter Heller when he writes this simple statement, after having read him describing several months of his quest to become a surfer. He takes his reader along on a journey from California south deep into Mexico, all the while truthfully describing his progress on the surfboard.

The book is about a 40-something who decides to become a true surfer in 6 months: from novice to surfing big, fast waves in only half a year. To that end, he travels with his girlfriend from surfspot to surfspot along the Pacific coast, and meets several interesting characters along the way.

If you've ever wanted or actually tried to surf, or if you can admire someone's dedication to achieve a challenging goal, this book should be a good pick for you. ( )
  frederikv | Jun 20, 2011 |
Overall this was a good book. I've been a surfer for 10 years and he does a great job of describing the diffuculty of trying to learn the sport. The book is true to its title, alot of the descriptions are "kook-ish"--almost to the point of becoming annoying. I enjoyed the book as more of a quest than an actual surfing documentary. Personally, Daniel Duane's "Caught Inside" does a better job of describing surfing, without becoming cliche. Overall, I'm inspired by Heller's attempt to do this at 48. I think the big take-away for me is that never let assumptions keep you from trying differant things. Not too many people would consider trying this "young" persons sport after 40, much less on a short-board--in Baja, Mexico--during large winter swells. Heller finds others that have attempted the same thing, including a French-Canadian in his 60's. I admire his attitude and I will attempt the same approach to various areas in my life. ( )
1 vote yogimarley | Jan 31, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743294203, Paperback)

Author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Dog Stars

Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award for Literature

With grit, poetry, and humor, Peter Heller, acclaimed author of The Whale Warriors recounts his remarkable journey of discovery—of surfing, an entirely new challenge; of the ocean’s beauty and power; of the strange surf subculture; of love; and, most of all, of how to seek adventure while crafting a meaningful life.

Having resolved to master a big-hollow wave— that is, to go from kook (surfese for beginner) to shredder—in a single year, Heller travels from Southern California down the coast of Mexico in the company of his girlfriend and the eccentric surfers they meet. Exuberant and fearless, Heller explores the technique and science of surfing the secrets of its culture, and the environmental ravages to the stunning coastline he visits.

As Heller plumbs the working of his own heart and finds joy in both love and surfing, he affords readers vivid insight into this fascinating world, with all of its perils and pleasures, its absurdity and wonder. Exhilarating, entertaining, and moving, Kook is a love story between a man and his surfboard, a man and his girlfriend, a not-so-old man and the sea.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:56 -0400)

Documents the author's year-long surfing journey from Southern California down the coast of Mexico, where he witnessed the beauty and power of the natural world associated with the surfing sub-culture.

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