Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, by Susan Casey

This one has been on my "to-read" list for a while and, again, a breezy non-fiction book seemed like a good option for reading while nursing. (Although literary fiction is turning out to be fine too; I'm almost done with A Visit from the Goon Squad.)

This book alternates between talking about big wave surfing and about the science of climate change, salvage operations in different parts of the ocean, and other ways that "rogue waves" are affecting the world. There's a lot of scary prediction about climate change causing more rogue waves, tsunamis, and earthquakes, and I didn't enjoy those parts as much because I prefer to be in denial about that stuff! (Actually, feeling there's nothing I can really do about it, and knowing that we're screwing up the planet, it's just incredibly frustrating.) But I wouldn't call it a flaw in the book, necessarily. You do get the idea after a while though.

The pacing is slightly off at points. For instance, when we're following the big wave surfers (which is totally my favorite part of the book, and takes up about half the narrative), one chapter ends with the surfers (and the author) all speeding to Mexico to catch a huge wave in, like, 2009. The next chapter begins, and suddenly we're in Alaska in the 1960s. Like, what happened to Mexico? I don't mind alternating the perspective, but there are instances where ending on a semi-cliffhanger throws off the flow of the book.

Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed it!

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