In most ways, this was an easy read. The story itself made the book hard to put down. It had the excitement and terror of catastrophe, a plane crash. It had Ollestad’s childhood stories of growing up in the seventies with parents who were not your average. I recognised some of the hippy lifestyles in his childhood descriptions, and I could relate to that.
Young Norman was a sweet kid and smart too. “In Tijuana, we went to a bullfight. I rooted for the bull.” Yeah, I would too!
There were moments when, as a mother, I felt alarmed at the adventures young Ollestad was drawn or even pushed into by his dad. Ollestad addresses this in his epilogue. But this was the 70s and Ollestad senior was a man with adventure in his veins. Sure, I wouldn’t do it with my kids, and it seems that Ollestad (Jnr) hasn’t done with his son, who was 6 at the time of writing the book.
The descriptions of his new life in suburbia later in the story were sad. They made you realise a little adventure can be a good thing – and some people need that more than others.
I found some parts of the book difficult to read. Descriptions of what was happening in environs that I was unfamiliar with, like long passages on surfing, skiing, and the slope at the site of a plane crash, were a bit hard to follow. Those with more knowledge or experience might find it easier.
I wasn’t put off, though. This was still an excellent book, and it really was quite inspirational. Live, push yourself, go for what you want, have fun, look for the good. They’re all themes that come up in this book.
I would especially recommend Crazy for the Storm to anyone who loves reading true stories involving disaster, inspiration, youth and growing up, and anyone into the sports mentioned.