Kook : What Surfing Taught Me about Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave

3.73 (992 ratings by Goodreads)

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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. Author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Dog Stars Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award for Literature 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 26mm | 281.23g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0743294203
  • 9780743294201
  • 90,587

Review quote

"The author has a great feel for people... As a result, the reader gets to know a collection of fascinating characters: surf stars, expats, and environmentalists, to say nothing of the creatures of the sea...Mr. Heller's colorful and informative paean to humility belongs on the bookshelves of kooks and surf gods alike." --The East Hampton Starshow more

Rating details

992 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 23% (226)
4 39% (382)
3 29% (291)
2 8% (79)
1 1% (14)

Our customer reviews

My flight at an airport was running late so I did what many people do and decided to go buy a book. I didn't have any particular one in mind but I did know that I wanted a biography. I literally picked up this book because of the cover, I quickly read the blurb and thought I'd give it a go. I'm extremely happy that I got it and I read it all on that flight. The author's style of writing is very expressive and you can easily imagine what he sees and feels. It also brought my attention issues with conservation and the importance of looking after our oceans.show more
by Sara Hayem
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