Crazy for the Storm

Crazy for the Storm

Norman Ollestad

Pub date
A4 153x234mm
288 pages
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Book Overview

Set in the aftermath of a harrowing plane crash, this is the true story of one young boy’s fight for survival in nature’s most treacherous conditions.

Eleven-year-old Norman Ollestad was a gifted skier. After winning the 1979 Southern California Slalom Skiing Championship, his father chartered a small plane to fly Norman home, so that his son could collect his trophy and train with his team.

Moments later the Cessna, engulfed in a blizzard, crashed into the San Gabriel Mountains and was left suspended at 8,000 feet. Norman’s father, his coach and his hero, was dead.

Climbing out of the wreckage, young Norman begins a gruelling descent, thousands of feet down an icy mountain. Blinded by heavy snow and faced with a raging wind and below-freezing temperatures, he attempts to guide his father’s injured girlfriend to safety. Kept alive by sheer will, Norman summons everything his father taught him about determination and courage to save his own life.

Powerful, inspiring and utterly compelling, this is a unique and unforgettable memoir.

About the author

Norman Ollestad was born in Los Angeles in 1967 and grew up in Malibu. He studied creative writing at UCLA and graduated from UCLA Film School. He is the author of a novel, “Driftwood”, and several screenplays. He is the father of a son, Noah, and resides in Venice, California.


  • ‘The memoir is as much about a father-son relationship as it is a survival story … Ollestad says his father’s life philosophy about surfing and skiing – ‘’knowing there’s always a place to go and find peace, clear your mind’’ – got him down the mountain and through life.’USA Today
  • ‘I could not stop reading this thrilling memoir … a heart-stopping adventure that ends in tragedy and triumph, a love story that fearlessly explores the bond between a father and a son and what it means to lead a life without limits.’Susan Cheever
  • ”Crazy for the Storm’ is truly extraordinary – an adventure story with a rich psychological foundation from an enormously talented author. Ollestad’s portraits are beautifully contradictory and complex – brutal, brave and human – and the book is filled with wonderful dramatic moments. In scene after scene, these images beg to be savoured, yet they drive the story forward with tremendous force. ‘Crazy for the Storm’ is a powerful book. It deserves to be a bestseller.’Lucinda Franks, Pulitzer Prize winning author
  • ‘As much a thriller as a memoir … gorgeously written, perfectly controlled.’Carolyn See
  • ‘ A heart-stopping story beautifully told … Norman Ollestad has written a book that may well be read for generations. It’s a book that fathers should give to their sons, but sons should give it to their fathers, too. And mothers, wives, sisters and daughters – read it and weep for all the boys and men you have ever loved.’Russell Banks