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

Kook What Surfing Taught Me About Love Life and Catching the Perfect Wave Author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Dog StarsWith grit poetry and humor Peter Heller acclaimed author of The Whale Warriors recounts his remarkable journey of discovery of surfing

  • Title: Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave
  • Author: Peter Heller
  • ISBN: 9781439171813
  • Page: 167
  • Format: ebook
  • Author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Dog StarsWith 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 lifAuthor of the New York Times bestselling novel The Dog StarsWith 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.

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    • [PDF] Download Ì Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave | by ¸ Peter Heller
      167 Peter Heller
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] Download Ì Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave | by ¸ Peter Heller
      Posted by:Peter Heller
      Published :2019-02-22T22:52:47+00:00

    About "Peter Heller"

    1. Peter Heller

      There is than one author in the database with this name.Peter Heller holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop in both fiction and poetry An award winning adventure writer and longtime contributor to NPR, Heller is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, Men s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek He is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Kook, The Whale Warriors, and Hell or High Water Surviving Tibet s Tsangpo River He lives in Denver, Colorado.

    863 thoughts on “Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave”

    1. My second book about surfing in an week This time, the author, a writer in his forties, living in Colorado, discovers surfing and decides to really pursue it for a while, going from being a "kook" (beginner) to big waves in only a few months. He is really ambitious, surfing every day, and eventually goes on a surf trip to Mexico that lasts several weeks. His girlfriend, Kim, is with him, and on the journey he not only learns about surfing, but also about love. I especially liked his description [...]


    2. Before I boughtKook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave, I read a number of reviews that were less than flattering. Most of those complained that the book is far too heavy-handed on the environmentalist side. I see where those comments came from, but as someone who's always been a strong proponent of environmentalism and who believes that any nature-based sport has to go hand in hand with a healthy respect for the planet, I didn't find Peter Heller's focus on [...]


    3. It is always fun to read a book with your home town involved and I really enjoyed the casual writing of Peter Heller as he describes his initiation into the surfing world. I live in Surf City (now trademarked!), otherwise known as Huntington Beach, CA and where Heller first catches the surfing bug. Even though I have lived here and walk to the beach almost everyday, I never realized how hard it is to surf. I have watched surfers my whole life but have never tried it myself. The author takes you [...]


    4. Heller annoyed me in minor ways every now and then, but for the most part I really, really liked this book, and at times his writing is absolutely beautiful. I've never surfed in my life (I have a love/it-freaks-me-the-hell-out relationship with the ocean), but Southern California has been my home away from home since birth, and I've always been a little fascinated with surfing and surf culture, so this book was right up my alley (and also really made me wish I were on some mostly deserted beach [...]


    5. This made me want to buy a Vannagan and drive through Mexico, seriously I thought how can I try this. I loved the story about how he fell in love with ocean, fell in love with the woman he was with, and how it all changed his life. Surfing has that ability to change who you are in a really fundamental way, for the better. Learning to slow down and not take life and the world around for granted is a pretty great message.


    6. As someone with an inexplicable obsession with surfing despite virtually no actual experience on a surfboard, I had very high hopes for this book, but it was a big disappointment, in large part because it wasn't really about surfing. Instead it was a muddy stew of different more ambitious books about love and life and environmentalism that really didn't belong here, and through it all I just wanted him to shut up and get back to surfing. Not recommended.


    7. Been reading a few books about surfing & this one was lacking. The premise of the book caught my eye & I actually gave it to my boyfriend as a bday gift. The descriptions of his excitement about learning were fun & well written, but his "midlife crisis" feelings felt a little shallow & insincere as did his reflections on his girlfriend.


    8. This book was amazing, you learn about, life, surfing and love. This book made me realize how important surfing is to me as well, and how great I have it in life. This book is a real eye opener and I would recommend it to anyone really.


    9. As a new surfer and fellow Kook, I wanted to read and dive into the experiences that Peter Heller and his wife went through in learning to surf and travel Baja in a van. (This is also a plan that my boyfriend and I are currently in the works with developing). I enjoyed reading this and while he does write with a lot of surf jargon, there were times that is got to be fairly over-the-top. I am very familiar with the lingo, but I can imagine that for someone who doesn't know much about surfing it c [...]



    10. I grew up on The Lost Coast of northern California - a rugged, cold, and gorgeous stretch of remote coastline. My best friend from when I was a boy became a serious surfer in these wild waters – braving the temperatures, white sharks and rocky precarious coast. While we lost connection as we grew older, I watched him from a distance and was always impressed with the bravery and imagined the extreme courage he had surfing in these waters. As I left high school and entered the real world I didnâ [...]


    11. Kook's story telling reflects the ambition of a big wave surfer and an erratic adventure seeker; it feels inconsistent. There are occasional beautiful and unique descriptions of the natural settings he comes across, but we are frequently sidetracked with meeting new people and new beaches that all build towards his self-absorbed dream. After awhile, we feel more like his wife throughout the tale: a tag-along. The secondary and more meaningful threads, of which Heller intentionally and notably ra [...]


    12. Kook is a term of disrespect that signifies a beginner surfer. It is used by the more experienced surfers at breaks to intimidate and discourage beginners from spoiling their chances of catching waves. There is etiquette to surfing in crowds and beginners must learn it or suffer abuse. In my experience, however, the rules are relative and fluid. If a beginner makes a certain mistake, he is insulted. If a local pulls the same move, it is his prerogative as the better surfer.The book is the true s [...]


    13. I really enjoy Peter Heller's writing. Earlier this year I read his fiction book The Painter and now this memoir about his adventures in Baja trying to learn how to surf at age 48.I learned quite a bit about the plight of the oceans, the history of surfing in Southern California and Mexico, and about Heller's own personality. Is there anything particularly amazing about this book? Not really but there are passages that really made me feel like I was out on the water with him. There were scenes f [...]


    14. Quite possibly the best book I could have picked for sitting around for two days on jury duty. It is so easy to get lost in Heller's adventures--I laughed and cried (AWKWARD WHEN IT HAPPENS IN THE JURY WAITING ROOM) throughout the whole thing. There were times I found him quite a bit of a jerkface towards his girlfriend/wife, even more so than the moments he actually acknowledged it, but she was also clearly fine putting up with it. Despite that, I loved all the heroes and asswipes they met alon [...]


    15. I had to read this after "Whale Warriors". Peter Heller decides to take to the waves and try his hand at surfing. In his forties he becomes obsessed with rising above a "kook" level, a beginning surfer. He talks a lot about his desires to be off on adventures but he misses the boat in relationships. He lucks out when he starts dating Kim. He convinces her to go on a camping/surfing adventure in southern California. Kim has never surfed so they are in conflict about what constitutes beginner wave [...]


    16. Peter Heller writes about getting hooked on Surfing after he spends a 3 week trip surfing with one of his buddies in California. Upon deciding that he wants to go from being a kook to surfing like a pro, Peter decides to take 6 months with his partner and learn to surf like a pro in Mexico. Like all travel and adventure related books, it satisfied my craving to read, once-again, about someone that chucks their stress-filled life for one that is slower paced, simpler, and with moments of adventur [...]


    17. Mainly the story of Heller's quest to go from "kook" (rank beginner) to accomplished surfer in six months, as a response to a sort of midlife crisis, with some ecological musings and a love story mixed in. The focus on the surfing itself is quite interesting, as Heller traces his development, incorporates references to surfing history and terminology, and provides a travelogue of his surfing journey. I wasn't as fond of the occasional introspective sidebars, but the descriptions of the surfing i [...]


    18. This was a pretty fun and fast read. I finished the book on my 49th birthday, and despite having grown up on the beach; in fact in 'Surf City', also known as Huntington Beach, I never learned to surf. I loved boogie boarding as a kid, and enjoy body surfing even today at every opportunity that I get, but I was never enough of an early riser to invest the effort needed to surf. So the idea of a 40+ non or novice surfer or 'Kook' testing the notion that he could still learn intrigued me. So as a t [...]


    19. Another book by Peter Heller. this one his own story, not a novel, - about learning to surf in a 1 year odyssey down the coast of So Ca and Mexico. Its equally about learning to be in relationship with his girlfriend, Kim - brave soul who surfs, and accompanies him. He is honest with himself in realizing what a selfish, driven/obsessed person he could be at times. He puts himself out there, both in the water, in waves, and with athletes far beyond his skill & experience. He also stretches hi [...]


    20. 3.5 stars. I love Peter Heller's writing, but I'm not enthralled with surfing, which is a large part of the book. What I enjoyed most: the relationship with Kim, the environmental issues I became aware of, the descriptions of the flora and fauna, the mostly Mexican setting, and the people with whom he spent time. So it wasn't difficult to read, but between owning the book (no pressure to return) and my less-urgent interest in surfing, this took longer than usual to read. Plan to read all his boo [...]


    21. I picked this book up for a friend, thinking she would like it because she's a wahini. The more I leafed through it, the more interested I got. It really does explore love, life, and catching the perfect wave, not to mention the environment, justice, friendship, courage, purpose, goal setting, ceviche, and U.S.-Mexico relations, all set against the background of a surfin' safari. If that sounds like a good ride to you, I recommend it. If nothing else, you'll figure out if you have what it takes [...]


    22. It took me a bit to get into Heller's straight-forward writing style, but there were some really nice moments when he mixes in some really emotional evocative language. In fact, his personality really comes through in his writing, and I really enjoyed his description of the various surf characters he met on his journey. I got to the end of this story and felt the sadness of the pages running out, but the happiness of reading something so great. I look forward to picking up some of Heller's ficti [...]


    23. Peter Heller has tried to do what many have tried to do before. Take a real, true, and personal story and make it into a compelling story. It is an admiral endeavor, but not a success. His story has some interesting sections but, in the end, is disappointing. In fact, his lack of tying ends together and actually having an ending is frustrating. Not frustrating in the way some books lack a clear ending, thus, forcing deeper thought. This just feels incomplete in a way that could and should have b [...]


    24. 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 chapte [...]


    25. Despite the fact that the author often came off as kind of a jerk (I suppose I should applaud his honesty, rather than editing out unpleasantness), this is a gorgeous book and has only increased my burning desire to learn to surf. The descriptions of waves and locations are vividly and beautifully drawn, and the environmental asides are heartbreaking and important, and in fact inspired me to make a donation to the Ocean Conservancy. I could see myself re-reading this, which I rarely do. Inspirin [...]


    26. Really enjoyed this book because it breaks down in detail the feelings of a "kook" which is a first-time surfer. The rejection, the pain, the difficulties are all spelled out in humor and with an eagle eye observation.My favorite parts of the book are the writings of when Peter went surfing in Mexico. This telling is why you need to get this book because the stories are fascinating and entertaining. If you like outdoor/adventure memoirs you will enjoy this book. Of course if you love the water y [...]


    27. not as deep and philosophical as Saltwater Buddha. This one is more about a man during a midlife crisis (not so much crisis, but just that feeling of wanting to do more) and his wife on a journey mostly down the coast of california and down baja, mexico region to find meaning with his life via surfing. Not only did he learn so much bout himself, he learned alot about his wife, his marriage, his friendships, his own determination/will/passion, and taking the road less traveled, where bumps and ro [...]


    28. This book was so-so. I found the narrator hard to relate to, and he weirdly fetishizes his Asian wife, which wasn't offensive, but uncomfortable, and on the whole this book just felt like it was written for middle-aged white dudes, rather than for the public at large. It was cool learning a little bit about surf culture. I forgot how rough surfers are to each other in Orange County. And the passages about the health of the ocean were really affecting.


    29. Was a chore for me to get through. Felt like the author was writing it as a required writing assignment to get credit for taking time off work. His writing is not captivating, beautiful or enough to bring me into the places he travels. The ocean environmental aspects are episodic and forced into the story. Perhaps if I was an under 40 male, who did not surf, or did not spend time in/around the ocean, I would have enjoyed or related to it better. It is no Barbarian Days.


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