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Recent News & Press

'Crazy for the Storm' Voted Top 10 "Best Books Of The Year" By Amazon

November, 2009

Crazy For The Storm Voted Top 10 Best Books Of The Year By Amazon

The editors of today announced their top 10 best books of the year for 2009 and 'Crazy for the Storm' made the list at #6! This is huge news for us and we couldn't have done it without all of you! 'Crazy for the Storm' also made it to #2 in the Biography/Memoir category. Very cool!

» Click to read the full story!

Norman Ollestad Interview With Thalia Skizzenbuch

March 30, 2010

» More here!

Norman Ollestad On FUEL TV

September 10, 2009

'Crazy for the Storm' 11 Weeks On The NY Times Best Seller List!

Fall, 2009

Interview With

August 26, 2009


One of the best books of 2009 has been Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival, by Norman Ollestad. Ollestad was an eleven-year old boy when his plane crashed in the San Gabriel Mountains in 1979, losing his father in the crash - and the book is not only riveting tale of his survival, but of his own special relationship with his father. We reviewed it earlier this month, and the author kindly agreed to a Question & Answer with the Pursuitist.

» Read the interview here!

'Crazy for the Storm' Reviewed By

August 25, 2009

How to capture the spirit of a father and son's relationship? Norman Ollestad, the son in this equation, does it grippingly and gorgeously in Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival.

» Read the full review here!

Interview With Malibu Magazine

August 18, 2009


Check out this great new interview Norman did for the September issue of Malibu Magazine. Norman sits down with Julian Chavez to discuss surfing, his father and his groundbreaking new memoir 'Crazy for the Storm'.

» Read the interview here here!

'Crazy for the Storm' Reviewed By The Telegraph UK

August 17, 2009

'Crazy for the Storm' is a wonderful book, extremely moving and beautifully written in a spare yet richly evocative style. It's also as good a dissection of the relationship between a father and a son as I have ever read.

» Read the full review here!

'Crazy for the Storm' Reaches #2 On The LA Times Bestseller List

August 10, 2009

'Crazy for the Storm' reaches #2 on the August 9, 2009 Los Angeles Times Bestseller list for Non-Fiction!

» More info here!

Interview With 'The Lionel Show' On Air America

August 6, 2009

Norman Ollestad interviewed on Air America's 'The Lionel Show'

When he was just 11, Norm Ollestad, his father, his father's girlfriend, and their pilot collided with the side of a mountain engulfed in a blizzard. After a harrowing nine-hour decent from the top of the mountain, only Norm survived.

In this interview with The Lionel Show, Ollestad recalls that horrific accident and the lessons he learned from his father, all of which are detailed in his new book Crazy For The Storm, which awarded the Book of the Month award

» Click here to listen to the full review

Interview With Treehugger Radio

July 30, 2009

Interview With Norman Ollestad on Treehugger Radio

Norman Ollestad was eleven when the plane carrying him and three others, his father among them, collided with a blizzard-enshrouded mountain. After a nine hour descent, inching his way down frozen cliffs, he was the only survivor.

In Ollestad`s best-selling Crazy for the Storm, he tells the story of the crash, cutting away each chaper to the many interactions with nature, like surfing and backcountry skiing, that he and his dare-devil father shared. In our interview, Ollestad tells us how the crash that shaped his life only brought him closer to the natural world.

Listen to the podcast of this interview via iTunes, or just click here to listen, right-click to download.

Check out the interview here!

'Crazy for the Storm' Review From Powder Magazine

July 28, 2009

Crazy for the Storm reviewed by Powder Magazine

Set in the 1970s in Malibu, CA, Mexico, and ski slopes, the book is written so the reader can understand the lifestyle in California, and a dad that wanted his son to be great. I enjoyed how a father's insight on life and the ability to push his child into intense situations saved the young man's life. In his interview with the Los Angeles Times days after the crash, the eleven-year-old said, "My dad told me never to give up."

Read the full review here!

'Crazy for the Storm' Review On BookPunch

July 28, 2009

Crazy for the Storm reviewed on BookPunch

There are facts: It was February 19, 1979, Norman Ollestad was 11-years-old, his father-a former FBI agent-was 43 and Sandra, his father's girlfriend was 30. Norman had just won a junior slalom championship. Their plane crashed at 8,693 feet in the San Gabriel Mountains. But there is much more than an impressive, heroic survival tale: those are great; they make great movies-but this is bigger.

Read the full review here!

Interview With Norman Ollestad With Epilogue Magazine

July 27, 2009

Tell me about the transition from your first novel Driftwood (which was fiction) to Crazy for the Storm.

Well when I first realized that I wanted to write the Crazy for the Storm book, you know, about my life with my father I immediately decided, before I even get too deep into that... I'd written several short stories, had a couple published but that was in college, or just after college, and then I began writing mostly screenplays so my little novel was a sort of warm-up training for Crazy for the Storm. I spent about six months and just wrote it in a couple drafts and that was it. I just went for it. And I enjoyed the experience and enjoyed the feedback and the reaction... just the whole thing about having a book (Driftwood) that was a tangible thing that existed as opposed to a screenplay, which is sort of like a sketch or something else. That really fired me up and I just dove headlong into my story and I'm writing down what really happened. It was definitely a memoir; there was enough here to sustain a true story that would be compelling. So I just went for it.

Read the full interview here!

Norman Ollestad's Newsweek Article On Yemeni Plane Crash Survivor

July 25, 2009

Norman Ollestad's Newsweek article on Bajia Bakari

"When I read about 14-year-old Bahia Bakari, the sole survivor of a Yemeni jetliner crash off the coast of the Comoros, I wondered: How will she handle the loss of her mother? And how will she deal with the realization that everyone else aboard 153 people died? Bakari is just three years older than I was when the plane carrying my father, his girlfriend, and the pilot of our fourseater Cessna crashed into a mountain in a blizzard. The pilot and my father were killed on impact; I helped my dad's girlfriend claw down the icy mountainside, but she fell to her death on the descent. Thirty-seven hundred vertical feet later, I made it to safety alone."

Read the full article on Newsweek here!

Norman Ollestad At The 2009 Hurley US Open Of Surfing Event

July 24, 2009

Norman Ollestad, interviewed by Jodie Nelson

Norman attended the Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach this week and talked with Jodie Nelson on camera about his memoir. The live webcast hit major surf sites like Transword Surf and Fuel TV, and appeared larger than life on the jumbo screen set up on the Huntington Beach pier.

Norman Ollestad and Lisa Andersen

Norm had the chance to watch all the action from the athlete lounge and meet surfing's elite, including four-time world champion, Lisa Andersen, who had read Crazy for the Storm and is now big fan.

Survival Against The Odds

July 5, 2009


Wide World Magazine: In 1979 the plane carrying Norman Ollestad and his father slammed into a mountain. Ollestad, the only survivor, had to find his way to safety.

» Click here to view the feature
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Crazy For The Storm audio #2 on iTunes Summer Listening

July 2, 2009


iTunes: Why read when you can listen?

iTunes ranks the audio version of 'Crazy For The Storm' as #2 on their Summer Listening Audiobooks!

» Click to read

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NORMAN OLLESTAD studied creative writing at UCLA and attended UCLA Film School. He grew up on Topanga Beach in Malibu and now lives in Venice, California. He is the father of an eight-year-old son.

The Crash
The Crash
The Relationship
The Relationship