[Download Best] Barbarian Days : A Surfing Life Author William Finnegan – Andy-palmer.co.uk


Barbarian Days : A Surfing Life From Barbarian Days by William Finnegan Reprinted by arrangement with Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group USA LLC, A Penguin Random House Company Copyright William Finnegan,At the post office in Nukualofa, I tried to send my father a telegram It was , his fiftieth birthday But I couldnt tell if the message actually went through Did anyone back home even know what country we were in I wandered down a road of half built cinderblock houses There was a strange, philosophical graffito ALL OUTER PROGRESS PRODUCE CRIMINAL I passed a graveyard In the cemeteries in Tonga, late in the day, there always seemed to be old women tending the graves of their parentscombing the coral sand mounds into the proper coffin top shape, sweeping away leaves, hand washing faded wreaths of plastic flowers, rearranging the haunting patterns of tropical peppercorns, orange and green on bleached white sand A shiver of secondhand sorrow ran through me And an ache of something else It wasnt exactly homesickness It felt like I had sailed off the edge of the known world That part was actually fine with me The world was mapped in so many different ways For worldly Americans, the whole globe was covered by the foreign bureaus of the better newspapers But the truth was, we were wandering now through a world that would never be part of any correspondents beat It was full of news, but all of it was oblique, mysterious, important only if you listened and watched and felt its weight On the ferry here, I had ridden on the roof with three boys who said they planned to see every kung fu and cowboy and cop movie playing at the three cinemas in Nukualofa until their money ran out One boy, thin and laughing and fourteen, told me that he had quit school because he was lazy He had a Japanese comic book that got passed around the ferry roof The book was a bizarre mashup cutesy childrens cartoons, hairy armed war stories, nurse and doctor soap opera, graphic pornography A ferry crewman frowned when he got to the porn, tore each page out, crumpled it, and threw it in the sea The boys laughed Finally, with a great bark of disgust, the sailor threw the whole book in the water, and the boys laughed harder I watched the tattered pages float away in a glassy lagoon I closed my eyes I felt the weight of unmapped worlds, unborn language I knew I was chasing somethingthan waves So the sadness of the obscure graveyard, of unforgotten elders buried under sand made my chest tight It seemed to mock this whole vague childish enterprise Still, something beckoned Maybe it was Fiji From the Hardcover edition Ce texte fait r f rence l dition BrochHow many ways can you describe a wave Youll never get tired of watching Finnegan do it A staff writer at The New Yorker, he leads a counterlife as an obsessive surfer, traveling around the world, throwing his vulnerable, merely human body into line after line of waves in search of transient moments of graceIts an occupation that has never before been described with this tenderness and deftness TIME Magazine, TopNonfiction Books of A hefty masterpiece Geoff Dyer, The GuardianTerrificElegantly written and structured, its a riveting adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, and a restless, searching meditation on love, friendship and familyA writer of rare subtlety and observational gifts, Finnegan explores every aspect of the sport its mechanics and intoxicating thrills, its culture and arcane tribal codes in a way that should resonate with surfers and non surfers alike His descriptions of some of the worlds most powerful and unforgiving waves are hauntingly beautifulFinnegan displays an honesty that is evident throughout the book, parts of which have a searing, unvarnished intensity that reminded me of Stop Time, the classic coming of age memoir by Frank ConroyWashington PostThe kind of book that makes you squirm in your seat on the subway, gaze out the window at work, and Google Map the quickest route to the beach In other words, it is, like Jon KrakauersInto the Wild, a semi dangerous book, one that persuades young mento trade in their office jobs in order to roam the world, to feel the oceans power, and chase the wavesThe Paris Review Daily Fans of Finnegans writing have been waiting eagerly for his surfing memoirWell, Barbarian Days is here And its even better than one could have imaginedThis is Finnegans gift Hes observant and expressive but shows careful restraint in his zeal He says only what needs to be said, enough to create a vivid picture for the reader while masterfully giving that picture a kind of movementHonolulu Star Advertiser That surfing life is Finnegans , and its a remarkably adventurous one sure to induce wanderlust in anyone who follows along, surfer or notLyrical but not overbaked, exciting but always self effacing It captures the moments of joy and terror Finnegans lifelong passion has brought him, as well as his occasional ambivalence about the tenacious hold it has on him Its easily the best book ever written about surfing Its not even closeFlorida Times Union An engrossing read, part treatise on wave physics, part thrill ride, part cultural study, with a soupon of near death events Even for those whove never paddled out, Finnegans imagery is as vividly rendered as a film, his explanation of wave mastery a triumph of language For surfers, the book isThe Endless Summerwrit smarter and larger, touching down at every iconic breakLos Angeles Magazine Vivid and propulsiveFinneganhas seen things from the tops of ocean peaks that would disturb most surfers dreams for weeks I happily include myself among that number A lyrical and enormously rewarding readFinnegans enchantment takes us to some luminous and unsettling places on both the edge of the ocean, and the frontiers of the surfing lifeSan Diego Union Tribune Barbarian Days gleams with precise, often lyrical recollections of the most memorable waves Finnegan has encounteredHe carefully mines his surfing exploits for broader, hard won insights on his childhood, his most intense friendships and romances, his political education, his career Hes always attuned to his surroundings, and his reflections are often tinged with self effacing witChicago Reader Extraordinary Barbarian Days is in many ways, and for the first time, a surfer in full And it is cause for throwing your wet suit hoods in the airIf the book has a flaw, it lies in the envy helplessly induced in the armchair surf traveler by so many lusty affairs with waves that are the supermodels of the surf world Still, Finnegan considerately shows himself paying the price of admission in a few near drownings, and these are among the most electrifying moments in the bookThere are too many breathtaking, original things in Barbarian Days to dothan mention hereobservations about surfing that have simply never been made before, or certainly never so wellThe New York Times Book Review Without a doubt, the finest surf book Ive ever read All this technical mastery and precise description goes hand in hand with an unabashed, infectious earnestnessFinnegan has certainly written a surfing book for surfers, but on afundamental level, Barbarian Days offers a cleareyed vision of American boyhood Like Jon Krakauers Into the Wild, it is a sympathetic examination of what happens when literary ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the worldThe New York Times Magazine Which is precisely what makes the propulsive precision of Finnegans writing so surprising and revelatory Finnegans treatment of surfing never feels like performance Through the sheer intensity of his descriptive powers and the undeniable ways in which surfing has shaped his life, Barbarian Days is an utterly convincing study in the joy of treating seriously an unserious thingAs Finnegan demonstrates, surfing, like good writing, is an act of vigilant noticingThe New York Review of Books Finnegan is an excellent surfer at some point he became an even better writer That pairing makesBarbarian Daysexceptional in the notoriously foamy genre of surf lit a hefty, heavyweight tour de force, overbrimming with sublime lyrical passages that Finnegan drops as effortlessly as he executed his signature drop knee cutback in the breaks off WaikikiReading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting William Burroughs on controlled substances Updike on adulteryFinnegan is a virtuoso wordsmith, but the juice propelling this memoir is wrung from the quest that shaped himA piscine, picaresque coming of age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboardSports Illustrated Overflowing with vivid descriptions of waves caught and waves missed, of disappointments and ecstasies and gargantuan curling tubes that encircle riders like cathedrals of pure stained glassThese paragraphs, with their mix of personal remembrance and subcultural taxonomies, tend to be as elegant and pellucid as the breakers they immortalizeThis memoir is one you can ride all the way to shoreEntertainment Weekly A sweeping, glorious memoirOh, the rides, they are incandescentId sooner press this book upon on a nonsurfer, in part because nothing Ive read so accurately describes the feeling of being stoked or the despair of being held under But also because while it is a book about A Surfing Lifeits also about a writers life and, evengenerally, a questers life,carefully observed and precisely rendered than any Ive read in a long timeLos Angeles Times Gorgeously written and intensely feltWith Mr Finnegans bravura memoir, the surfing bookshelf is dramatically enriched Its not only a volume for followers of the sport Non surfers, too, will be treated to a travelogue head scratchingly rich in obscure, sharply observed destinationsDare I say that we all need Mr Finneganas a role model for a life fully, thrillingly, livedWall Street Journal An evocative, profound and deeply moving memoirThe proof is in the sentences Were I given unlimited space to review this book, I would simply reproduce it here, with a quotation mark at the beginning and another at the end While surfers have a reputation for being inarticulate, there is actually a fair amount of overlap between what makes a good surfer and a good writer A smooth style, an ability to stay close to the source of the energy, humility before the task, and, once youre done, not claiming your ride In other words, making something exceedingly difficult look easy The gift for writing a clean line is rare, and the gift for riding one even rarer Finnegan possesses bothSan Francisco Chronicle Finnegan writes so engagingly that you paddle alongside, eager for him to take you to the next waveIt is a wet and wild run He makes surfing seem as foreign and simultaneously as intimate a sport as possibleSurfing is the backbone of the book, but Finnegans relationships to people, not waves, form its flesh A deep blue story of one mans lifelong enchantmentBoston Globe Finnegans epic adventure, beautifully told, is muchthan the story of a boy and his wave, even if surfing serves as the thumping heartbeat of his lifeDallas Morning News Thats always Finnegans MO examining the ways in which surfing intertwines with anthropology, economics, politics, and, of course, writing Finnegan is a sober, straightforward author, but the level of detail, emotion, and insight he achieves is unparalleledA must read for all surfers not just because of its unblinking prose and subtle wit, but because its the only book that properly details what its like to cultivate both an award winning career and a dedicated surfing lifeEastern Surf Magazine Finnegan describes, with shimmering detail, his adventures riding waves on five continents Surfing has taken him places he d never otherwise have thought to go, but it also buoyed him through a career reporting on the politics of intense scarcity, limitless cruelty, and unimaginable suffering It s a book about travel and growing up, and the power of a pastime when it becomes an obsessionMen s Journal With a compelling storyline and masterful prose, Finnegansbeautiful memoir is sure to resonateThe New York Observer Fearless and full of graceOutside Magazine IrresistibleO, The Oprah Magazine Its always fabulous when an incredible writer happens to also have a memoir worthy life Barbarian Daysbodes wellGQ A demonstration of gratitude and mastery Finnegan uses these words to describe the wave, but they might as well apply to the book In a sense,Barbarian Daysfunctions as apage thank you letter, masterfully crafted, to his parents, friends, wife, enemies, ex girlfriends, townsfolk, daughtereveryone who tolerated and even encouraged his lifelong obsession Its a way to help themand usunderstand what drives him to keep paddling out half a century after first picking up a boardNPR A lyrical, intellectual memoir The author touches on love, on responsibility, on politics, individuality and morality, as well as on the lesser known aspects of surfing the toll it takes on the body, the weird lingo, the whacky community Finnegans world is as dazzling and deep as any ocean Its a pleasure to paddle into and makes for a hell of a rideThe Millions As it progresses the whole book turns into a portalIts tempting to say that Barbarian Days will bring readers as close as theyll get to the surf, short of actual surfing But I had a stronger reaction The book brought me closer than Id ever been, or expected to get, to the real, unfathomable oceanBookforum A dream of a book by a masterful writer long immersed in surfing culture Finnegan recaptures the waves lost and found, the euphoria, the dangerthe allureBBC Panoramic and fascinatingThe core of the book is a surfing chronicle, and Finnegan possesses impeccable short board bona fidesA revealing and magisterial account of a beautiful addictionPublishers Weekly starred reviewLike that powerful, glassy wave, great books on surfing come few and far between This summer, New Yorker writer Finnegan recalls his teenage years in the California and Hawaii of the swhen surfing was an escape for loners and outcasts A delightful storyteller, Finnegan takes readers on a journey from Hawaii to Australia, Fiji, and South Africa, where finding those waves is as challenging as riding themPublishers Weekly s Best Summer Books of the Summer A fascinating look inside the mind of a man terminally in love with a magnificent obsession A lyrical and intense memoirKirkus An up close and personal homage to the surfing lifestyle through the authors journey as a lifelong surfer Finnegans writing is polished and bold A high caliber memoirLibrary Journal From the Hardcover edition Ce texte fait r f rence l dition Broch


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