Thursday, September 17, 2015
Barbarian Days by William Finnegan (2015)
Best book on surfing I have read. Yes, he does veer from surfing to explore other aspects of his life, but it all weaves together so seamlessly that it holds the reader's interest throughout. As a contemporary of Finnegan, I found the descriptions of beach life and surfing from his childhood and early adolescence very nostalgic. I felt envy at the experiences he had exploring now famous waves around the world when they were still mostly unknown. This is a masterful piece of writing. His descriptions of the experience of riding a wave are unparalleled in my experience. The personal dimension he brings to the tale, both the people he meets and the conflicts he goes through, brings the story to life. This is a page-turner. I was sad to come to the end.
DJE: This book is an absolute keeper. If you are interested in surfing or the surfing life, you will enjoy this. Barbarian Days is literature, not a sophomoric tale.
Here are Excerpts.