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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life de William…
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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (2015 original; edició 2016)

de William Finnegan (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
6063128,759 (3.97)49
Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses -- off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves. Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu even while his closest friend was a native Hawaiian surfer. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly -- he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui -- is served up with rueful humor. He and a buddy, their knapsacks crammed with reef charts, bushwhack through Polynesia. They discover, while camping on an uninhabited island in Fiji, one of the world's greatest waves. As Finnegan's travels take him ever farther afield, he becomes an improbable anthropologist: unpicking the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissecting the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, navigating the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs.… (més)
Membre:dele2451
Títol:Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
Autors:William Finnegan (Autor)
Informació:Penguin Books (2016), Edition: Illustrated, 464 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****1/2
Etiquetes:paperback, nonfiction, memoir, surfing, William Finnegan, NYT bestseller, Pulitzer Prize, autobiographical, sport, water, waves, ocean, adventure, beach, outoor, obsession, coming of age, "The New Yorker", photographs, international travel, Honolulu, California, Maui, South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa, San Francisco, Madeira, haole, New York City, Hawaii, racism, Kaimuki Intermediate School, Cliffs, bullying, gang, Waimea Bay, Leslie Wong, Oahu, island, Pele, Diamond Head, sea, surfer, Duke Kahanamoku, Southern Unit, surf club, pidgin, discrimination, segregation, leash, swell, nose-rider, moving, tube, Ventura, surfboard, testing yourself, corporal punishment, shortboard, Rincon, Honolua Bay, college dropout, Either/Or Bookstore, pointbreak, LSD, Los Angeles, University of California Santa Cruz, Bryan D Salvatore, Southern Pacific Railroad, professional writer, Micronesia, Pohnpei, Tonga, Fiji, Outside Magazine, dixie basher, pot washer, Kirra, pterygia, exostoses, malaria, paratyphoid, backpacker, apartheid, Cape Town, teaching abroad, Jeffreys Bay, around the world, dangerous, Peter Spacek, gnarly, Portugal, Owl Chapman, seawall, coastal, shoreline, John Selya, Long Beach, long board, predicting the weather

Detalls de l'obra

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life de William Finnegan (2015)

Afegit fa poc perEmilie, biblioteca privada, AlleghenyCounty, DebbyeC, eshaundo, kjclem, chicosantos, unacignoni, dele2451

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» Mira també 49 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 31 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I don't know if I've ever read a book that was better summarized by its subtitle than [b:Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life|18693910|Barbarian Days A Surfing Life|William Finnegan|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1418768620l/18693910._SX50_.jpg|26542461]. The author spends the book tracing his efforts to catch waves on every continent from his early teens to his early 60s. At times while reading I got vibes of [b:Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance|629|Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1)|Robert M. Pirsig|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1410136019l/629._SY75_.jpg|175720], but the book is - at its core - a memoir about a surfer who surfs - YMMV. Me? I've never touched a board in my life and I found the story to be engaging and the prose to be excellent. ( )
  eshaundo | Feb 10, 2021 |
I'm not a surfer, but I really enjoyed Finnegan's beautiful descriptions of the oceans, waves, and shorelines he's explored. This is the ultimate insider's look at the mysterious surfing culture from someone who has truly spent a lifetime living it on a global scale. The pics are a very welcome addition too. ( )
  dele2451 | Feb 8, 2021 |
The author chronicles his lifetime of following his passion around the world...surfing. The writing is very good, but since I am not a surfer, I could not appreciate that part. I enjoyed his descriptions of the places, people and food along the way. I was surprised to hear what a good secret surfing off Montauk in NY is. Who would have thought that. So the technical part was dense, but the rest enjoyable. ( )
  LivelyLady | Jun 2, 2020 |
Having been recommended this book, I didn't read much about it before picking it up. I was several chapters in when I recognized the lucid, straightforward voice as belonging to one of my favorite New Yorker bylines. It was a delight reading a book by someone of Finnegan's talent about a subject that is rarely described with such fluency and passion.

It's a truly transporting memoir and Finnegan's memory is formidable. You could say it's a formative novel as surfing is not so much an anchor as a vehicle toward (sometimes away from...) maturity, a way of experiencing the world even as Finnegan escapes from it in far-flung locales. As a memoir, its written in a tight first-person perspective which suggests the varied experiences of the people he's closest too without trying to inhabit them. I found this both a strength and weakness of the book; figures like Bryan and the author's own wife were ciphers and the story lacked dimension because of it.

Finnegan's writing is at its strongest when he describes surfing itself. He sees the waves and the ocean in a way most people never will and describes the experience and art of surfing with rigorous poetry, inventive and luminous. The emotions that accompany the inconstant waves are similarly realized and it's hard not to feel anxiety grip you when Finnegan finds himself pummeled and thrashed by a succession of waves.

Despite this, and the author's progression into manhood and maturity, the book can get repetitive and the middle sections are overly long without the dynamic of characters or more deeply felt relationships to add depth to the narrative. When it hit the doldrums somewhere in Southeast Asia, I put the book aside for almost a week in favor of something more tightly plotted. The book could be shorter by 100-200 pages and not suffer for it.

Those flaws aside, it was a beautiful read and a unique subject. ( )
  pollytropic | Feb 20, 2020 |
William Finnegan’s book is interesting and thought provoking and is about a young man who is obviously possessed of talent, insight and intelligence and whose life was majorly affected by his love for the ocean and surfing and who, at least in his earlier years, wandered the Earth looking for the perfect wave. His surf travels took him to California, Hawaii, Fiji, Australia, South Africa, New York and Madeira (Portugal). The book is appealing on many levels.

There is the part about his family in the mid-1960s both in California and Hawaii which describes the lives of white, middle class Southern Californians in those halcyon days. We learn about the shapes and sizes of surf-boards and the biology and manifestations of a host of different types of swells and waves and most interestingly about the guys who surf – (I cannot recall a single woman surfer discussed in the book - “it is a path not a sport”) - and who seem unable to let it go as an endeavor even as they age beyond the time one’s body naturally allows for such testing and abuse.

William’s relationships with females, starting with Caryn, get some coverage but it was clear, at least until he met his wife, that he was never seriously considering an ongoing, meaningful relationship until his wanderlust had been sated. The abortion with Caryn was immature and unfortunate and the thing with the older teacher was off kilter from the get-go and seemed to have no real chance of being sustained.

William is on the politically correct side of things as is required to win a prestigious award like a Pulitzer Prize and he is (or was) employed by the leftiest publication in the world – the New Yorker. Nonetheless, he is a writer of the first magnitude and deservedly got the Pulitzer for this book and he is a forthright and likeable fellow as well. Hell, I think all of us are somewhat jealous that he did what we fantasized about but never had the balls to actually do. He participated in the educational process but he did it on his own terms. He worked for the railroad but when he decided with a buddy to take off into the world – just to surf – he did it – he actually did it - and he saw and experienced things most of us will never personally see and he consorted with all types and temperaments and societies and he came out of it a better man, a more aware man and one dedicated to at least fucking trying to do what he thought was right - especially in darkest Africa.

Frankly, being from and of the Sonoran Desert, all of the endless descriptions of waves and swells and lefts and rights and blah, blah got somewhat tiring, but you can still be in awe of people who do whatever it is that they do with verve – like Mr. Finnegan and his various associates. It is noteworthy that the people he hangs with are doctors and professional dancers and graduates of Yale and are generally highly intelligent and usually driven people – the right kind of people – William made his own way but it seems he was also very lucky in terms of the cast of characters he met and surfed with. It is a long book which could be several hundred pages shorter if the endless descriptions of the waves and water were curtailed but, still, it is really worth reading.

The most poignant line in the book came after William’s wonderful mother passed:
“You HAVE TO HATE how the world goes on” ( )
  BayanX | Jan 1, 2020 |
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Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses -- off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves. Finnegan shares stories of life in a whites-only gang in a tough school in Honolulu even while his closest friend was a native Hawaiian surfer. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly -- he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui -- is served up with rueful humor. He and a buddy, their knapsacks crammed with reef charts, bushwhack through Polynesia. They discover, while camping on an uninhabited island in Fiji, one of the world's greatest waves. As Finnegan's travels take him ever farther afield, he becomes an improbable anthropologist: unpicking the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissecting the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, navigating the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. Throughout, he surfs.

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