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William Finnegan Barbarian Days ISBN 13: 9781472151391

Barbarian Days - Softcover

 
9781472151391: Barbarian Days
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Surfing only looks like a sport. To devotees, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a mental and physical study, a passionate way of life. William Finnegan first started surfing as a young boy in California and Hawaii. Barbarian Days is his immersive memoir of a life spent travelling the world chasing waves through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa, Peru and beyond. Finnegan describes the edgy yet enduring brotherhood forged among the swell of the surf; and recalling his own apprenticeship to the world's most famous and challenging waves, he considers the intense relationship formed between man, board and water. Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, a social history, an extraordinary exploration of one man's gradual mastering of an exacting and little-understood art. It is a memoir of dangerous obsession and enchantment.

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Review:
A surfer's tale of his quest for self-transcendence is a masterpiece that recalls early James Salter (Geoff Dyer, the Observer)

I don't know anything about surfing, but I was gripped by the intensity of his language, never mind the thrilling recklessness of his behaviour in the waves (Olivia Laing, Guardian Best Holiday Reads 2015)

There are too many breathtaking, original things in Barbarian Days to do more than mention here - observations about surfing that have simply never been made before, or certainly never so well. But a particularly remarkable feature of Barbarian Days is the generous yet unsparing portraits of competitive surf friendships that make up a major share of the narrative (New York Times)

Nothing I've 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 Life' - as the subtitle states - it's also about a writer's life and, even more generally, a quester's life, more carefully observed and precisely rendered than any I've read in a long time (LA Times)

Surfing is Topic A here, but it inevitably connects with politics (when Mr. Finnegan taught in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1981, students boycotted his classes to protest apartheid), environmental issues (he sees great surf spots both created and destroyed by human enterprise) and much more. (New York Times, Cool Beach Books for Hot Summer Days)

Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery. . . . a coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard (Sports Illustrated)

For pure sensation, pick up New Yorker writer William Finnegan's memories of the beach, Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. Just try and keep the sand out of your book . . . and out of your sandwich. (Publishers Weekly, Best Summer Books 2015)

Luscious (Ed Caesar, Guardian)

A far-ranging, unique and bewitching memoir ... You don't need to have surfed to enjoy this book. (Literary Review)

How many ways can you describe a wave? You'll 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 grace . . . It's an occupation that has never before been described with this tenderness and deftness (TIME Magazine, Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2015)
Book Description:
A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writer

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  • PublisherCorsair
  • Publication date2015
  • ISBN 10 1472151399
  • ISBN 13 9781472151391
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages464
  • Rating

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780143109396: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0143109391 ISBN 13:  9780143109396
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2016
Softcover

  • 9781472151414: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

    Corsair, 2016
    Softcover

  • 9781594203473: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

    Pengui..., 2015
    Hardcover

  • 9781410485892: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life (Thorndike Press Large Print Biographies and Memoirs)

    Thornd..., 2016
    Hardcover

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