Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

£9.99

The New Yorker magazine writer and surfer Finnegan’s beautiful prose make barbarian days a surfing life arguably the best book written about the pursuit of surfing.

In a sport full of posers and noise Finnegan and his friends surf quiet hidden corners of the big wave world charging in isolation across the history of modern surfing from his early days of Hawaii to the exploration of cold water waves such as Mavericks and the secret island of Madeira.

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Time to read: 2 minutes

The House says:

The New Yorker magazine writer and surfer Finnegan’s beautiful prose make barbarian days a surfing life arguably the best book written about the pursuit of surfing.

In a sport full of posers and noise Finnegan and his friends surf quiet hidden corners of the big wave world charging in isolation across the history of modern surfing from his early days of Hawaii to the exploration of cold water waves such as Mavericks and the secret island of Madeira.

His life’s journey, through the early years as a grom in Hawaii, are idyllic but for me it is the sailing in the South Pacific and the exploration of Fiji and Samoa. His tales make me wish I was born in a different time and place, a quieter era when there were a few more blank spaces on the map.

If Finnegan’s work doesn’t give you itchy feet make you want to dust down your boardies and head to the tropics then his cold water insanity probably will.

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Book description:

  • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY 2016
  • WINNER OF THE 2016 WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR

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 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.

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • ISBN: 9781472151414
  • Published: 10 May 2016

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