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Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
  

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Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2016.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2016.

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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Synopsis

Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

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.

Reviews

'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

About the Author

William Finnegan is the author of Cold New World, A Complicated War, Dateline Soweto, and Crossing the Line. He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987, he lives in Manhattan.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th May 2016

Author

William Finnegan

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    recommendations

Publisher

Corsair an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Format

Paperback
512 pages

Categories

Sport from the Armchair
Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Memoirs
Surfing, windsurfing, water skiing

ISBN

9781472151414

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