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Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life - William Finnegan A thoroughly enjoyable read about life as a transient. The core of the story is Finnegan's trip around the world looking for great surfing. When he runs out of money, first in Australia and later in South Africa, he stops to get a job and earn enough to continue on. I loved living vicariously through his descriptions of the ocean surges and the days of unexpectations.

I had some trouble getting into this book. His childhood in LA and Hawaii was a nice little tale, and then he got into living and surfing in Hawaii. At some point I was seriously wondering why I had embarked on reading over 400 pages by a guy who's most important content so far was "don't do LSD and surf". I'm pretty sure I could figure that one out. I was wondering when the story would start.

But then it did, as he headed west in to the South Pacific with no real plan except to surf some good waves. I'm no surfer, but the attentive relationship with the water and its motion that is required of surfers is incredibly attractive to me. I enjoyed his descriptions of the waves. I also enjoyed the descriptions of his travels to find them.

I loved the book. I did think it was a bit too long, and he tried to fit a lot in there. But I recommend it to those who aren't in a hurry and enjoy a good adventure.

I got a free copy of this from First to Read.