Ken Samuels's Reviews > Tapping the Source

Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn
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Aug 02, 07

Recommended for: Surf Noirists
Read in July, 2007

Imagine Nathanael West trying to hang ten or Raymond Chandler shaking the sand out of his shorts and you've got an idea of the feel of Tapping the Source. Author Kem Nunn is firmly in the West, Chandler tradition of presenting Southern California as the end of the line for the Great American Dream. In this case The Dream is wiping out in the surf near the piers of Huntington Beach.

What begins as an innocent young desert kid's search for his footloose sister develops into a soul expanding and depleting journey through the seedy and dangerous culture of Huntington Beach's fallen surf gods. Our hero has a lot to learn as he is buffeted (sometimes quite violently) by his self-appointed teachers. It's a mystery, but not so much a Whodunit as it is a Who Am I?

Tightly written, emotionally unsparing, you can smell the salt and blood as our hero goes down and back up again.

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