Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
*Included in President Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List*
A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writer
Barbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful add...more
”Man, he’s just all about the surfin ...more
What a wonderful book. I listened to the audiobook and was glad I did. William Finnegan has a delightful voice. So soothing that you feel calmed. This Pulitzer Prize winner is so worth the read.
5 out of 5 stars.
His voice - alone - was alluring.
I enjoyed listening to the never-ending surfing stories as I might a guided meditation.....
I often drifted into 'ozo-land'...... taking detours away from the spiritual path. I didn't have the endurance to keep up with the Zen of Surfing -God.
William Finnegan is a phenomenal writer -- blows my mind a surfer could be so lyrical and descriptive. BUT THERE IS NO LET UP!
Very impressive ongoi ...more
To wit: I am not the ideal audience for this memoir about a surfing life. And yet, I really enjoyed this book!
For starters, it has some seriously gorgeous prose. William Finnegan writes for The New Yorker and he won a Pulitzer Prize for Barbarian Days, which is how it came to my attenti ...more
There's a great interweaving of politics of places as the author surfs through them, engaging with his decisions and his relationships with people in the moment and over time.
Meaning, I felt that 464 pages was a bit much. Surprising, considering Finnegan is a N ...more
This is a memoir built around surfing. Despite knowing nothing about surfing I enjoyed most if it. That's an accomplishment. It's also got a great cover.
The book is split into three parts. The first part, set in California and Hawaii, is the strongest. It talks about Finnegan's childhood and his discovery of surfing. If this were a superhero movie this would be the part where the protagonist discovers their powers. Some of this was excerpted in The New Yorker and it's what ...more
Finnegan states that surfers are perfectionists. I don't know the others, but he certainly is one. He spends most of his life (almost till the end of his 40s) searching for the perfect wave and perfect place to surf. This journey takes him literally around the world (many ...more
Endless winter One sparkling May afternoon in 1979 I answered a knock at the front door of our house in Missoula to discover a large, angry man. “Bill Finnegan and I vowed that the first one to get back to America would kick your ass,” he said.
My wife had some nice pieces of antique furniture I wanted to spare so I stepped out onto the porch and closed the door behind me. “Who are you?”
So began a confrontation that would end peacefully but leave me bewildered.
I had taken a job the year working ...more
Incredible travelogue of surfing the globe, primarily in the '70s and '80s from a writer for the New Yorker. He and a friend were 2 of the first 10 or so people in the world to surf Tavarua, and they would not speak of it by name in the hope that it would remain undiscovered.
Deep insights into the lives of his closest ...more
As a magnanimous gesture for the prize-winning best-seller I rounded up to a two star rating from the dismal 1.5 stars it certainly deserves. This book became more and more painful for me to continue the deeper I ventured into Finnegan’s tube. By page 380 I’d given up hope, feeling like I was the one held under, getting pummeled by wave after literal wave. I think no book can replicate the author’s ability to make his readers feel like they themselve ...more
The first part, set in California and Hawaii, is the strongest. It talks about Finnegan's childhood and his discovery of surfing.
In the second part, his friend and him are going around the world, finding out great surfing p ...more
Occasionally I would have liked to have had a glossary of surfer terminology, but for the most part it was possible to glean meaning from the ...more
If you were into the 60's and 70's surf scene, you might find this interesting, but be prepared to stand by with a dictionary and some long nights, as Finnegan is VERBOSE and definitely enjoys showing off hi ...more
Having surfed many of the spots he mentions al ...more
I really only became interested in the author's story when he talks a ...more
Yet, the book offers much, even for those who have never planted feet on a board or paddled out into the ocean, challenging themselves. This is a story not unlike the ocean, with layers of insight, into surfers and surfing culture, into men and their driving passions, into life in ...more
|NonFiction Pulitzers: Barbarian Days Dec 2018/Jan 2019 Buddy Read||19||13||Dec 24, 2018 02:21PM|
|Play Book Tag: LISTOPIA: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life - William Finnegan (3 1/2 stars)||3||14||Mar 31, 2018 08:07AM|
|The History Book ...: ARCHIVE - JULY 2017 - BARBARIAN DAYS: A SURFING LIFE - DISCUSSION THREAD||58||265||Aug 23, 2017 08:14PM|
|The History Book ...: ARCHIVE - JULY 2017 - BARBARIAN DAYS: A SURFING LIFE - GLOSSARY THREAD (Spoiler Thread)||39||173||Jul 26, 2017 02:01PM|
|memoir||2||22||Jul 08, 2016 09:04AM|