Oh, and Barbarian Days — September 3, 2016

Oh, and Barbarian Days


I don’t know how I neglected to include Barbarian Days among the reviews. It’s great, and quite different from anything I’ve ever read. I wouldn’t have expected to care at all about a book by a guy who has devoted much of his life to surfing, but I ended up caring very much about this book. It’s a remarkable combination of technical surfing discussion that verges into the poetic (when have you ever read poetic technical writing?), plus the story of Finnegan’s own life. As he ages, he remains in love with surfing, but also comes to realize that there’s a larger world out there, and that he should stop just being a beach bum. The book becomes sort of the punchline: the man who was at the beach most days before the sun came up becomes the sort of man who can write a memoir like this. It’s magnificent.