Barbarian Days

By William Finnegan,

Book cover of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Book description

**Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography**

Included in President Obama's 2016 Summer Reading List

"Without a doubt, the finest surf book I've ever read . . . " -The New York Times Magazine

Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Barbarian Days as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I’m not alone in calling this one of the greatest climbing books ever written. Even though it’s about surfing. But that’s what makes Finnegan a master of the craft: He captures the essence of the pursuit, well beyond the pursuit itself. He writes as a lifer, as if he were born for this, a devoted participant who was in on discovering some of the greatest surf breaks on earth, at a time when the world seemed different. Except I know, by extrapolating from my love of climbing, that once you’re out there, the rest of the world falls away and…

Another piece of biography, this time by a man who has taken on most of the world’s best waves. A man who has consistently surfed at breaks whose size and nature require complete commitment. Very few of the people that can do this can also write as well as Finnegan (the book won a Pulitzer), and the descriptions he brings back from the wave face ring with a sonorous truth. He captures the moment and the people beautifully, growing up in the 60s in LA and Hawaii, travelling cheap and light looking for waves in the 70s and 80s. If…

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