Surfing only looks like a sport. To devotees, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a mental and physical study, a passionate way of life. New Yorker writer William Finnegan first started surfing as a young boy in California and Hawaii.
Barbarian Days is his immersive memoir of a life spent travelling the world chasing waves through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa and beyond. Finnegan describes the edgy yet enduring brotherhood forged among the swell of the surf; and recalling his own apprenticeship to the world’s most famous and challenging waves, he considers the intense relationship formed between man, board and water. Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, a social history, an extraordinary exploration of one man’s gradual mastering of an exacting and little-understood art.
It is a memoir of dangerous obsession and enchantment.