W&N Fiction

Friday Reads: STEALING THE WAVE

Gollancz Author: - September 21st, 2012
Friday Reads

It’s coming to that time of year – summer is ending, the temperature weather keeps changing from boiling hot to bitterly cold, everyone’s miserable, you have to start saving for Christmas shopping and new jumpers.

So it’s exactly the time of year I like to grab my copy of STEALING THE WAVE by Andy Martin and pretend I’m in Hawaii…

STEALING THE WAVE is a work of non-fiction that’s part philosophy, part soap opera, part tragedy and all awesome. Set in the 80’s and 90’s it tells the story of two surfers – Ken Bradshaw, a veteran surfer and friend to the legendary Eddie Aikau who had the respect of the whole island, and Mark Foo, a talented, beautiful young upstart who had the love of the media. When Foo cut across Bradshaw one day on Sunset beach, stealing the perfect wave and riding it all the way to the shore, Bradshaw paddled calmly back to the beach, knocked Foo off his board, and bit a huge chunk of wood out of the edge. Thus begins a story of rivalry and resentment that leads all the way to Foo’s untimely death at Mavericks in California.

Although I’m a big sports fan (despite two left feet and the physique of a rugby player who has let himself go), this book is a real departure from my normal reading habits (mainly due to an absence of dragons and swords), but it hooks me every time I read it. It’s a gripping story, and the relationship between Foo and Bradshaw is fascinating, but it’s the way that Martin manages to enshrine the mythology that surrounds the Hawaiian surf culture, and its heroes, which brings me back to read it time and again. It’s rich in sun, sand, surfing, booze, warfare against passion against the backdrop of a Hawaiian paradise. Though it hasn’t stopped me from face-planting into the sand off tiny fibreglass rent-a-boards every time I try to stand up…

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 10:31 am and is filed under Friday Reads. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Friday Reads: STEALING THE WAVE”

  1. Simon Simon says:

    Goes on my ‘to buy’ pile.

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