Finnegan's writing is polished and bold…[A] high-caliber memoir." He spends most of his life (almost till the end of his 40s) searching for the perfect wave and … Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten. "Barbarian Days gleams with precise, often lyrical recollections of the most memorable waves [Finnegan has] encountered…He's always attuned to his surroundings, and his reflections are often tinged with self-effacing wit. "Barbarian Days is an utterly convincing study in the joy of treating seriously an unserious thing…As Finnegan demonstrates, surfing, like good writing, is an act of vigilant noticing. " He then describes being 16 in 1968 in California, when surfers were seen as outcasts and even his friend who played on the football team drops off the team to surf. A multigenerational story about two families bound together by the tides of history. - Honolulu Star-Advertiser "Starred Review. - The New York Times Magazine Jul 2015 More Books, Published in USA  All rights reserved. - Boston Globe Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses—off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. - Florida Times-Union He then describes his ocean-obsessed upbringing in California starting in 1956, when he was four. Full access is for members only. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. "- Chicago Reader It's not even close." Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2016, Find books by time period, setting & theme, Read-alike suggestions by book and author. Title I don't know the others, but he certainly is one. A staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987, he lives in Manhattan. He later abandons a well-paying job on the railroad to travel with a fellow writer, Bryan Di Salvatore, to the South Pacific in 1978. - Publishers Weekly After he settles in New York, Finnegan continues to surf with fellow obsessives, and he continues, despite being a father, to practice the recklessness that has defined his approach to surfing and to reporting for a long time. A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writer. everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Barbarian Days. - The Paris Review Daily His parents were TV and film producers and sea-loving liberals who encouraged him to devote himself to socially conscious causes. The book begins in Honolulu in 1966, when Finnegan's family moves to Hawaii for his father's job. everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Barbarian Days. In Chapter 6: The Lucky Country, Australia, 1978-79, the author describes buying a 1964 Ford Falcon station wagon and camping and surfing and down the east coast of Australia. - Entertainment Weekly "It's always fabulous when an incredible writer happens to also have a memoir-worthy life; Barbarian Days bodes well." Throughout, he surfs, carrying readers with him on rides of harrowing, unprecedented lucidity.Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little understood art. Search: Then in eighth grade, the young Finnegan contends with local waves that stoke his obsession with surfing and fends off bullies while developing greater independence from his family. Article He divides his memoir into chapters that describe different epochs of his life and his approach to surfing at that time. Reader Reviews. In a beach town called Kirra, in Queensland, Finnegan and Bryan rented a bungalow where people who were Thursday Islanders lived. In South Africa, he finds purpose while working at a black school and decides to write a book about the country under apartheid. "How many ways can you describe a wave? Surfing only looks like a sport. Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, a social history, a literary road movie, and an extraordinary exploration of the gradual mastering of an exacting, little understood art. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. - San Francisco Chronicle "Finnegan's epic adventure, beautifully told, is much more than the story of a boy and his wave, even if surfing serves as the thumping heartbeat of his life." He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South … in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. Reviews | Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time. William Finnegan is the author of Cold New World, A Complicated War, Dateline Soweto, and Crossing the Line. "Vivid and propulsive…A lyrical and enormously rewarding read…Finnegan's enchantment takes us to some luminous and unsettling places — on both the edge of the ocean, and the frontiers of the surfing life." Barbarian Days is William Finnegan's memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. "Fans of [Finnegan's] writing have been waiting eagerly for his surfing memoir…[Finnegan]'s observant and expressive but shows careful restraint in his zeal. - Sports Illustrated This study guide contains the following sections: This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on In this memoir, Finnegan describes a lifetime of looking for waves and looking for himself. 464 pages The following version of this book was used to create the guide: Finnegan, William. help you understand the book. . Penguin Random House, 2015. Finnegan states that surfers are perfectionists. - Kirkus Reviews "The kind of book that makes you squirm in your seat on the subway, gaze out the window at work, and Google Map the quickest route to the beach ... a semi-dangerous book, one that persuades young men…to trade in their office jobs in order to roam the world, to feel the ocean's power, and chase the waves." $39 for a year. He finds the perfect wave and an Edenic spot in Fiji, but tires of his travels when he is in Indonesia and wrestles with wanting to return to the States but thinks he must complete his unfinished novel first. He encounters a local character named Mark Renneker, who combines obsessive surfing with family medicine and who is the object of a piece by Finnegan that runs in the New Yorker. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel "Terrific…Elegantly written and structured…Finnegan displays an honesty that is evident throughout the book, parts of which have a searing, unvarnished intensity that reminded me of 'Stop Time,' the classic coming-of-age memoir by Frank Conroy." He then describes his years in San Francisco, when he braces cold, big waves and lives with his girlfriend Caroline (who later became his wife). He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. "A fascinating look inside the mind of a man terminally in love with a magnificent obsession. Barbarian Days - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis William Finnegan This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Barbarian Days. Barbarian Days is Finnegan's autobiography/memoir of his life as a surfer. This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - He has twice been a National Magazine Award finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards since 2009. "Extraordinary…There are too many breathtaking, original things in Barbarian Days to do more than mention here—observations about surfing that have simply never been made before, or certainly never so well." Bryan got a job as a chef in a Mexican restaurant, telling the owners he was half-Mexican, and Finnegan worked as a ditch digger and pot washer in a restaurant in a casino. - GQ.com - The Millions. A lyrical and intense memoir." Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life. Finnegan's world is as dazzling and deep as any ocean. - NPR.org - Los Angeles Magazine "An up-close and personal homage to the surfing lifestyle through the author's journey as a lifelong surfer. He says only what needs to be said, enough to create a vivid picture for the reader while masterfully giving that picture a kind of movement." "Overflowing with vivid descriptions of waves caught and waves missed, of disappointments and ecstasies and gargantuan curling tubes that encircle riders like cathedrals of pure stained glass…This memoir is one you can ride all the way to shore." [Finnegan] uses these words to describe the wave, but they might as well apply to the book. The information about Barbarian Days shown above was first featured It's a way to help them—and us—understand what drives him to keep paddling out half a century after first picking up a board." Kirra is on the Gold Coast and is known for surfing, which the locals assured them would start the day after Christmas. The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.