With grit, poetry, and humor, Peter Heller, acclaimed author of The Whale Warriors, recounts his remarkable journey of discovery - of surfing, an entirely new challenge; of the ocean's beauty and power; of the strange surf subculture; of love; and, most of all, of how to seek adventure while crafting a meaningful life.
Having resolved to master a big - hollow wave - that is, to go from kook (surfese for beginner) to shredder-in a single year, Heller travels from Southern California down the coast of Mexico in the company of his girlfriend and the eccentric surfers they meet. Exuberant and fearless, Heller explores the technique and science of surfing the secrets of its culture, and the environmental ravages to the stunning coastline he visits.
As Heller plumbs the working of his own heart and finds joy in both love and surfing, he affords listeners vivid insight into this fascinating world, with all of its perils and pleasures, its absurdity and wonder. Exhilarating, entertaining, and moving, Kook is a love story between a man and his surfboard, a man and his girlfriend, a not-so-old man and the sea.
©2010 Peter Heller (P)2016 Tantor
"Heller has learned that surfing is not simply about staying up on your board; it's about love: of a woman, of living, of the sea."(Publishers Weekly)
As a book, there’s not that much info on surfing, it is not a book of surf tips. It also is not a “road trip” book centered around surfing, like Captain Zero. It also is not at all insightful about relationships (the author travels with his girlfriend/wife). While I really liked the author’s book Dog Stars, which was powerful and not entirely predictable, this book could have been condensed down into a long magazine article. Call it average because it was still interesting, especially for anyone who surfs.
If you'd like to listen to a good book on surfing check out William Finnegan's "barbarian days: a surfing life" because this book is simply not worth your time. Its uninspiring tone and stereotypical oversimplification of the sport of kings was disappointing.
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