Barbarian Days is a surfing memoir by William Finnegan. The book tells the tale of Finnegan’s lifelong love affair with the sport of surfing, from his first experiences as a young surfer in California to his adventures on Hawaiian and South African waves. Along the way, readers are treated to vivid descriptions of epic surf sessions and insights into the powerful allure of riding giant waves.
For who is this book for ?
This book is perfect for any surfer or travel enthusiast. It provides a detailed, personal account of one man’s lifelong love affair with surfing, as well as insights into the culture and lifestyle of those who are devoted to this extreme sport.
- Finnegan’s writing style is both illuminating and engaging
- He offers a unique perspective on the sport of surfing and its culture
- Barbarian Days provides a great read for anyone interested in travel or oceanography
- It may be a bit too niche for some readers
- Some of the descriptions of waves and surfing sessions can be quite lengthy
- It could have been edited down a bit to make it more concise
Learn more about the author
William Finnegan is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the recipient of numerous awards for his journalism, including the Pulitzer Prize. He has been surfing since he was a teenager and currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and two sons.
“Barbarian Days is a beautifully written and poetic account of one man’s life-long love affair with surfing. From his earliest childhood memories of riding waves in California, to more recent adventures on Hawaiian and South African waves, Finnegan takes us on an unforgettable journey along the edges of both physical and personal danger. This book is as much about the search for perfect surf conditions as it is about the author’s self-discovery and growth into manhood. Anyone who has ever been touched by the allure of surfing will enjoy this wonderful read.”
“An exceptional book about an exceptional life . . .. Barbarian Days is a beautifully written, deeply personal account of surfing and the author’s lifelong relationship with the ocean. William Finnegan is one of our finest writers, and he has crafted a timeless story that speaks to all who love the sea—surfers and nonsurfers alike.”
“A deeply soulful story about an epic quest for the ultimate ride.”
“Finnegan’s beautifully written account of a lifelong love affair with surfing takes the reader on epic waves around the world.”