A deeply rendered self-portrait of a lifelong surfer by the acclaimed New Yorker writerBarbarian Days is William Finnegan’s memoir of an obsession, a complex enchantment. Surfing only looks like a sport. To initiates, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a demanding course of study, a morally dangerous pastime, a way of life. Raised in California and Hawaii, Finnegan started surfing as a child. He has chased waves all over the world, wandering for years through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa. A bookish boy, and then an excessively adventurous young man, he went on to become a distinguished writer and war reporter. Barbarian Days takes us deep into unfamiliar worlds, some of them right under our noses—off the coasts of New York and San Francisco. It immerses the reader in the edgy camaraderie of close male friendships annealed in challenging waves.Finnegan shares stories of life in a whitesonly gang in a tough school in Honolulu even while his closest friend was a Hawaiian surfer. He shows us a world turned upside down for kids and adults alike by the social upheavals of the 1960s. He details the intricacies of famous waves and his own apprenticeships to them. Youthful folly—he drops LSD while riding huge Honolua Bay, on Maui—is served up with rueful humor. He and a buddy, their knapsacks crammed with reef charts, bushwhack through Polynesia. They discover, while camping on an uninhabited island in Fiji, one of the world’s greatest waves. As Finnegan’s travels take him ever farther afield, he becomes an improbable anthropologist: unpicking the picturesque simplicity of a Samoan fishing village, dissecting the sexual politics of Tongan interactions with Americans and Japanese, navigating the Indonesian black market while nearly succumbing to malaria. 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. Today, Finnegan’s surfing life is undiminished. Frantically juggling work and family, he chases his enchantment through Long Island ice storms and obscure corners of Madagascar.
Vivid eighteenth century tales of sailors washed ashore from shipwrecks, buccaneers on the run, white slaves escaping from pirates, and mutineers fleeing tyrannical captains — these were the mix from which Defoe conjured his classic book 'The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe'.
But could any man have survived what Crusoe endured.
The explorer and writer Tim Severin was determined to find out.
Beginning on the coast of Chile, then traveling to Nicaragua, Pananama and the Caribbean islands of Venezuela, Severin travels to the sites of these amazing survival stories, camping on islands and visiting jungles to put to the test the adventures and survival strategies of Crusoe and his companion Man Friday.
In the process he debunks the widely-held belief that Alexander Selkirk, a castaway who piqued early eighteenth century popular interest, was Defoe’s model.
Insightful travel writing, riveting narrative history and clever scholarly discoveries make this a remarkably rich and varied book. Tim Severin has once again demonstrated his superb ability to bring together literature and adventure in an engrossing tale.
With his signature approach to literary sleuthing, Tim Severin goes ‘In Search of Robinson Crusoe’, as he retraces the footsteps of castaways and pirates to unearth the inspiration behind Daniel Defoe’s legendary creation.
“A fascinating read … Blending travel narrative, maritime history and a literary mystery.” — LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Its hard to say which is more interesting — the history he so capably writes or his own adventures in the odd, forlorn places his research takes him to. Either way, he knows how to blend his ingredients to generate the kind of heat a reader wants from a book.”
— NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE MAGAZINE
“The charm of Mr. Severin is that he, an accomplished sailor, a polished narrator, can transmit the air and the feel of the sun blasted islands, the strength of the trade winds, the taste of the salt to his island-hopping research and keep us guessing.”
— THE WASHINGTON TIMES
“Track[ing] the intrepid investigation by one of the best British travel writers, […] Tim Severin, who deserves to be better known in this country, is indefatigable researcher and observer with the sort of wry humor that makes Brit writers such enviable travelling companions on the page.”
— ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tim Severin is an explorer, film-maker and lecturer, who has made many expeditions, from crossing the Atlantic in a medieval leather boat to going out in search of Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe. He has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Book of the Sea Award, a Christopher Prize, and the literary medal of the Academie de la Marine. He books include ‘Crusader’, ‘The Sindbad Voyage’, ‘The Brendan Voyage’, ‘The Jason Voyage’ and ‘The Ulysses Voyage’.
Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.
In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.
Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and "a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface" (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.
When their father dies, none of the three Harcourt girls Helen, Jane and Rosalie are particularly upset.
Gerald Harcourt was a distant figure in their lives and he is easily forgotten.
The loss of the family’s income, however, is not something so easily overcome.
When their mother Anna discovers that they have been left penniless, she decides to move them out of London and back her hometown in Scotland.
Helen, the demanding and selfish eldest sister, decamps almost immediately to Edinburgh in search of the excitement and refinement Ryddelton cannot offer but the others remain and begin to make very happy lives for themselves.
Rosalie, having always lived in her more beautiful eldest sister’s shadow, begins to come into her own.
Anna, freed of the formalities of her London life, is happier and more relaxed than her daughters have ever known her.
And Jane, our narrator, finds an education she could never have gotten at Oxford in her work as a secretary for Mrs Millard, an eccentric biographer currently residing in the village.
Her daughters seem to be settling down to their new life too, until Jane meets Ronnie. Ronnie appears to find ail the Harcourts attractive — but he can only marry one...
One by one the three charming and attractive Harcourt sisters fell in love with the tall, broad shouldered and talented bacteriologist.
Jane, the struggling writer, met him first and made him the hero of her novel.
Rosalie, pretty and quiet, met him on a holiday and made him the hero of her life.
But when beautiful, graceful and elegant Helen met him on a weekend trip, she made him her slave. Helen needed only to smile to get her own way....
Praise for D E Stevenson:
“Consistently charming;’ The Times
“Mistress of the light novel’ The Times
D. E. Stevenson (1892–1973), Dorothy Emily Peploe (married name) was a Scottish author of more than 40 light romantic novels. Her father was the lighthouse engineer David Alan Stevenson, first cousin to the author Robert Louis Stevenson.
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