Mixed Plate
Quickie Book Reviews

Above the Roar: 50 Surfer Interview, Matt Warshaw
Slick, magazine-like quality. Cookbook format: surf photo and lifestyle shot accompanying a short interview snippet. Left me wanting to read the rest of the interviews. [Link]

Aloha Blue, Don King and Maurice Rebeix
Collaborative effort by Hawaiian photog King and French shooter Rebeix. Donís water photography is incredible, but mostly reprints from old mags. Rebeix captured images that we (in Hawaii) sometimes take for granted--mostly lifestyle shots. Accompanied by short phrases and song snippets. Captions in the back of the book explain images. [no hyperlink found]

Book of Waves, Drew Kampion
Reissuance of an incredible coffee table book. New one is a softcover, using dull, matte paper, so photos arenít as vibrant. Quotes from famous literary authors romanticize the images. Added technical dissection of wave types, along with some big wave stories were interesting, but not appropriate in this artsy book. [Link]

Caught Inside: A Surferís Year on the California Coast, Daniel Duane
[My full review]

Da Bull: Life Over the Edge, Greg Noll and Andrea Gabbard
Greg Noll has got to be the Babe Ruth of Surfing. Rode the biggest wave ever paddled into. Everything he did seemed larger than life. Lots of it is just flat-out unbelievable, but the testimonials validate it. [Link]

The Dogs of Winter, Kem Nunn
Fictional account of a journey of two souls to surf and capture on film a mythical NorCal big wave spot. Very few surf-stoking sentences. Unusual (to me) native American theme, clichť shark interventions and poor technical photography details heavily detract from a potentially good read. [Link]

The Haole Substitute, Walt Novak
Semi-autobiographical journey into Oahuís Westside, the Hawaii public school system and surfing Oahuís North Shore. Not fact, not fiction, but "faction." Walt was is a longtime Surfing mag chain editorial writer. Unbelievably sold the movie rights for a decent sum of money. [Link]

Jaws Maui, Blue Max and Charlie & Leslie Lyon
Showcases images of famed big-wave surfspot on Maui. Corny introduction, but incredible, big photos of big waves in a big book. Heavy "Maui Visitorís Bureau"-type promotion. Makes for an excellent coffee table book. [Link]

Mr. Sunset: The Jeff Hakman Story, Phil Jarrat
Amazing child prodigy turned druggie turned clean. A very dark, but enlightening look into his life and the early years of pro surfing and the surf industry. The drug issue overwhelmed the surfing stoke for me. [Link]

North Shore Chronicles, Bruce Jenkins
Great surf stories, but dated. Mark Fooís words are haunting. Has since been re-released. [Link]

The Perfect Storm, Sebastian Junger
[My full review]

The Soul of Surfing is Hawaiian, Fred Hemmings
Easy read, good local stories, real positive and enjoyable. Didnít realize Fred was so instrumental in the building of pro surfing. For some reason (maybe familiarity) I liked the book a lot. [Link]

Stoked, Bill Morris
A bit dark with some sexual undertones. The lineup caricatures were incredibly accurate--I could just about name people who fit each one. And there really is a Goddess Jan who says, "Surf or die!" However, the surprise ending really lost it for me--it was way too unbelievable. [Link]

Surfriders: In Search of the Perfect Wave, Matt Warshaw
Once again, another slick offering by Warshaw. Thereís good use of white space with web-like graphics. Itís a mini-history of the sport--not complete (very little "alternate vehicle" stuff), but still pretty good. Unfair because he had full access to the Surfer magazine photo archive... again! [Link]