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Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results Paperback – May 24, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (May 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609611403
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609611408
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Moore and a robust wet suit have boldly gone where only serious and often seriously unhinged
dudes have gone before, mapping out a fresh, unexpected cartography of the waves. . . . What he has
done, subtly and beguilingly, is write a book about surfing that often is not really about surfing but
about simply being alive.”   New York Times Book Review
 
“[A] lovely ride, a sweet story told with a lilt.” Los Angeles Times

“Jolly!”  The Economist
“A lively global jaunt that will offer some surprises even for the heartiest of wave-riding experts.” The Washington Post

“[He] burrows into each locale with a keen ear for dialogue and a bullshit detector set to ‘stun’ . . . The clarity of his prose leaves us hungry for Moore.” The Surfer’s Journal

“Warm, smart, funny, and beautifully written. Sweetness and Blood goes off the beaten surf-path to give us a bigger, more interesting surf world.” Matt Warshaw, author of The History of Surfing
Sweetness and Blood is a lively tour de force of travel writing and enterprising research that tells the truly fascinating story of surfing’s spread into unlikely corners of the globe. This is like Beach Boys music for the sun-hungry brain, imagination, and soul.” Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name and The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?

About the Author

MICHAEL SCOTT MOORE is a novelist and journalist from California. He was a 2006-2007 Fulbright fellow in Berlin, where he currently works for Spiegel Online and writes a column for Miller-McCune Magazine. His first novel, Too Much of Nothing, was published by Carroll & Graf in 2003. He's written on politics and travel for publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and the Financial Times. He's also at work on a second novel.

More About the Author

Michael Scott Moore is an American novelist and journalist living in Berlin. His first novel, "Too Much of Nothing," is set in the fictional California town of Calaveras Beach. His latest book is a mixture of history and travel called "Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, With Some Unexpected Results." He's an editor-at-large for Spiegel Online in Berlin, a European correspondent for Miller-McCune Magazine, and a contributor to US publications like The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, and The Los Angeles Times.

His web site can be found at www.radiofreemike.com

Customer Reviews

Michael Scott Moore is not a poor writer.
Zendicant Pangolin
The concept of how surfing ended up in these places was an interesting one, but I just didn't get the author's reason for some of these locations.
J. Muench
This book is an enjoyable light read about surfing.
southpaw68

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Marc Levy on June 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a my foreign correspondent in 2005, Michael Scott Moore showed how events in Europe connected with what happened in Cambridge, Mass., and the United States in general. Before then, when he lived here -- I'm still in the Boston area, in Cambridge -- he was that guy you saw getting on the red line with a surfboard under his arm.

He would take commuter rail up the North Shore, always with a wetsuit to handle the New England chill and slushy waters of Cape Ann and a ready explanation for the curious and amused: There's surfing in Massachusetts. There's surfing just about everywhere.

It makes sense, then, that his second book, just released in hardcover by Rodale, is "Sweetness and Blood: How Surfing Spread from Hawaii and California to the Rest of the World, with Some Unexpected Results."

Indonesia, Germany, Morocco, the Gaza Strip, Japan -- he surfs them all, and more, in writing this second book (his first nonfiction; he also has a novel, "Too Much of Nothing"), but this is not a guidebook to great waves or a smirking reveal of who's wearing baggies under their burka. Moore combines travelogue, reportage, history and cultural analysis into nine smooth essays of novelty, character and insight.

Surfing in Munich, for instance, is done on the swift-flowing waters of the Eisbach canal, technically illegal and eminently dangerous, and the chapter in Germany is lightly haunted by fatality and a condemnation of fun-gesellschaft, the business of fun that floated in with U.S. culture. (Moore also rides the Severn Bore in England, a tidal surge that comes along every 12 hours -- but if you wipe out, you can drive downriver faster than the wave and try again.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dana G. on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I admittedly grew up in So Cal (probably around the same time as the author) going to Malibu and Zuma and then the South Bay and OC beaches as I got older. I have always had a special place in my heart for surfing. I love to watch the ocean and I love sports, so surfing is a natural for me. I am interested in books about surfing legends such as Eddie Aikau, Duke Kahanamoku and the like, so this book interested me.

This story didn't really play out the way I sort of expected it to. I was expecting more of a hard and serious history of surfing. I am glad it didn't turn out that way, because this book is really like a guy telling his buds about what he saw on his travels around the world while researching surfing, and how comical that can be. I read this book sitting outside next to my pool (no ocean here, bummer) and it was very entertaining reading.

I really had no idea of surfing outside of the "civilized" world, and that people in Germany surf in a canal. I was so entertained by the detailed stories from the Moroccan people. I guess what this book is really saying is that surfers all over the world are of the same tribe, no matter where they live.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Gompers on July 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Not a bad book at all, but really falsely portrayed by the publisher and maybe a little by the author. This isn't a history of surfing. It is, as other reviewers have noted, a modest travelogue of a journalist who surfs to some non-traditional surfing spots. And that of course is the book's drawing point--that the layman wouldn't expect to know that folks in Germany, Israel, or England actually surf. Lots of fun and quirky characters and anecdotes abound. But I must confess that the author's writing style is dangerously close to going down the path to unconsciousness. I suspect his approach was to let most of the stories and characters 'tell' themselves, but the really good writers know when that isn't always going to succeed. And here it disappoints a little. The tales would have benefited from a little more "TLC" and craft from the author. As they stand, they just seem too matter of fact, even for unique surfers. As I read I kept hoping for and sensing I'd get a little more from the author's style as the descriptions went on, yet every chapter never quite went to the next level. The book could have been so much more colorful given the subject matter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By EdmundEasrlOfGlouchester on December 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Neither a surfer nor interested in surfing (or so I thought). Anyway, really enjoyed this book once the initial history primer ended. It basically became a nap-sack travel novel with Moore playing the role of Paul Theroux. Very fun, interesting and quick read for me. I'd be very interested in reading whatever comes down the pike by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kristin J. Johnson VINE VOICE on November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While reading this i stood before the statue of Hawaiian hero Duke Kahanamoku. I wanted to get a photo of this book with the statue, but the steady stream of people from around the world taking pictures by the statue dissuaded me. Those visitors to "the Duke" eloquently sum up surfer Michael Scott Moore's thesis: that surfing is a global phenomenon that started with stand-up paddlers in Hawaii's pre-territory days and spread to Redondo Beach, California, where it grew and spread to the rest of the world: Morocco, israel and the Gaza Strip, Bali, Japan, Germany, Cornish England, Cuba and Sao Tome and Africa.. However, for many surfing will forever be a Hawaiian phenomenon, not a Californian phenomenon. However, it is a little-known fact that sand for Waikiki was brought in from Manhattan Beach, so California traded its sand for the gift of the sport of surfing.

Even if you aren't a surfing enthusiast, Moore writes with energy and dynamism, and makes surfing accessible to a global audience, much as his surfer counterparts and teachers in other parts of the world do.
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