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Waves of Warning
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Top customer reviews
The book has well defined story, many subplots, and immediately recognizable characters that are half the fun of the book. He makes good use of the less favorable developments in the people and sport of surfing if only to show us how special the essence of surfing really is.
The other reviewer who left his remarks about this book compared the prose to Faulkner....he obviously never read or liked Faulkner; and besides most writers of consequence would be flattered by the comparison. Yes, the book is 525 pages long. Big deal..... it's a quick fun read tailor made for surfers 12 and up. If I found the time to read it, you will too. In any event, Hening's work is not a literary item to be held up as a great piece of art. His quest is to entertain and to teach through a story line wrought with conflict and choice. He renders characters shaped by competing values and in the process outlines the many faces of surfing today. The reader will be mesmerized by the science, technology, and excitement of the sailing and Antarctic related passages.....Ernest Shackleton meets NASA meets NASCAR. The whole thing completely eclipses even the most hard core tow-in surfing.
Henning uses the actual real world dynamics manifest in the "business of surfing" to illustrate corporate development from a small start-up to a large public company. To that end the story asks the reader to "re-think" existing models of corporate performance and responsibility. This is no hippy dippy diatribe against the woes of capitalism. Henning merely shows that it is possible to lead, thrive and promote sound values using existing systems such as publicly traded companies and the power of modern marketing. The stories in the book illustrate the ill effects of a bad attitude, unbridled consumerism and greed. However, Hening is not a divider; he is healer, a teacher and a diplomat of sorts. We should be honored he cares as much as he clearly does. He shows us how surfing is special. In my view the book is a tale of adventure that takes a progressive approach toward working out age old dilemmas and emerging issues. In the end his message is fundamental: challenge yourself, know your limits, have fun, be responsible to yourself, others and your environment.
Now buy go buy the book. You'll really get sucked in and enjoy the "DRAMA". I purchased mine in a surf shop, but you can order one through his web site: www.wavesofwarning.com
Despite my affinity towards the subject matter, I found the book was somewhat hard to get into - possibly due to my having looked at the table of contents (53 chapters, epilogue and 5 appendices?? Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing seemed like an easier read), but mostly because Hening's writing is so tedious.
"David's heart was full of joy, but his mind was sober. He had achieved his goal, though by virtue of his successful voyage to Ka'unua, he now faced a lifetime of responsibility. For a moment he thought of the day, many years from now, when he would take his own last voyage to this very place with the navigator who would succeed him."
Envision William Faulkner after smoking a few bowls and you get the idea...
Once I did get into the book, the story line was in fact somewhat interesting, however Hening's penchant for using less than creative euphemistic character names is annoying - I kept finding myself matching up the book's characters with their real life counterparts (Laird Hamilton, Johnny Boy Gomes, Quiksilver or similar surf industry company, etc..) Surfing is such a dynamic sport with such a colorful lifestyle, I would have preferred something a bit more original.
All in all it was an OK read, but not something I would recommend.