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West of Jesus: Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief Hardcover – June 13, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
After surviving a battle with Lyme disease, Kotler finds himself searching for a reason to live and turns to his love of surfing. The novelist (The Angle Quickest for Flight) and journalist travels to Mexico, where he hears a story about a magical being called "the Conductor," who controls the surf. Having heard the same tale eight years earlier while surfing in Indonesia, Kotler decides to seek out the legend's source while researching the inherent mysticism of surfers and their sport. Detailing his journey and findings, Kotler creates a work that combines the most compelling elements of memoir, travelogue and scholarly abstract into an accessible tale of physical and mental adventure. Up for anything, Kotler seeks out big waves, bungee jumping and a risky helicopter ride. He also delves into far-flung topics: surfing's history, Joseph Campbell's work on myths, Jungian psychology, Zen Buddhism, government "weather modification" experiments and the religious beliefs of islanders like the Maori and Hawaiians. The book reaches its peak when Kotler focuses on the inner workings of the human brain. His reasoning of how genetic and biological factors combine with physical and emotional experiences to create the spiritual "funkytown" feeling unique to surfing is both enlightening and inspirational. (June)
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"A raffish intercontinental quest for a priceless manuscript...It's hip, literary, and poetic yet down-to-earth, with plenty of good story and brimming with sense of place... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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That being said West of Jesus reads like fiction and Steven opens up a vein and bleeds as he chronicles his transition from hotshot to pot shot and then beyond.
A book you could read more than once.
touching, intelligent, and inspiring.
Most recent customer reviews
Be warned though. I ordered this book from Academic Book Guy as a gift to a close friend (I have my own copy) who has given me some very nice books, so I...Read more