• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (November 15, 2016)
In this thrilling and candid memoir, world record-holding and controversial Big Wave surfer Garrett McNamara chronicles his emotional quest to ride the most formidable waves on earth.
Garrett McNamara—affectionately known as GMac—set the world record for the sport, surfing a seventy-eight-foot wave in Nazaré, Portugal in 2011, a record he smashed two years later at the same break. Propelled by the challenge and promise of bigger, more difficult waves, this adrenaline-fueled loner and polarizing figure travels the globe to ride the most dangerous swells the oceans have to offer, from calving glaciers to hurricane swells.
But what motivates McNamara to go to such extremes—to risk everything for one thrilling ride? Is riding giant waves the ultimate exercise in control or surrender?
Personal and emotional, readers will know GMac as never before, seeing for the first time the personal alongside the professional in an exciting, intimate look at what drives this inventive, iconoclastic man. Surfing awesome giants isn’t just thrill seeking, he explains—it’s about vanquishing fears and defeating obstacles past and present. Surfers and non-surfers alike will embrace McNamara’s story—as they have William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days—and its intimate look at the enigmatic pursuit of riding waves, big and small.
Hound of the Sea is a record of perseverance, passion, and healing. Thoughtful, suspenseful, and spiritually profound, McNamara reveals the beautiful soul of surfing through the eyes of one of its most daring and devoted disciples.
Buy, read, and discuss this book:
Garrett McNamara holds the Guinness record for surfing the world’s largest wave, in addition to garnering numerous first-place wins in professional competitions around the world. He is the first foreigner ever to be awarded the prestigious Vasco de Gama Medal of Honor from the Portuguese Navy. McNamara splits his time between Hawaii, Portugal, and the rest of the world, where he explores with his family.
Connect with Garrett
I’m not a surfer, but as someone who was almost born on the beach, I’ve always been fascinated by the sport, and I became even more so a few years ago after reading Susan Casey’s book The Wave, and seeing the movie Chasing Mavericks. I have fond memories of watching the surfers in Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, California. Therefore, when I had the chance to read Hound of the Sea, I jumped at the chance.
I spent a couple of lovely, chilly afternoons immersed – even submerged – in GMac’s story. Not only were the details about surfing fascinating, but his self-analysis of the part of his psyche that drives him to continue raising the difficulty level of his chosen sport.
At times, I felt like I was right there on the board with him, and I would not have been surprised if I had looked up from a chapter to find my hair wet or crusted with salt. At other times I felt his frustration at being out of the water because of injury, or some other circumstance.
As is often the case when I’m reviewing a memoir or (auto)biography, I find myself having to separate my critique of the actual text from my opinion of the person. In this case, I found the book to be well-written and interesting, and I believe even people with zero knowledge of surfing would find it a compelling and informative read.
As well, McNamara as a person is the kind of guy I’d love to sit down and share a pot of tea with, because the whole mindset of pushing to be the best at something intrigues me.
Goes well with grilled sea bass wrapped in seaweed and coconut-infused rice.
Wednesday, November 16th: Rambling Reviews
Monday, November 21st: Bibliotica
Tuesday, November 22nd: Tina Says…
Monday, November 28th: Rebecca Radish
Thursday, December 1st: Love Life Surf
Friday, December 9th: Surfer Dad
TBD: Back Porchervations
TBD: Sapphire Ng
TBD: Luxury Reading