TITLE/AUTHOR: Under the Wave at Waimea; Paul Theroux
PUBLISHER: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021
GENRE: Fiction / Surfing / Aging / Small Town Life
FORMAT: eGalley / ARC LENGTH: 416 pp
ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: The life and times of a once revered surfer dude, now an aging has-been forced to deal with his new reality.
Joe Sharkey, A.K.A."The Shark" for years held celebrity status when it came to mastering the big waves on the northern shores of Oahu. It was how he spent his life of privilege, living off an inheritance and endorsements. Now at 62, although he can't compete with the younger surfer-dudes who don't even recognize him. Sharkey's not ready to give up life in the fast lane for a rocking chair just yet. He has a 38 year-old British girlfriend, Olive, that helps him to forget his age and the old timers on the island still look up to him. One night, after having a few too many drinks at a local bar, Sharkey hits a homeless man on a bike and although he manages to avoid prosecution, he life begins to go downhill.
I was looking for a story that took place in Hawaii and this one seemed appealing. I liked the idea that the protagonist was an older guy dealing with his new normal and, While I enjoyed the small town feel and overall setting this novel didn't work well for me. Even though this was not a complicated story, it was one that tested my patience at times as the author chose to rehash the previous 50 years of "The Sharks" life. I dislike the constant internal ramblings of the rather unlikeable (obnoxious) protagonist. The novel was just over 400 pages and I admit to skimming certain parts which were not holding my interest. I found the overall storyline disappointing.
I'm not sure I'd read about the surfer dude either.ReplyDelete
I thought I'd like the 60+ age character but nope, was not a fan.Delete
Hmm, I like the Hawaii setting but yeah it does sound a bit long and not really my thing either reallyReplyDelete
Yeah, Joe Sharkey, just didn't hit the right notes for me.Delete
Don't think this is for me either.ReplyDelete
Not a great story for me.Delete
So this is 'the' Paul Theroux? I had no idea he wrote fiction. How stupid am I? LOL (His son, Louis, is very famous in the UK for his weird TV docs.)ReplyDelete
I think this may only be the second book I've read by him Cath so really don't know much about him or his son...sorry.Delete
While the setting sounds wonderful, I don't think I'd find a lot in common with the protagonist and so probably not a read for me.ReplyDelete
Yes, I was hoping Hawaii and a 60+ protagonist would be great but, not so much.Delete
Reading the ongoing inner thoughts of a an aging surfer doesn't seem like your type of book! What a disappointment.ReplyDelete
LOL, I wanted to like the fact he was 60-something and thought his story might be more interesting and the Hawaii setting was a draw as well. Oh well, they can't all be winners. Not to sound sexist but, I think men, former surfers etc. might like it more.Delete
Too bad this one wasn't better. I like the idea about a surfer in Hawaii ... but from what you say ... it sounds like it needed editing! I haven't read Paul Theroux since Mosquito Coast and one of his early nonfiction train books.ReplyDelete
Definitely needed less info about Sharkey's previous 50 years LOLDelete
Constant internal ramblings turn me off too. I don't have the patience for them at this stage of my life.ReplyDelete
Exactly, and rehashing the last 50 years did not help.Delete