From legendary writer Paul Theroux comes an atmospheric novel following a big-wave surfer as he confronts aging, privilege, mortality, and whose lives we choose to remember.
Now in his sixties, big-wave surfer Joe Sharkey has passed his prime and is losing his “stoke.” The younger surfers around the breaks on the north shore of Oahu still call him the Shark, but his sponsors are looking elsewhere. When Joe accidentally hits and kills a man near Waimea while driving home from a bar after one too many, it seems he’ll never rebound. Under the direction of his devoted girlfriend Olive, he throws himself into uncovering his victim’s story, giving shape to the unidentified ashes now in the Honolulu morgue. Maybe in embarking on this quest, Olive thinks, Joe can find his vitality again. But what they find in Max Mulgrave is anything but expected: a shared history—and refuge in the waves.
With the same honest, acutely drawn characters and vivid scenes Theroux brings to his travel writing and fiction alike, his latest novel offers a dramatic commentary on the underside of an island paradise we rarely see.