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Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave Paperback – 5 Jun 2005


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Riding the Magic Carpet: A Surfer's Odyssey in Search of the Perfect Wave: A Surfer's Odyssey to Find the Perfect Wave + Kook: What Surfing Taught Me about Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave + Grey Skies, Green Waves: A Surfer's Journey Around The UK and Ireland
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale; First Thus edition (5 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840245026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840245028
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Anderson's book - fresh, ingenuous and honest - will inspire the urge to
explore in every surfer. -- Huck magazine

A strange thing for surfing books -- it's actually a good read... whet my appetite for both surfing and travelling! -- Wavelength

Best book I ever read -- Shawn 'Barney' Barron, Pro Surfer

Both adventurous and exciting... makes you dream about going on the ultimate surf safari -- Kate Dendle, surfer, GB Women's Team

One is left admiring Anderson’s drive, the vibrancy and honesty of his book and the simple fact of its existence. -- Alex Wade, Surf Nation, The Times

Part-odyssey, part-memoir, part-travelogue... as much an insight into the drifter and dreamer's mentality as it is a surfer's guide. -- Sunday Express

Surfer Tom rides the wave of literary success. -- Glamorgan Gazette

Tom Anderson explored the planet looking for the elusive perfect wave. -- Wales1000things.com, April 2007

[Anderson] has a great eye for arresting detail and an ever-tuned ear for interesting remarks. An excellent first book. -- Robert Minhinnick, Shortlisted for Welsh book of the Year

captures the real thrill of surf travel -- Simon Tucker, four times British Surfing Champion

From the Author

My first book, Riding the Magic Carpet, begins with Tom Curren’s famous end-of-Apartheid wave at South Africa’s Jeffrey’s Bay. As a youngster I remember seeing this wave on a big screen and knowing immediately that I had to go there. The combination of the circumstances in which the ride took place (simultaneous to Nelson Mandela walking free from prison) and the perfection of the wave itself created an irresistible allure.

Only the most boring of journeys take you directly to your destination, though, and getting there is more than half the fun. In the course of the Magic Carpet journey, the perfect wave is almost sniffed out in some pretty obscure places – like the freezing Orkney Islands for one (where there really is a town called ‘Twatt’, I promise you).

But it is experiences beyond wave-riding that give the surf trip its character. Some are bad, some good, but all remain a crucial part of the ride. Among others, Riding the Magic Carpet sees me running away while in France as a teenager, collecting a well-deserved punch to the face in Spain, grossing out at an Indonesian cockfight, sitting at the mouth of the Panama Canal on a half-stolen drug-dealer boat, getting washed bareback over live coral and losing hundreds of hours in transit – all in the name of a surf.

Was it worth it? Can one wave really merit a lifetime of looking?

Of course it can.

Tom Anderson


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Arheddis Varkenjaab TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
I had the slightly surreal experience of reading this deep in an African jungle while on a surf trip with 'Ed', one of the characters in the book. Very peculiar sensation to read a book describing, accurately, the chap sitting next to you.

Surf travel is one of the few ways left where you can be a genuine explorer in this connected world, looking for places and waves never ridden, and Tom has captured the feel of always wondering if there is an undiscovered Kirra just around the next point, and the reality of hardcore surf travel - the hours of slogging away in a menial job just to get money for your next fix, poring over nautical maps and bathymetric charts trying to work out where might be the next undiscovered world-class wave.

There are very few genuine surf books out there by real surfers - most are by people imagining what it might be like and getting it just wrong enough to jar. This is spot on, very readable, and very enjoyable, and maybe answers the question surf travellers are always asked..'Why on earth do you want to go THERE?'

Buy it!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. M. Gallagher on 21 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
A very well written book full of fantastic charecters. Despite being a book about surf travel there is plenty for the nonsurfer for it is as much about the adventure of travel as it is the surf.

An enjoyable and inspirational read, lock up your credit card befor reading or you'll find your self on the next flight out of here.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Anderson on 4 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the best surfing writing I have read since I started reading surfing literature in the late sixties. Tom Anderson more graphically describes the nuances and adrenalin excitement of everything associated with the sport and art of surfing than anything else I have read.

It is a skilled book and can open up a whole new world if you've never surfed.

It's also an excellent travel ' on the road ' people book - and can be read as such. Who knows how well it will be received by the reading world at large? It could catch on big time.

Four stars not five as the graphic, no holds barred quoting of the f word in the spoken language of the characters met is not going to work well for everyone.

The ending is one of the best endings I've ever read in a book - and a mark of the writer's skill at spiking the imagination.

Besides that: Travel writing at it's best in the hands of someone who loves and knows surfing and surfers - and travellers. If you aspire to be either it's an excellent read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter Dalby on 15 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. First it was writen by a Welsh guy so (if your British) you already feel more in touch. Second, it really captures the life of a devoted surfer, searching for that perfect wave. Every step of the book, Tom (the authur) managed to capture not just what it's like to surf but also to travel to different countries, with different cultures, different climates, different cautions but not through the eyes of the travelling masses who, as Tom says, just seem to be travelling to compete with all the other travellers, who's done this who's done that blah blah blah! He told the story through the eyes of a surfer travelling around world class surfing destinations and really appreciating the places he visited and also explained a bit of the history of each destination, from the cold of Northern Scotland to the tropics. It's not just for surfers either anybody can enjoy this book, he manages to explain any surfing terms of which a none surfer might not be familiar with (it even has a glossary in the back with definitions of some of the 'surf' terms used in the book). Basically this book comes highly recommended - but be warned, if your having a bit of a wave drought, or short of cash, then this book could leave you climbing the walls for the next trip!!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Sam Brown on 12 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Riding the Magic Carpet tells Tom's story of growing up as a Welsh surfer with a dream to go and be talented enough to surf at Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa. First he travels to various other surfing destinations at each step growing as a surfer and as a man. The writing is fluent, honest, humorous and surprisingly intelligent, offering fascinating glimpses into both the surfing potential and condition of the countries he visits. From the first page the author pulls you into his journey making Riding the Magic Carpet a very hard book to put down. Not only a book for surfers by any means. This is a tale of obsession (you can see where the Fever Pitch link comes from), and living life beyond the constraints of the conventional 9-5 lifestyle.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Yarrow on 30 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
I have read a few surfin yarns in my time, and this one really stands out from the rest. It perfectly captures the obsessive devotion to surfing which many of us suffer from, the author describes his sessions vividly and believably . The title is a bit cheesy, and I approached this book with scepticism, but it was on the money from start to finish, I was unable to put it down, except to go for a surf! Motivational stuff!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By V Yanzi on 29 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Well I bought this as a present for a surfer wannabe and forgot to give it to him before he left so I ended up reading it. I expected it to be light, entertaining and not so well written by some dude, and I was in for a really nice surprise. It's pretty obvious that the author IS a smart guy. His writing has got style and depth and is never boring. You learn about the surfing world, but I also love his take on the countries that he visits, so accurate it made me laugh out loud quite a few times. He also sounds like a guy you want to know, nice funny and sharp.

Anyway, I had a smile on my face throughout the whole book and will read it again when I have the blues. It turned me into a surfer wouldhaveliketohavebeen and made me buy "the endless summer". After watching this classic of the classic surfer movie, I realised that the author of this book has a very similar style to the guy commenting in the movie. So after you buy this book, which you should, go and buy the movie he refers to as well!
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