- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 6550 KB
- Print Length: 368 pages
- Publisher: RHA eBooks Adult (28 Oct. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00DZIHBPQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #309,666 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Even if you didn't grow up on a beach, it's an interesting story of the pitfalls of becoming a superstar very young. Before this, all I knew about him was that he seemed to have it made.
Very authentic too...
Everyone by now knows that 2x surfing world champ shocked the surfing world by admitting that he had become a drug addict and had been using various drugs for a long time.
It's a book of two halves; the first focusing on his surfing career, the second focusing on his drug addiction. It's written in an unusual style as it alternates between the first and third person. In the third person it's written by his brother, Nick. This gets a little bit confusing at times, especially when Nick is talking about himself; sometimes it took me a little while to work out who it was talking about. Thankfully the publishers use a different font to alternate between the narrators so that helps.
The surfing part is an enjoyable read. Focussed more on his Newport days than the pro tour, so there are only snippets of that side of thing, usually addressed by Nick at the start of each chapter in terms of results for the year. I would have enjoyed a bit more information about the various surfers he competed against and the ins and outs of 80s competitive surfing. This was very similar to the book about Gary Elkerton ('Kong'). There surely must be a great book out there waiting to be written describing the surfing pro tour era before Kelly Slater came along. I suspect it's probably taboo because basically every pro (it seems) was on coke at the time. It's certainly alluded to, though maybe the Christian pro surfers did not?
The second half of the book describes Tom's fairly rapid descent into drug addiction, starting with cocaine and ending with Ice and Tom in a very bad way. It's actually quite harrowing reading. It made me cringe to read every step that took him deeper and deeper into addiction. It's not really a surf book by this stage.
The book made me look a bit into my own personal life. I don't use drugs but at times we all lie to ourselves and hide things from others. I drew some uncomfortable parallels about dishonesty as well as self centeredness.
There were some things missing, for example they say that no-one in the surfing media ever reported about drug use in general and Tom Carroll in particular. This is not quite true. There were various stories in the 80s alluding to Mark Occhilupo being on coke, and there was even a letter to the editor in Surfer magazine accusing Carroll of ingesting 'a sugary brown substance' at the pipe masters (if I remember the wording correctly). To which the editor more or less said 'unless you have evidence, we don't believe you'. Of course years later Andy Irons really did overdose and die.
It's not a judgemental book and nor is it a self-help book.
It proved (once again) that famous people have all the weaknesses that we all have.
It is an enjoyable book and one that I will probably read again. Usually I don't go for the whole sportsman biography type book but as a surfer who grew up with posters of Tom Carroll on my wall, I really enjoyed it.