A Surfer’s Journey
Published by Hardie Grant Books, July, 2017.
Life Of Brine is the memoir of Phil Jarratt, one of the world’s best-known chroniclers of surfing culture whose lifelong pursuit of the perfect wave has placed him in the midst of some of the most exciting moments in surfing’s modern history … Filled with the carefree, sometimes reckless enthusiasm of youth, yet balanced by reflection and insight, this is a book that will be devoured by surfers young and old, and by free spirits of all kinds and all ages.
Luckily for us, he’s a fearless, funny storyteller, with a reporter’s unsentimental eye and an endearing modesty. But his memoir is, above all, a haunting self-portrait; the boy practising drop-knee cutbacks in his mother’s full-length mirror in mid-century Wollongong become a man.
Bill Finnegan and I have in common that we are surfers who have moved seamlessly between that world and the world of mainstream media, but we have done it in very different ways. He was a more extreme surf adventurer than I could ever hope to be, and as a journalist he has walked the biggest stage in the world at the New Yorker. We knocked around in Bali and shared some gigs at the Ubud Writers’ Festival before I sent him the manuscript. From a bunker in the hell-hole of the Venezuela meltdown, he responded with the above, and later expanded on it privately. I was pretty chuffed, particularly since I’d written an even-handed review of Barbarian Days for the Sydney Morning Herald. But I keep going back to that book and finding more, as I have with Bill.