Under the Wave at Waimea
Paul Theroux

Book cover image

Narrated By: Jim Meskimen

Duration: 18 hours and 20 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

From renowned writer Paul Theroux comes a dazzling novel following a big-wave surfer in Hawaii as he confronts ageing, privilege, mortality, and whose lives we choose to remember

'It was as if in surfing he was carving his name in water, invisibly, joyously.'

Joe Sharkey knows he is passed his prime.

Now in his sixties, the younger surfers around the breaks on the north shore of Oahu still revere him as the once-legendary 'Shark', but his sponsors have moved on, and Joe wonders what new future awaits him on the horizon. Uninterrupted quality time with the ocean, he hopes.

Life has other plans.

When he accidentally hits and kills a man near Waimea while drunk-driving, he fears he will never rebound. Under the direction of his stubbornly loyal girlfriend Olive, he throws himself into uncovering his victim's story. But what they find in Max Mulgrave is entirely unexpected: a shared history - and refuge in the sea.

Set on the stunning Hawaiian coast, Theroux captures the glory and nostalgia of looking back at a rich and adventurous past, whilst learning to ride out life's next unexpected wave.

'There is very little that Paul Theroux cannot fit onto a page. His writing skills are disciplined and muscular, his ear as finely tuned as a musician's, his eye sharper than any razor, and, in pinpointing the bizarre and the unexpected, he both entertains and underlines the absurdity of humans' Daily Mail

© Paul Theroux 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Genre

Sports fiction, Narrative theme: Sense of place

Listen to a sample

Kaleidoscopic. Extraordinary. A frightening ride to the bottom of the soul of a man with a previously unexamined life. This is contemporary Hawaii as it's rarely evoked, with surfing strangely near its troubled heart.