IN SEARCH OF CAPTAIN ZERO: A Surfer's Road Trip Beyond the End of the Road

Weisbecker, Allan

Published by Tarcher, 2001
ISBN 10: 1585420697 / ISBN 13: 9781585420698
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Synopsis: A surfer, photojournalist, and author of Cosmic Banditos describes his two-year odyssey south from Mexico to Central America to search for his missing long-time friend and surfing companion, Christopher, whom he finally discovered living in a primeval rain forest, and his bizarre adventures and experiences along the way. 20,000 first printing.

Review: In 1966, Allan Weisbecker "made a Manhattan run from the landlocked suburbs" to take in a siren-song movie called The Endless Summer, a documentary that depicted the carefree life of two beach bums who roamed the world in quest of the perfect wave. Weisbecker was hooked, and he became a hardcore wave rider, a fixture on the Long Island surf scene. With a friend, Christopher, he also undertook illegal ways to finance his passion, transporting drugs from exotic countries, a business only briefly interrupted when Christopher went off to Vietnam. There he took fire and came home scarred; something in him changed, and one day he simply vanished.

Weisbecker's book, a sort of gonzo detective story blended with travelogue and peppered with hang-10 jargon, does many things, all of them very well indeed. It offers up a vision of innocent times brought to ruin by war and drugs; it recounts his search for his lost friend, whose life had gone from bad to worse far away from home; and it affords a look inside the strange culture of surfing, whose masters "understood, in a visceral and soulful and inexpressible way, the machinations of the sea, and, by subtle inference, the universe at large."

Full of regret and exhilaration, Weisbecker's memoir is a fine chronicle of a dream gone sour and a friendship redeemed. --Gregory McNamee

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Title: IN SEARCH OF CAPTAIN ZERO: A Surfer's Road ...
Publisher: Tarcher
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Good

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