Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn

1984 Scribner

I have a strict rule that I will always buy something when I visit an independent bookstore.  It’s sometimes a bit of a challenge in a small shop like the combination coffee and book shop I visited in Bend Oregon last summer.  So I was pleased to find this reissue edition of a novel I’d enjoyed quite a few years ago.  I was even happier to find the story still fresh and engrossing, a really excellent novel.

It’s the original surfer noir novel,  well-plotted, strong characters, wonderful descriptive language eg when our young hero comes home after a shocking party night. “The sun was climbing fast by the time he reached the Sea View, heating up the streets, and the machinery of the town was heating up as well, moving into high gear now, the boomer gear, greased with hash oil and cocoa butter, hot-wired with cocaine, chugging to some New Wave anthem, and his heart was beating time, hammering erratically as he reached his room and stepped inside.”

or in a better moment in the surf – “On the horizon, the sun had begun to melt, had gone red above a purple sea.  The tide was low and the waves turned crisp black faces toward the shore while trails of mist rose from their feathering lips in fine golden arcs.  The arcs rose into the sky, spreading and then falling back into the sea, scattering their light across the surface like shards of flame.”

Author: abookwomansholiday

The perfect holiday for a lifelong reader is one with a stack of books and few distractions. Retiring after three decades as a bookseller, I look forward to reading my way through the stacks and shelves and lists of books waiting for me. This blog will be something of a grab bag or commonplace book of reviews, quotations, notes on the history of books, the contemporary book trade, and anything connected with books and language. Reading is a great pleasure. Thinking and talking about books multiplies and intensifies that pleasure.

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