Thursday, September 30, 2021

Bad Karma: a very short review

By way of one of my oldest and dearest friends, I encountered Paul Wilson's odd yet captivating BAD KARMA: The True Story of a Mexico Trip from Hell

Wilson grew up in the San Diego suburbs in the 1960's and 1970's and became an avid surfer during those peak days of "surf culture".

So when some of the other surfers that he knew invited him to go along on a surfing adventure to a renowned surfing beach in tropical Mexico, Wilson jumped at the chance.

Then everything went wrong.

This is an unusual book. It's not really clear why Wilson waited forty years to tell his story, and of course the reader is bound to be skeptical of the unreliability of memory after such a long time.

And Wilson is not a natural writer, so the book is, as my friend so memorably put it, "rather low prose".

But Wilson's tale is so dramatic and vivid, and Wilson is so enthusiastic about the telling of the story, that you can't help but be swept up in his excitement as you read it.

For anyone who has ever come of age and done those terribly stupid and reckless things that we do when we are a certain age, you'll be entertained (and, perhaps comforted) to see that there are people out there whose dreams of adventure were even more stupid and reckless than you ever thought possible.

And he saves the most remarkable part of the adventure for the last ten pages, so the ending is great!

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