Surfing Brilliant Corners details a decade of extreme global surf travel by professional longboarder Sam Bleakley, illustrated with stunning photographs by John Callahan. It takes surfing beyond the waves and packaged surf tourism to a wider sense of place and cultural identity. Sam travels from his birthplace in West Cornwall to Indonesia and the Philippines; through vibrant West African highlife in Ghana, to war-damaged Liberia; to Mauritania, where landmines litter access to some of the best waves on the planet; to a serene Buddhist oasis in Communist China; to Ecuador, Oman and Haiti, whose complex culture seeps into his psyche and captures his heart. He looks deep into the jet-black eye of a surfacing shark in Kenya, and faces a stacked set of foaming lips during typhoon surf in South Korea. Celebrating Thelonious Monk's 1950s album Brilliant Corners, Sam explores how, like great jazz musicians, talented surfers use invention, complex rhythm, timing and spontaneity to turn impossible waves into beautiful and challenging music.
'Surfing,' he says, 'has opened me up, split my skin, widened my horizons, and closed me down, because any obsession restricts your involvement in other aspects of life.'
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