The Surfer

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
Walter’s life falls apart when his family dies in a plane crash. He becomes fixated with surfing, and flies to Hawaii in a last ditch effort to overcome despair about life and death. His surfing leads to a near death experience. A vacationing couple then befriends him and takes him on an unexpected adventure. The Surfer explores the cruelty and beauty of nature, and of life itself. More

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About Robb Skidmore

My "upmarket literary" fiction takes a love of language and uses it to create original characters, then runs the characters through riveting plots. My short fiction has appeared in Gawker, io9, New Orleans Review, New Millennium Writings, South Carolina Review, Oasis, and Twelve Stories. My novella is The Surfer, and my novel, The Pursuit of Cool, is a Winner of Next Generation Indie Award and a critically acclaimed novel with strong reviews from Kirkus, Midwest Book Review, Writer's Digest, and many others.

Growing up in Charleston, S.C., I read more J.R.R. Tolkien and listened to more Van Halen than was probably healthy. But then I read Kurt Vonnegut and Joan Didion and listened to Echo & the Bunnymen and things got balanced out. Next came Tom Wolfe and Radiohead. After college at Emory, I traveled to Europe and in Scotland I stood in the rain among Bronze Age standing stones and realized I wanted to be a writer. I scribbled in lots of journals and attended many workshops. In the 90s I spent a year traveling and camping around America in a Chevy Cavalier with my wife (then girlfriend). In King's Canyon National Park a bear tried to rip a door off our car because it smelled food in the back seat. We scared it away, but not before the bear turned and stared blankly, and seemed to consider killing us.

I live in Southern California, near LA. I love travel and have been to many far flung parts of the globe. Besides writing fiction, I am a screenwriter, music lover, movie fanatic, artist, surfer and snorkel enthusiast. You might find me drinking kombucha tea or staring at the sky with wonder and appreciation.

Learn more about Robb Skidmore

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Ardsley reviewed on Aug. 8, 2011

The Surfer is an excellent, well written story.
The way Robb Skidmore developed the real motivation behind Walter’s impetuous surfing expedition was well done. Robb showed that Walter’s handling of a recent, major episode in his life is as poor as his initial efforts on the surfboard.
Walter learned two important lessons in life. The forces of nature can be daunting and uncaring at times, yet replenishing at other times. And, secondly, the truth of bad moments in our lives must ultimately be accepted, as hard as that might be.
I liked the implication at the end, that Walter’s return to the surfboard represents some lifting in his life. Maybe now, it will improve just as his surfing skills will.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
F.J. Dagg reviewed on July 20, 2011

Robb Skidmore packs a lot into comparatively few words. It takes less than an hour to read "The Surfer," but I was quickly pulled in, and at the end I felt as if I'd read a much longer piece. It is haunting, evocative and heart-breaking.

As a long-time surfer, I can attest that Skidmore's description of the trials of a beginning surfer are (sadly, for the poor beginner) accurate. Well done.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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