The frame of the book is a series of letters written by the author to a former SEAL comrade who was struggling to return to civilian life after combat. I’m a sucker for Navy Seals turned authors like Jocko Willink
and Mark Devine
, but I enjoy the philosophies within their books despite
the stiff prose.
Resilience, by comparison, is well written–and Greitens works hard to mine quotations and philosophical tenets from ancient and modern sources in his work. Well worth the time. I’m in the midst of a second read and getting even more out of it.
It’s the Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography of a life spent surfing. Finnegan spent a lot of time compulsively journalling his surf sessions, but there’s also magic in his prose:
“My utter absorption in surfing had no rational content. It simply compelled me; there was a deep mine of beauty and wonder in it. Beyond that, I could not have explained why I did it. I knew vaguely that it filled a psychic cavity of some kind—connected, perhaps, with leaving the church, or with, more likely, the slow drift away from my family—and that it had replaced many things that came before it. I was a sunburnt pagan now. I felt privy to mysteries.”