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All for a Few Perfect Waves


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About the Author

David Rensin worked closely with Louis Zamperini for many years and cowrote Devil at My Heels, as well as fifteen other books, including five New York Times bestsellers.


In this vivid biography, Rensin (The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up) takes on a daunting task: to clarify the clouded myth of legendary surfer Miki Dora. Growing up in post-WWII California, the half-Hungarian Dora came to surfing in the 1950s and '60s, when it was still an oddball pastime of random kooks riding longboards made out of redwoods off nearly empty Los Angeles beaches. Dora's grace and signature style brought him attention as surfing grew into the central image of the California "endless summer." Yet Dora was no ordinary beach bum, and his restless intelligence led him around the world in search of waves as yet unsullied by the masses. Dora also possessed a darker side and had no qualms about ripping off even his closest friends. His credit card scams eventually landed him in prison. Rensin faces a difficult task in tracking down an elusive and paranoid target (Dora died of pancreatic cancer in early 2002). After a muddled introduction in which Dora is compared to everyone from Muhammad Ali to the beat poets, Rensin lets Dora's friends, lovers and rivals tell the story. The result brings a remarkable focus to a man whose greatest accomplishments were written on water. Dora's life tracked the explosion of celebrity culture and it's hard not to sympathize with Dora's ambivalence about his fame. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Until now enigmatic surfer legend Miki Dora's history was written only in water, but David Rensin's primo All for a Few Perfect Waves catches the life of this charismatic renegade."--Vanity Fair
"Waves attempts to decode Dora through a near-cacophony of storytellers, ranging from the personal and intimate (ex-lovers and family) to the scurrilous and picaresque (whore-hopping pals, partners in crime)... should close the door on the need for further explorations of Da Cat."--The Surfer's Journal
" In times like these it turns out not only is there an oral history of Miki Dora, there must be. Great reportage."--Stephen Gaghan, surfer, screenwriter/director (Traffic, Syriana)
"From the depths of hell to flying as high and as free as an eagle - and everything in between - All For a Few Perfect Waves left me laughing and crying at the same time."--Greg Noll, world-renowned big wave rider
"Miki took to his grave many stories that no one will ever know, but this book will also tell many and give new insight into his life. In the end only a select group knew the real person. I'm not sure I did-but almost."--Kelly Slater, best-known surfer in the world
"The most complete portrait of Dora ever painted, but also a solid recounting of surfing's original boom years and a thin, peculiar slice of Americana in the late 1950s and early 60s... All for a Few Perfect Waves is much more than just another day at the beach."--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"For fifty years, surfing in Southern California has been shrouded in a myth wrapped in an enigma by the name of Miki Dora. Now, we have the facts. A magnificent book."--Kevin Starr, California Librarian Emeritus and professor at University of Southern California
"Engrossing... Rensin proves an inexhaustible interviewer, teasing out colorful tales never before set in print."--Men's Vogue
"David Rensin has found the perfect subject. You may like Dora. You may hate him. But you will never ever tire of him through the very impressive shine of Rensin's reporting and writing."--Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights
"Above and beyond the call of unearthing the mystery that was Dora...a stunningly comprehensive tome...[an] incomparable body of work which will mess with both your mind and heart, the likes of which may forever set the literary sandbar, and rightfully so."--Eastern Surf Magazine
"David Rensin doesn't shy from documenting Dora's multitude of sins--the stealing and swindling, the juvenile pranks, the prison terms--even as he celebrates the man's desire to live of a life of utter, and often utterly irresponsible, freedom."--Los Angeles Magazine
"In this vivid biography, Rensin takes on a daunting task: to clarify the clouded myth of legendary surfer Miki Dora ... Rensin lets Dora's friends, lovers and rivals tell the story. The result brings a remarkable focus to a man whose greatest accomplishments were written on water."--Publishers Weekly
"[Rensin's] bio of Miki Dora, the original maverick surfer, gets his story right."--Outside magazine
"... a candid portrait... This book isn't just about surfing; it's about risking it all for complete personal freedom."--Playboy

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