Life and Limb: Skateboarders Write from the Deep End

Life and Limb: Skateboarders Write from the Deep End

by Justin Hocking
     
 

The pieces in Life and Limb are diverse in subject and voice. Some of the narratives in Life and Limb deal directly with the subject of skateboarding; others are about completely non-related subjects such as tree-eating, the historical and cultural significance of boulders, and setting fire to cemeteries. Despite, or maybe because of this diversity, they all

Overview


The pieces in Life and Limb are diverse in subject and voice. Some of the narratives in Life and Limb deal directly with the subject of skateboarding; others are about completely non-related subjects such as tree-eating, the historical and cultural significance of boulders, and setting fire to cemeteries. Despite, or maybe because of this diversity, they all express certain aesthetics common to skateboarders everywhere: an iconoclastic sense of creativity fostered by a lifetime spent (mostly) outside the restrictive bounds of team sports, a collaborative artistic spirit and a disdain for overt competitiveness, humor, an appetite for risk that often borders on self-destructiveness, a youthful distrust of authority and a reluctance to resign one’s self to the "adult" world of commerce and responsibility. While all the contributing writers have been heavily influenced by skateboarding, the stories in Life and Limb don’t glorify or idealize the sport. In fact many of the pieces reveal the dark side of skateboarding—the curse that accompanies the blessing of a lifetime spent rolling very fast over very hard surfaces.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
This collection gathers short stories and personal essays by twenty writers/skateboarders representing the skateboarding scene. The stories are "fueled by a shared addiction to an activity" and are not just about skateboarding, but are told from a skater's cultural perspective. Topics include discovering a ramp and trespassing in order to skate it, a homeless drifter who hangs around a skateboard company looking for someone to talk to, harassment at the skate park, discovering that a girlfriend has Hepatitis C from drug use, skateboarding as social movement, and dealing with the responsibilities of getting older while maintaining a skater's lifestyle. The writers include Michael Burnett, writer and photographer for Thrasher magazine; Lori Damiano; Mark Gonzales; Ed Templeton, a professional skateboarder who runs the Toy Machine Skateboard Company; and Jocko Weyland, author of The Answer is Never: A Skateboarder's History of the World (Grove Press, 2002/VOYA February 2003). This unique anthology is not just another book about Tony Hawk or the mainstream acceptance of skateboarding, but is rather an introspective exploration of skateboarding as a cultural movement, a way of life, and a form of self-expression. Skateboarding has been around for more than forty years, and this book is geared more toward the "old-school" generation of skateboarders. Although the writing is articulate, it contains a vast amount of swear words, drug use, and some mature situations. Give this book to fans of The Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding (Warwick, 1999) by Michael Brooke. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult-marketed book recommended for Young Adults). 2004, Soft Skull Press, 220p., Trade pb. Ages 15 to Adult.
—Sarah Cofer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932360288
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
05/10/2004
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 5.92(h) x 0.46(d)

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