Nathan Florence, the middle bro of the Florence cabal, is the best-read surfer west of Kelly Slater.
Today we explore the innermost workings of the middle brother of the Florence cabal, Nathan, the most interesting of the pack if you really wanna know. How many pro surfers can you think of who were gobbling novels when they were six and who’ll reference French author Guy Sajer’s seminal wartime novel The Forgotten Soldier?
1. THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE by CS Lewis
This was the first book I ever read and it’s what really turned me onto reading. Four kids in wartime Britain get sent to live in the countryside so the Stukas don’t get ’em in London. These kids explore the house and discover they can enter a magical world called Narnia through a wardrobe. The killing of Aslan sure gave me the yips. But, then, ah yes, the plot thickens…
2. THE TALISMAN by Stephen King
I’ve read it twice and its still one of my favourites. It’s about a 12-year-old kid who flips into another reality and goes on this crazy adventure so can save his ma who’s dying of cancer.
3. THE DARK TOWER: THE GUNSLINGER SERIES by Stephen King
This is the most creative series of books I’ve ever read because every one of his other books has a little part of the other in it. It’s all about a gunslinger called Roland Deschain searching for “a man in black.” And, he’s a gunslinger, but it ain’t the Wild West but a kind of parallel universe.
4. THE EGYPTIAN by Mika Waltari
This was first published in Finnish and it was deciphered from from ancient scrolls. It’s the autobiography of a guy’s life in ancient Egypt. Eight hundred pages and ain’t a page where your eyes glaze over.
5. THE FORGOTTEN SOLDIER by Guy Sajer
Here’s a book, originally in French, about a German conscript soldier fighting the wild Russkis in World War II. Read about the unbelievable cold, the viciousness of the Russkis and the endless cycle of horrible violence. The best war book I’ve ever read.
6. A GAME OF THRONES series by George RR Martin
I’ve read all five of the first series and I like ’em because they keep you guessing the whole time and, always, somehow, they continue to baffle you. Man, it’s hard to explain this twisted, radical series.
7. THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE by Stephen Crane
This book set in the American Civil War is about something we can all relate to, or at least in surfing. It’s about overcoming your fear and pushing your own limits, although, yeah, surfing is a lot less dangerous then war and especially this particularly nasty one.
8. WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS by Wilson Rawls
I read this in, like, the sixth grade and was so hooked I couldn’t put it down for a week. Then, man, I ended up so depressed cause the dog, that beautiful ol coonhound, died in the end. Yikes! Sorry bout the plot spoiler!
9. EDUCATION OF A FELON. A MEMOIR. by Edward Bunker
This is by far the craziest non-fiction that I ever read. I think it’s why I liked it so much. It’s about a guy that had been in and out of prisons and institutions since he was 10, wound up in drug dealing, robbing banks etc. He’s, like, the toughest human ever.
10. ANYTHING by Charles Bukowski
I got psyched on all of Chuckie’s books because he would just write about all his chicks he was getting while being an alcoholic writer living in shitty little apartments.
Editor’s note: this story first appeared in Stab magazine and is further evidence of BeachGrit’s ability to repackage and rebrand. Like Vissla! Post-post modernism!