The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld
- “Hocking is earnest and candid, and he writes well about nature. . . . Invigorating.”—The New York Times Book Review
Justin Hocking lands in New York hopeful but adrift—he's jobless, unexpectedly overwhelmed and disoriented by the city, struggling with anxiety and obsession, and attempting to maintain a faltering long-distance relationship. As a man whose brand of therapy has always been motion, whether in a skate park or on a snowdrift, Hocking needs an outlet for his restlessness. Then he spies his first New York surfer hauling a board to the subway, and its not long before he's a member of the vibrant and passionate surfing community at Far Rockaway. But in the wake of a traumatic robbery incident, the dark undercurrents of his ocean-obsession pull him further and further out on his own night sea journey.
With Moby-Dick as a touchstone, and interspersed with interludes on everything from the history of surfing to Scientology's naval ties to the environmental impact of the Iraq War, The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld is a multifaceted and enduring modern odyssey from a memorable and whip-smart new literary voice.
- “In this appealing memoir, the young author finds salvation from a dead-end Manhattan office job in an activity not often associated with New York: surfing.”—The New Yorker
- “With grace and guts, Justin Hocking dares to go where few men have gone before: not only out to sea, but also into the depths of the human heart.”—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
- “Hocking’s journey will prove relevant and immediate in its exploration of maturation and experiencing both spiritual collapse and, eventually, renewal.”—The Boston Globe
- “Through stylistic understatement and perfect tonal pitch. . . . Hocking ultimately transcends ‘the dark Ahab force.’”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review