In this heady memoir, Beachy (The Slide), cohost of the skateboarding podcast Vent City, volleys from the intricacies of skateboarding technique and the sport’s history to reflections on his faltering marriage. Echoing Dostoyevsky’s underground man, Beachy writes that as a 41-year-old man, skateboarding “continues to fill a necessary if difficult-to-name void.” In existential essays that chronicle his life from 2010 to 2020, he details elaborate boarding tricks—including Belgian pro Youness Amrani’s “backside noseblunt and kickflip manny that... earns points for thoughtful homage to Messrs”—and meditates on techniques that, for him, reflect human nature: some moves illustrate caution, some commitment, some risk. He also weaves in stories about his wife, K, and the love and “fury” they’ve weathered throughout their relationship: “A big challenge of marriage... is how you will continue, always, to know yourself better than your spouse does.” For Beachy, the “sacred” act of skateboarding helps him move through his struggles, as well as space, time, and the “rhythm and harmony,” disharmony, and excess that come with it. The book never lives up to its title—there’s not much humor or fun to be found—but Beachy’s search for meaning is thought-provoking nonetheless. Agent: Emily Forland, Brandt & Hochman. (Aug.)
Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated the author and his wife had divorced.
Reviewed on : 06/01/2021 Release date: 08/10/2021 Genre: Nonfiction