Native Moments by Nic Schuck: A review

Native Moments is a novel written by Nic Schuck focusing on surfing and adventure. Nic got in touch a while back to ask if we would like to review his book and we were more than happy to oblige. Once again we dipped into our extensive pool of talent and decided that Grace Melville, one of our bloggers, an avid traveller and an English Literature student was the perfect person to write our first ever book review! So somewhere in-between all the turkey and red wine she sat down during Christmas and put this review together for you and we hope you enjoy! It may even inspire you to read the book?

rb2_1jf9

Native Moments is a novel that takes the reader on a journey with the main character, Sanch Murray, as he seeks escape from traditional American life. With his arrogant, ex-pro surfer friend, Jack, the two embark on an adventure to Costa Rica, attracted by the low cost lifestyle and the great conditions for surfing.

The author presents the reader with two imperfect main characters who, despite their flaws, the reader cannot help but love and become invested in. Schuck gives much attention to character development, slowly unpicking the personalities of the characters in the story. The result is an intimate narration and the attraction to the characters is so strong that it makes up for occasional lapses in the quality of writing.

The story is easy to follow, keeps good pacing and also manages to surprise the reader at times. Most notably Sanch’s relationship with Andrea. It is left ambiguous whether she really cares about Sanch or whether she’s using him as a ticket back to America. Plus her being referred to as a ‘whore’ really muddies the waters around the authenticity of her attraction to Sanch. Regardless the characters are displayed with vibrant humour and colour, and we’re sad to see them go when the story pushes on.

Ultimately this book is a homage to the free spirited world of surfing and a celebration of a life not tethered down by materialistic wants and needs. Sanch Murray is escaping a life back home which would see him enter the Navy, a future he does not want for himself. This trip is a way to depart from his childhood and family tradition and carve out a new individual identity. What’s more the reader supports this decision and actively encourages him to continue down his chosen path. Schuck gives those who are stuck in a rut in their lives, uncertain of their future, a character to root for and hopefully a character to aspire to be.

Schuck clearly has a soft spot for Costa Rica and this shines through in his writing. If Costa Rica was not on your radar before, it will be after reading this book. This novel is one for those who are seeking adventure, and for those who already have the travelling bug, this story will leave you dying to get back out there and on your surfboard.

 

You can find Native Moments available to buy on Amazon here.

Florence and the Machine @ Ally Pally

Last night we went to possibly one of the best gigs we’ve ever been to. Florence and the Machine at Alexandra Palace, and when we say possibly we mean top two!

Having sold out all 2092four nights we were really chuffed to be there and what an awesome venue Ally Pally is; large enough so you feel like you’re at a concert, but small enough to get the intimacy of smaller gigs. The crowd was packed in so we strategically stood to the left by the exit doors, but we still had a clear view. Luckily when the gig started there were two huge digital screens on either side of the stage so we couldn’t miss a thing.

They opened with ‘What the Water Gave Me’, which as an opener was intense, the dark lighting with a glitter ball effect as a back drop, added a really cool image. To follow was ‘Ship to Wreck’ and ‘Shake it Out’ – I think its fair to say the crowd was loving it. But as ever with Florence it was hit after hit after hit.

There wasn’t ever a dip in the set. They performed ‘Cosmic Love’ IMG_0684acoustically on the harp which was again so powerful and engaging. But for me the highlight came with ‘Dogs Days are Over’ where she instructed that everyone remove an item of clothing and wave it around like a mad man…done!
The encore was what every encore should be two huge songs, deep red lighting and the crowd at full tilt. ‘What Kind of Man’ and ‘Drumming Song’ back to back closed the set and with that the night. An energetic, magical and outstanding vocal performance by Florence made what would have been a rather dull Thursday night in London into a top two gig experience.