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Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell: A True Story of Violence, Corruption, and the Soul of Surfing (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 19. November 2013

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 256 Seiten
  • Verlag: It Books (19. November 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0062202529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062202529
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,3 x 22,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 126.719 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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[A] ripping profile of the surf culture on Oahu’s North Shore . . . Smith[’s] storytelling is taught . . . (Wall Street Journal)

“Chas Smith is a stone-cold original-a globe-trotting, war-reporting, motorcycle-driving, cigarette-smoking, tube-riding, fashion-obsessed international dandy with a penchant for dangerous people, places, and, most of all, prose. Welcome To Paradise, Now Go To Hell is absolutely the most entertaining surf book in years, a breathless adrenalized romp.” (Daniel Duane, author of Caught Inside, A Surfer's Year on the California Coast)

“Absolutely the most entertaining surf book in years, a breathless adrenalized romp. More importantly, it’s a jaw-dropping introduction to Smith’s greatest--and most promising--literary creation, himself. This man-and this book-are both going places.” (Daniel Duane, author of Caught Inside: A Surfer's Year on the California Coast)

A vivid and somewhat disconcerting depiction of the world of surfing and its attendant problems . . . An uncommon read for those interested in surfing or those seeking a look at Hawaii from a vantage point not normally found in history books. (Library Journal)

A hip exposé of Hawaii’s North Shore surfing culture . . . entertains, while superior reporting informs and illuminates much about the surf industry’s peculiar machinations, its cavalcade of sun-bleached heroes and the troubled history of Hawaii itself . . . effortlessly shifting from the profound to the profane. (Kirkus)

A mix of reportage and gonzo journalism…. [with] trenchant…astute observations…. If Hunter S. Thompson circa Hell’s Angels merged with a fashion critic to write about surfing for Maxim, the result might be similar. (Publishers Weekly)

Smith grabs us with his first sentence [with] this exciting and revelatory book (Booklist)

A book of real literary style and grace . . . gleefully mischievous . . . handles like a ‘54 Porsche: smooth, glamorous, and totally out of control. (Flaunt)

Made me think hard about the North Shore . . . To the best of my knowledge, nothing like it exists.” (The Inertia)

Smith doesn’t simply stand in judgment. He loves the world of the North Shore, and he hates it. With gleeful defiance and feral wit, he harnesses his ambivalence to fuel this compulsive, wild ride of a book. (Sydney Morning Herald, Pick of the Week)

A wild and unflinching look at the adrenalin-soaked world of surfing. (Melbourne Herald Sun)


For two months every winter, when Pacific storms make landfall, Oahu's paradisical North Shore turns into a fiery hell. Its normal population of sixteen thousand more than triples and this explosion of mainlanders, Brazilians, Australians, and Europeans creates one of the most combustible milieus on earth. Waves, like gold and oil, are a limited resource and, as such, are fiercely fought over by the visiting hordes, the surf industry, other Hawaiian islanders, and North Shore residents. The otherwise sleepy North Shore becomes a lawless, violent, drug-addled, and adrenaline-soaked mecca.

It takes uniquely fearless men to paddle into thirty-foot waves breaking over a razor-sharp reef hidden beneath three feet of water. Death and maiming are regular occurrences during North Shore winters. Yet when the sun dips, the fearless become truly scared. You see, the ocean has rules. The men who haunt the land do not. And so they whisper about helter-skelter violence dished out by larger-than-life Hawaiians. They whisper about being choked, slapped, and bloodied for breaking unspoken codes of conduct. About the protection money extracted from the surf brands that want to hold their contests on the North Shore. About drug running, fights, and maybe even murders. And then they return to multimillion-dollar beachfront homes and drown their anxiety with cocaine and booze. But they know they are not safe. Because no one is ever safe here.

The surf world is far more volatile and complex than outsiders know or popular depictions would have us believe, and the North Shore during winter is its most extreme representation. It is downright dangerous but also exhilarating, and this story paints a true picture of what it feels like to be in the middle of it all. It is both a breathtaking and wildly funny tale of beauty, wickedness, and the unyielding allure of ocean waves in all their glory.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Not a surfer myself, just a fan of the sport, but I was so interested in the spectacle and BTS!
I'm charmed and swooned away by his cockiness (in all honesty) and I laughed so hard sometimes about his anecdotes! The book is well written (what else is to expect of someone who named his little child Hemingway) and in combination to what he has to say I became absolutely hooked on this book! Loved the inside scoop, loved his writing skills, adored his honesty and courage, and his attitude towards everything is refreshing!

Note: English is a foreign language after my german mother tongue and I was able to follow his style and vocabular fluently.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 98 Rezensionen
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Great Ride! 2. Februar 2014
Von B_W - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
After building a large pile of rejected reads on my bedside table this past month, finally I was gripped by Welcome to Paradise.

I loved the fast paced, wry style that kept me alternately laughing, thinking, questioning, and cringing throughout my marathon reading session.

I loved the twisting blend of history, surfing education, and adventure story. I loved being thrown into a world so unfamiliar to me and coming out the other side feeling an unearned intimacy. I loved having my illusions of Hawaii burst and being reminded that EVERYTHING, even paradise, has a seething, raw, underbelly feeding it.

As someone who prefers to take her danger in literary form, I'm grateful for this virtual wild ride into unchartered territory.

Couldn't put it down.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Recommended: Especially as Airplane Fodder! 14. Dezember 2013
Von Zendicant Pangolin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The subtitle of this book is 'A True Story...' and it likely is mostly true. I think the author took some liberties with time and events but likely not in a way to alter it much.
Any surfer has more than a passing familiarity with the North shore even if he has never been there for it is surfing's most sacred ground. All who have surfed there, or attempted to, or who have kept up with the scene are also aware of its peculiar form of unofficially sanctioned frontier justice. Some would call it localism, but this is a far more highly evolved system of justice, retribution and surf socialism that has evolved around the world's most iconic waves in one of the world's most iconic tropical paradises, and Chas Smith has come to town to break it down for the lay reader....and does a really good job of it.

After giving us a taste of who he is: Thrill seeker, Journalist, Crap stirrer, Dandy, Surfer, World Traveler, and so on,the author proposes to take us on a journey through the labyrinthine inner workings of North Shore's high stakes, big wave surf scene.

The problem is one of a finite resource, the world's best waves; a discrete area, seven miles of prime surfing; a near-infinite source of filthy lucre, corporate purveyors of globally consumed surf-themed goods, a put-upon minority with huge muscles, steely nerves, amazing physical skill and few compunctions about resorting to violence; the self-proclaimed rulers of their beloved, besieged surfing kingdom.
The solution is an unarmed mob, roughly organized into an elite cadre of enforcers meting out justice based upon a rough calculus that takes into account the respect one has earned on the North Shore, surf-cred, corporate sponsorship, indigineity, the ability to take it and dish it out, and social connections.
Underlying this is a subculture of drugs and ripoffs of various kinds done by people often not directly involved in the surf scene but who are woven into the social culture through blood ties and affiliation.

What Mr. Smith has done is to paint us this picture through observation and through the eyes of various larger than life characters who are the key players in the scene. Even though he makes it read like a story, this is almost an ethnography based upon the Hawaiian big wave scene circa 2009.

The book is a really fast and easy read and it holds one's attention all the way through. This is because the author is an excellent raconteur. Technically, he's only mostly literate though, and I'm shocked that Harper Collins didn't give him a better editor. For, the book is littered with numerous errors obviously resulting from over-reliance upon a spell-check program, and the author's unfamiliarity with word usage in general sometimes trips him up, e.g. on page 208 he uses the words compliance and implicit when he means complicit, with this sort of thing occuring throughout the book. At first it is jarring and then irritating.
Still, the author makes a valiant attempt at literary flight by directly refering to Joseph Conrad and Jacques Derrida, and my hat goes off to him for that.

This is a book I really looked forward to receiving because I've been engaged in a lot of rather dry reading of late and wanted a change. This was just the tonic. I received it yesterday morning, began it yesterday afternoon and finished it yesterday night with the thought that it would've been a wonderful accompaniment to a transpacific flight, indeed.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Violence, amen 5. Oktober 2013
Von Eileen Granfors - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
This book exposes so much violence, I am almost afraid to review it, but here goes.

Chas Stevens is an adrenaline junkie. He moves from covering rebels in Yemen to the ambiguous dangers of being a loud-mouthed, opinionated haole on Oahu's North Shore.

Stevens writes with a sense of awe at his own willingness to risk his life by going to places he is not wanted and saying things people will read and react to. Someone always has Chas on their chopping block.

For all the swagger, WELCOME TO PARADISE, NOW GO TO HELL captures the inside game of the surfing circuit. The power structure among surfers shifts with every wave attempted, completed, or wiped out on. The power structure of the economy surrounding surfing is equally cut-throat. Companies come and go with the vagaries of what's cool to the young surfers. Corporate sponsorship is both a goal and a weight around one's' neck.

At the same time, Stevens explores the blatantly racial nature of the surf gangs in Hawaii, with the locals not happy about foreigners on their turf, vying for their waves. The surf language is raw, peppered with expletives and pidgeon English. Stevens himself knows the ropes, the alliances and insults. He has been slapped and cracked and he comes back for more.

At the heart of the pink-shirted, skinny jeans wearing writer, Chas Smith is a tough-talking Dylan Thomas. He voice rings out with awe at the power and beauty of the waves, the colors of the sunsets, the crispness of a cocktail. But always, always, Chas returns to the majesty of the ocean itself with the boom of the big sets rolling in.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Loving it! 24. November 2013
Von AgateAnnie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I am loving this book.I like reading about all the North Shore outlaws, surfing and brands.
I think it is really funny that at the point where he could be killed in Beirut, he's worried about his hair and pants... Just like our moms told us to always wear underwear in case we get in an accident, I think Chas was remembering that as the gun was held to his head.
I look forward to more books.
Thanks for dropping in on my brain wave.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Surf Culture Chic 28. Januar 2014
Von Wilhelmina Zeitgeist - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
"Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell: A True Story of Violence, Corruption, and the Soul of Surfing" by Chas Smith is a crazy, wild, eye opening to the world of surfers. It's nothing like what you've seen in the movies. I have a friend who used to live on the North Shore in Hawaii and was floored by the things I told her I was reading about.

Even through the murkiest, dangerous, violent parts of this book, Chas Smith's humor and dry wit shine through. While I am intrigued with surfing and knowing nothing about it; except people paddle out on their boards, stand up, and balance themselves on that piece of board riding the wave; I was definitely mesmerized by the dark underbelly of the tropical shoreline boardshort culture.

Chas is someone who just doesn't seem to be happy unless he's living on the edge. As an adrenaline junkie, he always seems to be where the action is. From being held hostage in the Middle East to ducking slaps on the North Shore, his life is anything but dull.
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