Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Review: HOSOI by Christian Hosoi


Actually, the full title of this biography is HOSOI: My life as a Skateboarder Junkie Inmate Pastor.  That's an accurate summary of his life progression, and like the multiple descriptions in the title, this book is a window into several different cultures--skate culture, the California party scene, drug culture, prison culture and Christian life (including some hardcore outreach).

In the book, Hosoi details his journey from a kid who liked to skateboard and smoke weed, to turning pro at age 13 and later becoming the highest paid skater in the world.  Like so many young sports stars with a sudden flood of money, he went wild and partied his way into eventual addiction.  The cool club kid and athlete became a middle-aged junkie on the run from the police, and from himself.

The sheer excess in the early chapters of the book may make you want to quit reading, especially because it's so obvious that he's wrecking his life and rushing toward doom.  By the time Hosoi ends up in prison, you're as tired and depressed as he was.  But the way he embraces Christianity and how it transforms him is amazing.  You have to hang on to the end of the book to realize the full story of his redemption. 

Although the book examines a specific time (1980s and 1990s) and scene (skateboarding culture and its unnecessary connection with drugs), the story of how God turned a man's life around is inspiring and timeless.

(The book cover is from Harper Collins publisher.)

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