Ninth Wave, The

Eugene Burdick's gloomy 1956 novel follows the young adult years of Mike Freesmith, a teenage surfer from Southern California who turns into a venal and murderous political power broker. In the book's first chapter, high school senior Freesmith is dropped off at the local surf break by Miss Bell, his English teacher and lover. Hank Moore, Freesmith's devoted friend, is already in the water, patiently waiting for "the ninth ninth wave," based on the surfing superstition that eight waves will b...