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Review **** Four stars - a page turner!

Tracks of the Tiger: G-land & Bali, Indonesia by Tony Garcia
ISBN 0-9760679-0-0
288 pages - 105x170 mm
Maps included
Retail $19.95
Novels that deal with the daring, yet mysterious world of ocean surfing are hard to find; in this contemporary surf thriller the reader gets some insight into the life of surfer Bobby Cruz. The action takes place in Indonesian Islands of Bali and Java post-Sari Club bombing. The tourists may have fled the island because of the terrorism threat, but the surfers stayed on chasing the surf at G- land, a legendary surf break in East Java ('G-land was a world class surf spot').

The ravages of modern colonialism has severely damaged the island's culture along with years of the corrupt rule of the Suharto regime and his cronies, but in this isolated part of the tropics there is still beauty, mystery and lots of wildlife.

Bobby Cruz a former U.S. military man is still trying to come to terms with his involvement with the Contra-wars in Nicaragua in the early 1980's. After a failed marriage he has found some peace of mind in Yoga and New Age idealism ('Speak or act with a pure mind') and his new girlfriend. With this baggage he sets out to help a friend unravel a suspicious death of a surfer at Mike's Tiger Tracks an isolated surf camps at G-land in the jungles of East Java.

Though equipped with maps and plenty of research into the background and culture of these exotic islands it sometimes gets in the way of character development. The book's action though is non-stop and it holds up with any page turning thriller on the market today.  

There will be no more boredom for surfers after a long day at the beach or for those that are stuck far away from the surf, sun and sand. The author brings alive the surf lifestyle with this the first of three surf thrillers. He makes good the promise of 'Being the next best thing to being there!'
Sandra van Beek,

Tony Garcia interview with Ken McKnight editor of

Ken - Why did choose Bali and G-land as the backdrop?
Tony - I wanted to say something about surfing and the life of traveling surfers. In Bali you see it all, it's a great melting pot for surfers from around the world. Balinese society and culture are fascinating. The way the Balinese have interpreted and flavored Hinduism to their own tastes is a story in itself. As far as G-land goes it's the nature the history of the place that spoke to me. And of course the surf, both places have some of the best surf on the planet.

Ken - How much time have you surfed there?
Tony- I discovered Bali late. I guess I didn't begin to surf it until the 1990s. After traveling there I got the stoke of surfing once again – I guess I was tired of all the cold water surfing I was doing in northern Europe.

Ken - Where have you worked as a journalist and screenwriter?
Tony - I studied Communications at UCSD and then went to UCLA film school graduate program. Once in Los Angeles I started working as an assistant to producers doing script reading and story analysis. In the middle 1980s I met a Dutch girl who also worked in the film biz and we decided to move to Europe and work. There I wrote 'Leila' a feature film by a Dutch director. I also wrote and directed a feature called 'Van Gogh's Ear' along with a few documentaries and fiction pieces. The film biz is not known for its steady work, so I supported myself with free-lance journalism and was foreign correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and Variety among others. I then became managing editor
of The Science Channel for Elsevier a European science publisher whose strength is in electronic publishing.

Ken - When and where did you start surfing?
Tony - I started surfing long board in the 60s. Learned to surf at the Huntington cliffs, then explored south, Newport beach, Dana Point, Doheny, Trestles, Oceanside then Mexico K39, San Miguel and Ensenada. Since I was too young to have a driver’s license, any place I could talk my parents into driving me.
In the 70s I was an undergraduate at UCSD and switched to shortboards. I surfed the North Counties, Leucadia, Encinitas, Cardiff, Solana beach and Del Mar. I still continued to travel south and surfed up and down Baja and got a taste of tropical waters in Mazatlan, San Blas, Santa Cruz, then Petacalco, Zihuatanejo and Puerto Escondido. Once I moved to Europe in the middle 80s I continued to explore the surf in France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

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