COWABUNGA!: Gidget Goes Encyclopedic
By Stephan J. McParland
For fans of the beach culture pop films of the sixties, this is an essential book full of all manor of detail and graphics. Author Stephan J. McParland explores the whacky world of those celluloid escapes with reverence and a sense of discovery.

It's not often that a writer can provide an anjoyable and fluid tale as a vehicle for encyclopedic detail, but that's what McParland has done with this book. There are more tidbits, inside scoops, and outright history here than you'll ever need.

I've long had a love-hate relationship with these films, beginning with the occasional treasured glimpses of surfbands vs. being embarrased at how juvenile they seemed when I was a teenager. It took Frankie Avalon and Annette Funacello to make fun of them with Back To The Beach before I could enjoy them without feeling like I was in danger of becoming a moron.

For surf instro fans, there are discussions of many of the songs from the soundtracks, and some fine pix as well.

You have to have your serious hat locked away, and you can't view Gidget as the tomato that ate the surf scene.

Read it for the history, or for the human character, but read it.