I’ll admit that upon seeing the cover of Stan Parish’s debut, Down the Shore, I was unsure I’d peel the cover back to see what was inside. The silhouettes of two surfers carrying their boards had me thinking that, at best, this would be the story of some dudes finding themselves in some sort of Endless Summer-type setting. Another book about dudes written by a dude. Dudes and their problems. Poor dudes. And to some extent, yes, Down the Shore is a book about dudes. It’s a book about young men with privilege getting into trouble, and I’d say the age of the protagonist could qualify Parish’s novel as a “coming-of-age” book; yet Parish deftly defies all the pitfalls many dude writers (usually named Jonathan or Joshua) tend to get mired in when dealing with any or all of those things. It isn’t totally a book about a straight white dude who doesn’t know how good he has it, but it isn’t far from that either. Instead, Down the Shore is a look at how we screw up, try to redeem ourselves, and inevitably screw up again.
—Jason Diamond on the book, Down the Shore, by Stan Parish
As someone raised in (northwestern) New Jersey, that is exactly the term we used: you weren’t ‘going to the beach,’ you were ‘going down the shore’ (not ‘to-the-shore’).