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Fringe Florida: Travels among Mud Boggers, Furries, Ufologists, Nudists, and Other Lovers of Unconventional Lifestyles Hardcover – September 17, 2013
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Florida is universally known as a popular mainstream destination for spring breakers, retirees, and family vacationers. Yet beyond the Magic Kingdom and sandy beaches, peculiar subcultures bloom and flourish—some playfully kooky, others explicitly kinky. Waddell, who spent two years researching the palmy Florida fringe scene, turns a spotlight on some of the eccentric purveyors who thrive in the remarkably tolerant Sunshine State. One of her legendary subjects is headline-grabbing strip-club owner Joe Redner, a Tampa folk hero and so-called father of the nude lap dance. She cites her background as an alternative beat reporter and her stint as a script researcher for the notorious 1995 sleaze-fest, Showgirls, as proof of her investigative chops in covering offbeat scenes. Waddell also assures readers that she’s no prude, just a voyeur of the unusual, albeit one who would never participate in the swinging or pony play she scrutinizes. Waddell’s reporting is credible, and she possesses a jocose writing style, making Fringe Florida an intriguing guide off the beaten path for those looking to escape life’s winter blahs in any season. --Chris Keech
Creative Loafing Tampa Best of the Bay Awards, "Best Journey into Florida's Underbelly"
Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Bronze for Travel Essays
"A fascinating, mind-opening read."--The Rumpus
"An intriguing guide off the beaten path for those looking to escape life's winter blahs in any season."--Booklist
"Travelers familiar with the Florida tourist havens of Miami Beach, Orlando, and Tampa will be amazed by what there is to discover by exploring the less familiar towns and byways."--Library Journal
"Be forewarned: As an upright citizen, you may be shocked by sections of Fringe Florida, so rush out and buy it right away."--Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Bask in the off-kilter glow of this completely charming and wonky delight. It’s a circus sideshow in a binding, a barrel of fun."--Louisville Courier-Journal
"Lynn Waddell lifts up the rug we sweep the really strange stuff under."--Tampa Bay Times
"A relentlessly readable travelogue."--South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"With dry humor and a keen eye, [Waddell] enters these worlds as an engaged, curious observer."--Creative Loafing Tampa
"Waddell has the reporter's eye for odd detail (even amid an abundance of oddity) and the reporter’s knack for getting people with underground stories to tell them anyway. . . . Fringe Florida is a fun tour."--Florida Book Review
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Waddell's writing is wonderful, unassuming and honest, and she knows how to weave a compelling story. She is a great observer and manages to dive into these subcultures just deeply enough to bring them to the reader in their entirety, but who doesn't get sucked in so hard that she could lose her keen eye. Respectfully and with an eye for detail she introduces 10 less than usual worlds to the interested reader, and if you, too, are willing to keep an open eye and an open mind, this book will likely delight you as much as it did me.
I must say the moment I saw the cover I thought, this is going to be good. I can tell you I wasn't let down one bit :). Lynn's ability to get people to open up and share parts of their life that I am sure even people close to them might not know is amazing.
I live if Florida and sometimes you forget some of the strange and bizarre things that can be happening around you and also those things that you think... "I want to find out more about that".
If you are interested in going on a journey, this is the book for you!
This book is like a Florida shaped gift basket of nuts. Some sweet honey baked pecans, some cashews and the occasional jaw-cracking nut wrapped in tinfoil you can't quite identify.
If you don't like the nut you are on keep turning pages. A new nut will show up soon. Just like the real Florida.
At some point the nuts in Florida will reach a critical mass and probably get kicked out of the country.
If you have read this book you will be able to nod your head on that day and say "Ah yes, it was inevitable."