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Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: More Stories about Real Florida (Florida History and Culture) Hardcover – April 6, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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  • Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: More Stories about Real Florida (Florida History and Culture)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A skilled writer, he knows when to listen and when to nudge each short story along." - Publishers Weekly "Klinkenberg uncovers the beauty and mystery of his home state." - Southern Living "Reminds you of hopping in the back of a friend's truck for a ride. But this one takes you beyond the sunny skies and high-rises and into the past." - Miami Herald"

Book Description

A delightful new collection from the best-selling author of Seasons of Real Florida
 
Praise for Jeff Klinkenberg
 
"A skilled writer, he knows when to listen and when to nudge each short story along."--Publishers Weekly
 
"Klinkenberg uncovers the beauty and mystery of his home state."--Southern Living
 
"Reminds you of hopping in the back of a friend's truck for a ride. But this one takes you beyond the sunny skies and high-rises and into the past."--Miami Herald
 
"Klinkenberg explores what's left of the Florida that existed before it was invaded by Disney and developers. . . . His beautifully crafted sentences--this is not mere journalism--astutely evoke people and places."--Tampa Tribune and Times
 
"If Jeff Klinkenberg isn't careful," says Carl Hiaasen, "he might give journalism a good name."
 
Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators provides a welcome opportunity for readers to discover the character--and characters--of "real" Florida. In this compilation, drawn in part from his award-winning columns, Klinkenberg celebrates some of the Sunshine State's most distinctive personalities, including the original Coppertone girl and the actor who played the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Along the way, he travels to swamps, rickety piers, and Florida's only cook-your-own pancake restaurant.
 
Ranging from light and comical to wistful and nostalgic, Klinkenberg roams the state from panhandle to the keys, looking to answer the question, "What makes Florida Florida?" Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of longtime fans or readers new to his work.
           
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Product Details

  • Series: Florida History and Culture
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (April 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813032083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813032085
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,787,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Found this great article from Jeff's paper, the St. Petersburg Times.

Regaling us with real Florida
By Gregory McNamee, Special to the Times
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2008 5:54 PM

When I was very young, no more than 5 or 6, I saw an alligator eat a poodle right out of a Tampa back yard. It dawned on me at that sanguinary moment just why it was that my grandmother had forbidden me to play near the canal behind her house, where, naturally, I spent my time playing, and it gave me a lasting, nicely traumatic memory of Florida to nurse over a lifetime.

Had he been on hand, I suspect Jeff Klinkenberg would have been cheering for the gator. After all, one of the heroes of Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators, his new collection of newspaper columns turned into essays, is an ubergator -- something on the order of a dragon, really -- named Mojo, once resident in Kanapaha Botanical Gardens near Gainesville.

"You know how alligators will roar at other gators?" remarks the director of the gardens, who, suggestively, is missing his right hand. "Mojo was so dominant that when it thundered, he'd roar back at the thunder."

Long familiar to and even beloved by St. Petersburg Times readers, Klinkenberg is a fan, defender, student and denizen of what the great pop culture historian Greil Marcus has called "the old, weird America," the country that hasn't yet been absorbed into the monoculture of chain stores, cookie-cutter houses and mass-produced taste.
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Format: Hardcover
I wish I could travel with Jeff Klinkenberg, visiting all those unique places/people in Florida. The next best thing is reading his books. I have never been to Florida, but after reading Jeff's "Seasons Of Real Florida," I knew I wanted to read more by Mr. Klinkenberg . Both books are written in the same style--short insightful chapters describing off-the-wall Florida history, blending current with past. Every story imparts vivid mental images. It's obvious Mr. Klinkenberg loves Florida--its history and culture. Readers of his books will too.
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Format: Hardcover
If you'd known Jeff Klinkenberg in the '60s you would know that today he's a boy living his dream. There is no better guide to the 'real' Florida than Jeff, not because he knows Florida history, but because he loves it and he's lived it. He speaks to you as if you are sitting in the restaurant at his table, or having your sandwich with him on the ancient indian mound. His stories capture your interest and spur your sense of adventure. They inspire you to embrace the beauty, uniqueness, and sheer mystery of this land. There are Florida travel and interest guides galore, but none that match Jeff's depth or personal knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of a State that represents not only a land growing faster than any other (and yet clinging to the past with a steel-like grip) but a state of mind as well. These are not stories from someone's imagination, they entertain you with real people and places that, but for Jeff Klinkenberg, would fade into a distant past. Jeff is a time traveler who will take you on unbelievable journeys through centuries of archeological and human history with humor and curiosity. His is a guide that you want to bring with you when you visit because it is so far off the beaten path that you will feel right at home on the Loop Road. Indeed, I have known Jeff since the '60s, and witnessed his expertise first hand. If you are a true adventurer, I invite you to read 'Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators' and experience the 'real' Florida on behalf of barefoot children everywhere. You will not regret the trip through time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finished this the other day and very much enjoyed all of the essays! I've lived in Florida since 1987 and used to read Jeff's columns when I lived in the Tampa Bay area. I love how he describes various aspects of our state but even better, I love how he has captured the true essence of so many people with his writing. If you live here, visit here or have never been to our state, I highly recommend this wonderful read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeff Klinkenberg's articles in the St. Petersburg Times are often the highlight of my Sunday morning. This collection of his favorite columns will make you laugh at times, cry at others and sometimes just shake your head in amazement. It's a great book to carry with you so you can steal a moment from the craziness in your own life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This humble story teller of real people & real events make sense of Florida. Reminds me of Carl Hiaasen without the crazy humor. Jeff warms your heart.
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