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Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: More Stories about Real Florida (Florida History and Culture) Hardcover – April 6, 2008
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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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Since I am a native Floridian, the stories in this book were like reading a personal history of the real Florida stories. Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by ELEA
The author tells the reader about a lot of places and people here in Florida that he has known or written newspaper articles about. Read morePublished on August 27, 2013 by Oldsparkey
A fun and easy way to explore Florida, past and present. A must read for anyone and everyone interested in Florida.Published on July 22, 2013 by cskjr
Enjoyed reading about "real" Florida folks vs. the usual commercial side of Florida. Jeff has a great way with words.Published on March 23, 2013 by Francine M. Webb
Klinkenberg is the brother you wish you'd had. The one who amused the socks off you yet never got in your hair. Read morePublished on January 12, 2011 by View from Here