Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore
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Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  22 reviews
No Longer the Forgotten Season

Just after Labor Day, Ken McAlpine said good-bye to his family and began a drive up the East Coast, from Florida to Maine, on a one-man quest to capture the elusive “forgotten season” of beach towns shuttered until the return of warm weather. Off-Season is a moving portrait that brings to life the magic of the sea and shore in winter, the char...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 22nd 2004 by Broadway Books
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(showing 1-30 of 128)
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I love the beach in winter, any beach, anywhere, the cool temperatures have a way of keeping away the tourists, and revealing the stillness, and the bareness, of life close to the water. While Ken McAlpine gives us glimpses of this scene, his stories are more snapshots: of the water, of the sand, of the small towns and decrepit boardwalks he found in his travels. And conversations with people, all kinds of people, some interesting, some not. Maybe I was expecting too much, or maybe Ken McAlpine...more
You can tell from Ken McAlipne's work that he loves writing. Ken has a very real and special talent that he's crafted over the years of writing. In Off-Season, Ken travels from Florida to Maine in the dead of winter. Ken wanted to get a feel of the people not the tourist's of the land. I think Ken is the type of person you meet in the street and end up sharing your whole life story without thinking anything of it. Off-Season is a beautiful book that will lift your spirits. I was very touched by...more
While I think this author has a lovely knack for introspective description, I think this book is trying to do too many things at once. It's one thing to write a book about the solitary nature of travel, and another thing to write another book about how gentrification and industrialization threaten ecosystems (human and natural), and still another to attempt an anthropological review of a highly diverse group of people. To do all three at the same time without a more unifying thesis statement doe...more
Anyone who loves going to the beach in the winter will enjoy this travelogue where the writer goes south to north (Florida to Maine), visiting beach towns that have closed their doors for the season, leaving only the colorful, die-hard locals. Each chapter is a different town, and I found myself wanting to follow McAlpine's journey on a map. He meets an interesting array of locals, some more open to him than others, and learns about the insular history of some of the more isolated places, many o...more
Peggy L
I enjoyed this book, another in "the journalist explores," non-genre, favorites of mine.

This look at out-of-season seashore villages, seaside residents both two legged, winged and finned allows the reader to see the real life of places overrun by tourists in the summer.
It allows the reader to get close to the atitudes of island dwellers, often reserved if not downright reclusive. Because the author brings a bit of that predilection for aloneness with him, many of the residents open up to him an...more
Paul Bennett
This is anEast coast story for East coast locals. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. all the stories from the South rocked. All the surfing kept me happy too.
Pretty good book about a guy who travels from South to North during the winter to visit America's beaches. I must admit, being from the deep south, not thinking about snow covered beaches -even in the winter! You get to meet some pretty interesting characters along the way. Was it my imagination or did the author write less and less the further north he traveled? It seemed to me that the chapters were getting shorter. Not a bad read though sometimes he made a short story long!
This was enjoyable! The author traversed the east coast from Florida to Maine visiting beaches and islands to see what they were like in the winter when they were devoid of tourists. It was a chance to meet the local, year-round residents, many of whom were the quirky rugged individualistic characters that you'd imagine would populate small towns & villages :) Aside from the interesting people, he gives local history and nature descriptions with humor and beauty.
This is right up my blog alley.
I love walking on and reading about the seashore. McAlpine travels from the South to the North meeting interesting people and learning about real places.
"Haints, those devil creatures of voodoo, will not enter a blue opening of a house because blue is the color of heaven. Blue is also the color of water, but that doesn't always make it heaven."
Aug 17, 2009 Ellen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Ellen by: Pat Malloy
I have shared this with at least four other people. It's terrific. The writing style is beautiful, lyrical, almost poetic, which is unusual for a nonfiction book. If you have ever traveled the east coast of the US (or even if you haven't), you'll enjoy reading about people who make their life and living there all year-round. He has a new one out, Islands Apart, which I've just begun and am also enjoying.
Not one of the better travel books I've read. The concept is a good one: write about East Coast places during the winter. But the people profiled aren't all that revealing, and I never felt that the author provided any real insight into either the people or places he visits. I also thought that his injection of his personal life into the book was totally uninteresting and detracted from the book.
Susan Prince
I loved the premise of this book and really wanted to like the book. The places visited were very appealing, but I had a hard time relating to the characters. I had trouble remembering who was who and I seemed to miss the what the lessons each person was imparting.

One of my favorite writing. I enjoyed this one. I have always wanted to take the kind of trip taken by the author except in reverse, north to south starting in September. I've had a "longing" for seashores particularly when the tourists are gone.
I had such high can a book about traveling through shore towns on the East Coast be bad!? I'm still craving the book I thought this would be. Alas, this author is caught on a different topic and I wasn't impressed with the writing anyway.
cool travelogue about trip a guy takes up the atlantic seacoast during the fall and winter and the people he meets along the way. meanders along from Florida to Maine. Interesting for those who enjoy travel narratives.
Sep 07, 2009 Amy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amy by: Saw a review in a magazine
Didn't care for this book at all. I've been looking forward to reading this for a couple of years now and was terribly disappointed because it was just boring.
Oct 15, 2012 Robert added it
I love travel books. And this one was great. Plus I've been to a few of these places. Also he makes you love the people he meet
Not recommended. Another tale of locals rule, developers suck. I'd rather get that in fictional form from Carl Hiiasen.
I learned you're not truly a beach lover unless you appreciate it year round...bitter cold, hurricanes and all
Julia Atwood
Don't know what it is...
But like this guys voice...
comfortable to read.
I will probably come back to this, but it did not hold my interest.
enjoyable and thoughtful travelogue along Atlantic shore in offseason
Elizabeth Nelson
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Ken McAlpine’s new novel “Juncture” is a cerebral Jaws; a story of primal love, a tale of our oceans, and a final fork in the road. Fiction? Yes – and no. In the oceans creatures are stirring, a fast-rising tide of seemingly random shocking events not random at all. For we are truly at a Juncture.

Ken is also the author of seven other books; a collection of fiction, non-fiction and essays. Sunset...more
More about Ken McAlpine...
Islands Apart: A Year on the Edge of Civilization FOG Together We Jump: A Journey of Love, Hope and Second Chances Diving the World: Photography by Norbert Wu Rise of the Mooncusser

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