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Along the Edge of America

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  366 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The best-selling author and walker Peter Jenkins, landlubber par excellence, now takes to the waves and explores, as only he can, a part of America rich in history, mystery, and lore: from the Florida Keys to the Mexican border, by way of the Everglades, the treacherous "jungle woods," genteel southern homesteads, the Cajun marshlands, and Texas's coastal cattle country. I ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 15th 1997 by Mariner Books (first published November 1st 1995)
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Jenkins does a very good job describing coastal folk on the Gulf of Mexico. He so perfectly understands the nature of getting emotionally ready for a hurricane, particularly larger ones:
About preparations for Hurricane Andrew (1992): It was a fearful time, but also strangely exciting.

Jenkins writing is very readable. No big words. Fish names do not count. I can identify with Jenkins because I too learn through my mistakes. I can also identify with his sometimes having to just nod, smile, and ac
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Along the Edge of America was my first Peter Jenkins book. I've heard good things about his first book, A Walk Across America, which was one of the main motivating reasons for me to read this. Along the Edge of America is set approximately 22 years after Jenkins walked across America and opens with a man on top of the world. Money was good, wife was fine, children are intelligent and healthy but then It all comes crashing down around his ears with the arrival of the divorce papers. From this dee ...more
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
What we have here is a brilliant non-judgmental author, the mere presence of whom makes people want to open up to him, to tell stories of their lives. In the beginning it was a slow, slow trip along the Gulf Coast. He’d stop at various bays sometimes for as long as two months. At each he’d slowly gain confidence of the often otherwise close-mouthed, distrustful folk eking out subsistence from the Gulf’s diminishing bounty. They’d express their inner feelings – loves, fears, strengths, cares, fla ...more
May 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
I've read other books by Peter and enjoyed them... I like this one too. Peter is on a boat and exploring the Gulf Coast. He starts out in the Florida Keys. So far I've read about a number of charactors he has met: the half Seminole Indian/half Irish brothers who live in the swamps; the young drug smuggler who got caught, etc. I'm enjoying the book. What he does on these trips is exactly what I like doing on vacations -- meet people! ...more
Emily Wolfenbarger
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-fun
I love Peter Jenkins' books, they are beautiful and so real to the America I'm learning to love. This is a brave story of an ordinary chap who learns to sail, then sails along the Gulf and America's coastline, taking his time to understand the culture and people who have long called the coastline home. Wish I was this brave to just jump and go.... ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Having grown up in Florida, and specifically along the Florida panhandle during my college years, this book was a trip down memory lane for me. Author accurately portrays the people whose lives has been the fabric of the gulf towns from Florida to Texas. He allows the readers to join him in this discovery of places and people that are forgotten yet mythical. A treasure!
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
A Walk Across America 1 was the best out of all of these books. These seem to get progressively worse, but it's not the writing style, it's more what happens in the adventure and the adventure is more interesting when he meets the very different people and stays with them. Southern Florida was not very friendly and they were very weary of him in their territory ...more
Laurie Smith
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting non fiction about peter Jenkins trip on his boat along the Gulf of Mexico and the interesting people he met along the way. I learned a lot about the geography and rivers and towns along the Gulf of Mexico. It was a two year journey.
Ethan Hulbert
I can't get into why, but I had to read this book from cover to cover whether I liked it or not.

Unfortunately, I didn't really love it. It wasn't dreadful, but it definitely wasn't a good book. The first 200 pages (out of about 300) were just Florida. Nothing wrong with Florida (well...) but it's kinda false advertising for the book.

Jenkins wasn't really a likable narrator. The divorce painted him in a bad light from the start, and then he just took two years to buy a boat and leave his new fami
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A photographic hug of the 2500 mile Gulf coastline with stories recealing an author who took the time to study the coast from his boat and the people from his heart. Dedicated to his mother "who taught her children to see the beauty in the world, whether it be in a tiny wildflower, an unusual face, on a high hill, or across an ocean in a foreign land." I am left with a lovely sense of peace, a greater appreciation for our country, a bit of its history, and the glorious spectrum of its people. ...more
Oct 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not outstanding, probably because of the focus on fishing, so I sort of found myself skimming the book. The biggest problem is my love of nature and my desire to see it all, while knowing so much of what he pictures may not be there any longer, or may be inaccessible to a landlubber like me. Then there is the intrusion of today's divisions that make me wonder if I would even be comfortable.

Anyway, my review seems to be based on my mood today, so don't trust it.
Oct 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Interesting non fiction account of a man at 40 (Peter Jenkins) who took a mostly solo boat trip over 2500 miles around Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New Orleans to the Mexican border. He went from a novice to a pretty good mariner by the time he got lessons from Warren, Scott and other boaters along the way and his account of the people he met.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful book, amazing pictures and stories. Peter, you made a trip that took 2 years. What stories you can tell! I have been reading Peter's books and really enjoy his writing. Thank you for a chance to see these areas, peoples, animals. Great book! ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Letto in italiano "Correnti blu". Il libro del cambiamento di vita! ...more
Michael Harris
Mar 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Having read three previous books, I thought this would be more like the first, Walk Across America but in a boat, traveling the Golf Coast. It had some of the "adventure travel" that I enjoy reading about with some well done character sketches of people he meets along the way. Still not has full of life as the first. ...more
Kristen Miller
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great read. Jenkins runs his small motor boat along the Gulf Coast of the US and introduces us to the residents. His writing is straightforward and paints a clear picture of that part of the country - somewhere I've never been and haven't read about before. He makes it seem like a different country - a culture and scenery apart from the rest of the US. ...more
Sarah Frobisher
May 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this in one of my undergrad lit classes. It was an interesting story of a man who boated along the Gulf of Mexico to meet different people. It was an intriguing account of the different cultures and situations he encountered.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So far this has been one of my favorite books by Peter Jenkins. I felt like I actually met some of the people in his book and grew to know more about the Gulf Coast I live in (Far from the tourist stops).
Jacque Mgebroff
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book before A Walk Across America and it was still totally inspiring. The US is an amazingly diverse culture without being legislated so. This is a book you don't want to end because you want to learn more about the places you'll never see. ...more
Dan Smith
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a great idea. cover the "inner coast" of America. Finding ways to discover another segment of America ...more
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
I didn't finish this book. I loved his first two books but this one bothered me because of the author's divorce and new marriage. ...more
a very engaging narrative of a boat trip around the gulf, with encounters of fascinating characters. loved it.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I loved it and it kept me captivated. The only reason I gave it four stars is because Walk Across America and Walk West were my favorites, I have to stand by them.
Ted Ryan
Good book, nice stories about the people he met, it just didn't pull me in like his other books. Recommended none-the-less. ...more
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite authors and I think I may have read nearly all of his books. He always has great stories of interesting real people that he has met in his travels and adventures.
Oct 16, 2008 rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed - nowhere near as good as the Walk Across America set.
Mar 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
I haven't found a travel writer that I love more. ...more
Lori Sue
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was given to me from Peter Jenkins which he autographed.
Diane Supinski
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-authors
Really interesting, a view into the lives of exotic people in our country in this day and age.
rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2013
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Born July 8th, 1951 in Greenwich, Connecticut,

Peter is the eldest of the six children of Frederick and Mary Jenkins.

Graduated from Greenwich High School in 1969.

Attended Woodstock in summer of 1969.

Graduated from Alfred University in 1973 with a BFA, majoring in Sculptor/ Ceramics.
Began his Walk Across America on October 15, 1973 in Alfred, New York. It ended in mid-January of 1979 in Florence, Or

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“I'd just had a review lesson in what I'd already learned over and over in a year and a half of exploring these Gulf of Mexico waters. These waters, the skies over the Gulf, the winds--they all did whatever, whenever they wanted. And we humans basically have two choices when it comes to the sea.

We can either stay away from it all.
Or we can be ready for anything.”
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