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Dreamtime Alice

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  97 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
"I danced and danced because the neon light across the road had just blinked on, because it was the middle of spring, because I was twenty-one, because my father was playing beside me. . . ."

In this vivid, seductive, gorgeously written memoir, Mandy Sayer recounts the fascinating years she spent performing on the streets of New York and New Orleans with her father. Gerry S
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published February 24th 1998 by Ballantine Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Clayton H
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mandy Sayer can now be found freelancing for various Australian newspapers where her writing and observations bring a down-to-earth realism to the topics she covers.

And could it be any other way?

An early life spent scrapping by on the streets of US cities with nothing but her ability to tap and a father resolutely comitting them to living on his ability to play the drums and daily fill the busker's empty hat; she sees life at the level of the street artist. Through an enduring bond with her bo
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
While in the library the other day, I decided to go away from my old standby of fiction and instead browsed the Biography/Autobiography/Memoir/Books About Real People's Lives section. I picked up this on a whim, partially because of the title( sounds like it could be a band), partially because of the subject matter (street performers!) and partially because that is an awesome skirt on the cover. It has EMBROIDERED GOLD MUSIC NOTES. I found this to be a slow but satisfying read. Sayer has a very ...more
Diann Blakely
The Great American Outdoors can be found not only in parks, this recent memoir reminds us, but also on city sidewalks. For “buskers,” or al fresco urban entertainers, the best sidewalks are the most heavily traveled and the least patrolled by police. If white boys can live and play the blues, Mandy Sayer proves that white girls can dance, even with sprained ankles that refuse to heal. Sayer is a native Australian who traveled to New York and then New Orleans for busking seasons with her charming ...more
Francesca Russell
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I adore this book. Sadly, I think it is out of print now, so not easy to find. It is a biography by a woman (Mandy Sayer) who grew up as a street performer with her father - he played the drums, she tap-danced. In the summers, they would perform on the streets of New York City. In the winters, New Orleans. Such a great coming-of-age story and so interesting to read about the tight-knit community of street performers in both those cities in the 1980's.
Sherry Mackay
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Clearly I am not very literary cos I found this hard going most of the time. Frankly I couldn't give a crap about her loser dad and her loser life busking illegally in New York and New Orleans. There were no redeeming features in their lives here, I didn't feel uplifted or entertained. Mmmm pretty pointless. And i have been way too generous with the stars. Result? Boring.
Jane Routley
Jul 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The memoir of Mandy Sayers life as a street performer in New York and New Orleans with her unreliable jazz drummer father. Its a beautifully written always gripping and sometimes distrubing about street life and Mandy's growing out of the shadow of a charismatic parent to make a creative life of her own. I was completely enthralled
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved it! One of the best memoirs I've ever read by a most surprising young Australian woman about her days as a street performer in NYC & New Orleans. She offers an entirely unexpected yet interesting view of both cities. Can't wait to read more of her writing, she has talent.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, lots of beautiful vignettes of 80s Sydney, and then it made me want to run off to Manhattan with my traveling-drum-kit and live off busking. If only Melita could tap dance :)
Pilar DeMann
Mar 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books. The story of a broken family and the bond between father and daughter. she grows up in the stangest of circumstances with him. Truly wonderful.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book.
Aug 03, 2009 marked it as to-read
An okay read for those who like memoirs.
Jennifer Rolfe
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
What an insight into a world I didn't know about. Great.
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