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Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators: More Stories about Real Florida
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 th ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 6th 2008 by University Press of Florida
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Whether he is writing about a make-them-yourself pancake house, a man who lost an arm to an alligator named Mojo, or his mother shortly after her death, St. Petersburg Times columnist Jeff Klinkenberg goes far beyond the obvious goal of documenting what Florida means to him in his collection "Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators." The writing is consistently engaging, the range of topics fascinating, and the inspiration to seek out more of his work at the St. Petersburg Times website a natural bypr ...more
I have enjoyed reading Jeff's articles in the St. Pete Times. I typically try to read Florida related books while on Florida vacations and this justly suited the bill for our trip to Fanning Springs. Reading (and re-reading a few) of the stories one after the other did give me pause. Soem of the stories felt intrusive into someone's very private moments regardless of their permission to have it published.
Love to read some Klinkenberg when visiting Florida, he writes about the odd, different, special people and places that makes this state so crazy and unique. Though so much of Florida has been strip malled, condoized and otherwise wrecked, Jeff helps find the place that once was and can still be found with some searching.
A semi-sequel to his "Seasons of Real Florida", "Pilgrim" sees Jeff Klinkenberg continuing to do what he does best -- tell local color stories about his home state. Klinkenberg focuses a bit more on people and their work in this volume, and ultimately, I found it less satisfying, though still enjoyable.
As a Florida girl with sand in her shoes who now lives in western North Carolina, this book really took me back to a place that felt, smelled, tasted, and looked like home. Klinkenberg is a wonderful storyteller and the essays in this book form a beautifully detailed portrait of Old Florida.