Alligators in B-Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida

Alligators in B-Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida

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by Jeff Klinkenberg
     
 

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“Jeff Klinkenberg is the ghost orchid of Florida nonfiction; an observer who prefers swamps and shadows to sunshine banalities; a prose writer of distinction whose roots seek out, then elegantly entwine, that which is fine and funny, outrageous and rare about our beloved state. Alligators in B-Flat is a virtuoso performance, and proves, once again,

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Overview

“Jeff Klinkenberg is the ghost orchid of Florida nonfiction; an observer who prefers swamps and shadows to sunshine banalities; a prose writer of distinction whose roots seek out, then elegantly entwine, that which is fine and funny, outrageous and rare about our beloved state. Alligators in B-Flat is a virtuoso performance, and proves, once again, that Klinkenberg is among our finest writers.”—Randy Wayne White

 

“You read this fine writer and you stare with him into the canals for the dark shape of a manatee and listen for rumors of alligators and stand over the grave of a green snake in the yard in mourning. This is a writer who has never forgotten any of the mystery of this mysterious place, who never allowed his paradise to be paved over in concrete, at least inside his heart, and I could read him all day.”—Rick Bragg

 

“If Jeff Klinkenberg isn’t careful, he might give journalism a good name.”—Carl Hiaasen

 

“No one captures the old, secret Florida, the Florida of the swamps and forests where alligators and panthers rule, like Klinkenberg does. He uses his formidable reportorial skills to get fantastic (often hilariously funny) stories which belie the ghastly six-lane, strip-mall, gated-community, golf-course, air-conditioned, theme-parked Nature-wrecking Florida that most of its citizens know. Almost everything Klinkenberg writes is a public service as well as an enriching and educating experience.”—Diane Roberts, author of Dream State

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/06/2013
Klinkenberg's Florida is concurrently an unapologetically kitschy tourist trap where ‘tacky' is considered a gift shop virtue," a sunny retreat luring retirees and transplants, and a mysterious wilderness that make residents realize their Florida, "deep down, is Jurassic Park." Represented by an array of eccentric and memorable characters, Klinkenberg, journalist for the Tampa Bay Times, depicts Florida culture and profiles its colorful personalities. To investigate an obscure study claiming that captive alligators respond to "auditory stimulation," particularly to the "key of B flat", Klinkenberg enlists Florida Orchestra tuba-player Mickelsen to test the patience of the beasts. Other interviewees include a famed photographer who claims that his idyllic promotions convinced many hopeful transplants: a flip-flop man, a female alligator trapper, a barefooted man living outside modernity in his "Huckleberry Raft", and a talented fish artist battling cancer. Klinkenberg illustrates traditions like cane grinding and worm grunting, the life-threatening hazards of a golf ball diver, and shares the strange anecdotes of many a store-owner, all with a good dose of iguanas and rattlesnakes. Floridians are a charming, talented breed, and this humorous, honest, and often touching collection of tales exhibits the melting pot of traditions and lifestyles from a journalist's eye. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“Floridians are a charming, talented breed, and this humorous, honest, and often touching collection of tales exhibits the melting pot of traditions and lifestyles from a journalist’s eye.”—Publisher’s Weekly

“Klinkenberg’s deep love for Florida—natural Florida and everyone who knew it before there were so many people—is obvious.”—Miami Herald

“The living legend and award-winning journalist has become synonymous with Florida story-telling, and here’s an evocative collection that shows you why.”—Creating Loafing Tampa

“You’ll want to read this entertaining and ever-so-idiosyncratic guide to the out of the way that lies just beyond our gaze, out in the swamp, out on the dirt road.”—Tampa Bay Times 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813044507
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Publication date:
04/16/2013
Series:
Florida History and Culture Series
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,325,532
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

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