Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

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by Gary Paulsen
     
 

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Winterdance is an unforgettable account of Gary Paulsen's most ambitious quest: to know a world beyond his knowing, to train for and run the Iditarod. Fueled by an all-consuming passion for running dogs, Paulsen entered the grueling 1,180-mile race across Alaska in dangerous ignorance and with fierce determination. For seventeen days, Paulsen and his team of fifteen… See more details below

Overview

Winterdance is an unforgettable account of Gary Paulsen's most ambitious quest: to know a world beyond his knowing, to train for and run the Iditarod. Fueled by an all-consuming passion for running dogs, Paulsen entered the grueling 1,180-mile race across Alaska in dangerous ignorance and with fierce determination. For seventeen days, Paulsen and his team of fifteen dogs ran through breathtaking and treacherous Arctic terrain. They crossed the barren, moonlike landscape of the Alaskan interior and witnessed sunrises that cast a golden blaze over the vast waters of the Bering Sea. They endured blinding wind, snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, hallucinations - and the relentless push to go on. He crossed the finish line, but it wasn't enough: Paulsen was obsessed and wanted to race again. Though the dangers of the Iditarod were legion, more frightening still was the knowledge that he could not stop racing dogs of his own free will.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Read for your own pleasure, recommend to the young adults you know, and excerpt to read aloud to younger students Winterdance The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod Gary Paulson's spellbinding account of his preparation for and running of the Iditarod,.
Hazel Rochman
Paulsen's survival adventure is in the tradition of Jack London: one man and his dog team together against the Arctic wilderness. With everything stripped down to the barest essentials, Paulsen finds elemental connection with a world beyond cities, family, and work. His prose is spare and physical; at its best, it has the fluid simplicity of Hemingway. On the other hand, there is too much reliance on the pattern of menace beneath the surface. Paulsen is always teetering on the edge of a precipice, waiting to be dragged, dropped, crashed, frozen, torn apart, and buried alive. Fortunately, however, he also has a sense of farce, and there's a lot of the Marx Brothers here. As Paulsen makes clear from the start, the Iditarod race is itself an absurd undertaking--to run with a dog team for 1,800 miles through unimaginable cold, "winds beyond belief, roaring waters and deadly dreams." What's most moving is his behavior at the end of the race: "I didn't want to go in," he says. Armchair travelers will understand.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780151262274
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/28/1994
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.09(w) x 9.27(h) x 0.95(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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