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Seasons of Real Florida
     

Seasons of Real Florida

5.0 3
by Jeff Klinkenberg
 

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No wonder Jeff Klinkenberg loves Florida. At any time of year he can find a place to enjoy or a person with an irresistible story. Arranged by season, the book opens in the fall, which Klinkenberg says is like spring in the north -- a time of celebration. Fair weather, good food, and the joys of nature lie ahead, described here in essays that are like time capsules of

Overview

No wonder Jeff Klinkenberg loves Florida. At any time of year he can find a place to enjoy or a person with an irresistible story. Arranged by season, the book opens in the fall, which Klinkenberg says is like spring in the north -- a time of celebration. Fair weather, good food, and the joys of nature lie ahead, described here in essays that are like time capsules of "old Florida values." Preserving the past, they reveal Klinkenberg's waggish appreciation of the state's history, folkways, and landscape. Many pieces focus off the beaten path and on modern rogues who seem to turn their backsides to the subdivisions and shopping malls that pave the state. Other pieces pay homage to Klinkenberg's literary heroes who have written in and about Florida, such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Rawlings's companion and memoirist Idella Parker, Everglades crusader Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and novelist Ernest Hemingway. Klinkenberg also revisits an old St. Johns River campsite of nineteenth-century botanist William Bartram, whose encounters with alligators there were as alarming as Klinkenberg's today with beer cans and soda bottles. For anyone who has a stake in the real Florida -- resident, tourist, naturalist, or newcomer -- this tour of the seasons of the state will linger in memory like the aroma of orange blossoms on a clear winter night.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
According to St. Petersburg Times writer Klinkenberg, there are no cartoon mice, art deco dance clubs or exclusive golf courses in "Real Florida." For him the Sunshine State's essence lies in its hidden swamps, forests, rivers and caves and in the forgotten characters and creatures that inhabit them. In this collection of his Times columns, Klinkenberg seeks out these people and places to document their stories before they are overrun by high-rise hotels and sunburnt tourists. Organizing the columns (which were reworked) by the four seasons, Klinkenberg lets readers into the secrets of Florida's fall (stone crabs, flamingos), winter (orange blossoms, manatees), spring (alligators, hurricanes) and summer (heat, mosquitoes). Whether he is visiting a Florida institution (the Yearling Restaurant) or telling the story of Florida's artists (photographer Clyde Butcher, painter Christopher Still), writers (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Hemingway) and local personalities (LoinclothMan, Shell Woman), Klinkenberg has the enviable task of telling stories about storybook places and gifted storytellers. A skilled writer, he knows when to listen and when to nudge each short story along. While the vignette structure allows for quick and easy reading, Klinkenberg doesn't always succeed in making readers feel as if they are traveling with him on his Florida journey, from beginning to end. Still, this collection of close to 50 examples of real life from the Keys to the panhandle gives readers a jumping-off point to find their own path. Photos. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A feature writer for the St. Petersburg Times, Klinkenberg has published two earlier collections of his columns (Real Florida and Dispatches from the Land of Flowers). Arranged by season, starting in the fall, these insightful and sharply focused portraits of people and places represent the range of the many cultures that make up the Sunshine State. Here, we encounter a Florida that most tourists never see-that of an 85-year-old "shell lady" from Cayo Costa Key, of painter Christopher Still, or of Buster Agliano, a fishmonger in Ybor City. What all these pieces of local color share is the author's love of his home state, and they will help to preserve a part of Florida history that is rapidly vanishing. Recommended for specialized collections and especially Florida public libraries.-Herbert E. Shapiro, Empire State Coll., SUNY at Rochester Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813027135
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
Publication date:
05/15/2004
Series:
Florida History and Culture Series
Edition description:
First
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
1,057,737
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.62(h) x 1.06(d)

Meet the Author

Florida native Jeff Klinkenberg has been writing for the St. Petersburg Times since 1977. He is the only two-time winner of the Paul Hansell Distinguished Journalism Award, the highest honor given by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, and the author of Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators.

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Seasons of Real Florida 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
wolfFL More than 1 year ago
I love books about Florida. Jeff writes about the real people of Florida. I love how he tells their story. The book is so interesting and I enjoy how he writes about the people. The book is good old Florida history. It's about people and places we would never think about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The chapter on flamingos is really funny. I couldn'stop laughing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago