by Michael DregniThis collection of articles and book excerpts is a pretty good introduction to Florida. Obviously the different pieces featured here (more than a dozen in the book) had a range of qualities, and I personally found the first couple to be either pointless or tedious, so either plow on through them or skip them, because the good stuff is coming. And, it is well-rounded, covering geologic history through to modern retirees, "colored" culture, "Cracker" culture (Florida hick), Everglade frontiersmen, Latin Americans, doughy northern visitors and Cuban immigrants!
My favorite parts:
"The Walt 'You Will Have Fun' Disney World Themed Shopping Complex and Resort Compound," by Dave Barry.
It was laugh-out-loud funny. Barry's satire is cutting but not obnoxious. I've never been to Disney World, never much wanted to go, and this article helped reinforce that. (Those of you in from Vatican High, it seems might feel at home there though, according to Barry;-)
Excerpt from Oranges, by John McPhee.
Truly a comprehensive history of the oranges, even this little excerpt had a heap of fascinating facts.
"How it Feels to be Colored Me," by Zora Neale Hurston.
I already knew I liked the author from Their Eyes Were Watching God, her voice comes through clearly in this article about growing up in Florida.
Excerpt from "The Tin Canners," by David A. Thornburg.
It gives a fascinating bit of history on early 20th century American tourism (named after the first generation of automobile drivers in America, traveling around on vacation with all their food and supplies in tin cans).
Excerpt from "The Tropic of Cracker," by Al Burt.
Florida is where the term comes from. And, after Burt's description of them, I realize that Florida is still crawling with them Crackers, not all of whom are quite as dumb and backwards as legend suggests.
And, some beautiful writing in an excerpts from "Cigars" by Jose Yglesias and "A Life in the Everglades" by Loren "Totch" Brown.
What I liked best about this book is that it was not tourist-trap-trash, like a lot of what I find in Europe (see my review on the book supposed to be about Saint Paul in Greece). These pieces have relevant, interesting content, meant for the reader's enjoyment, not just to convince them to spend money at the editor's cousin's gift shop, as I see so often in European regional books.
It was actually a pretty great read, especially while here spending time in southwestern Florida, and the photos and graphics are also great and fascinating.
|eBook format||Hardcover, (torrent)|
|Publisher||Voyageur Press (MN)|
|File size||1.5 Mb|
|Book rating||4 (1 votes)