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Monkey Dancing: A Father, Two Kids, and Journey to the Ends of the Earthby Dan Glick
Synopses & Reviews
A suddenly single father — and nationally known environmental reporter — takes his children on a world tour of some of the world's rare and endangered life forms while reckoning with loss, change, and the challenges of parenting in this frank, funny, moving memoir.
After the death of his brother and the sudden end of his marriage, and after his ex-wife moved to another state leaving him alone with their two young children, Dan Glick embarked on single fatherhood in an unusual way: he took his kids on a journey around the world. The idea was to go see some of the world's rare life forms before they disappeared from the planet, and to do it before the kids themselves would grow up and chart their own paths.
In the summer of 2001 Dan, Zoe, and Kolya took off from Colorado for a six-month journey on which they would see the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the orangutans of Borneo, Javan Rhinos in Vietnam, the tigers of Nepal, and more. Meeting countless challenges — emotional, logistical and physical — the threesome shared experiences they could not have imagined and would not soon forget. Glick weaves accounts of their encounters with the natural world — and each other — with intimate reflections on his own reckoning with loss, change, and fatherhood, illuminating the commonalities between our relationships with each other, and our relationship with the earth we inhabit. For anyone who dreams of travelling to the world's most exotic places, for anyone already navigating that wild journey called parenting, Monkey Dancing is by turns fascinating, funny, and wise.
"This unusual, superbly written and deeply human story...is a consistently rewarding odyssey....The book is striking both as travelogue and personal drama." Publishers Weekly
"Great adventures all, but it's the inner journey that's most interesting, for the author and for Kolya and Zoe, whose own journal entries enliven the story. Over time and distance, all three come to terms in new ways with their losses and altered family arrangements." Tom Kenworthy, USA Today
"This is a very human story....It's a fine and mordant account of experiencing things before they melt into air, stitching the remnants of a family's old lives into a whole new cloth. Big-hearted, pleasingly fitful narrative of the kind of journey that scours the soul of its karmic gunk." Kirkus Reviews
"This book has much to give on many levels....[A]n engaging and moving narrative that informs as it entertains....[Glick] is searching yet never self-indulgent, and he has much to say that would encourage single parents — and, indeed, all parents. A fine blend of travel and inspirational writing..." Library Journal
"Fitfully amusing, especially when the author's two children...are testing the...limits their father has imposed..." The Washington Post
"Glick's journalistic background informs his odyssey with a sense of scholarly urgency....The trip has some of the typical trials of a family vacation — a flat tire in Bali, bickering in Kathmandu — although even the most dangerous encounters are leavened by Glick's mordant sense of humor..." The New Yorker
"Monkey Dancing stayed with me long after I finished reading the book." Tery Tempest Williams, author of Refuge and Leap
"This is an odyssey and a love story and a coming-of-age tale and a lot of other good things rolled into one." Bill McKibben
Book News Annotation:
Glick, a journalist and author, traveled with his two children to remote areas of the world to see rare animals and places. The adventures and sights they saw in places that include Borneo, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Java, the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam, and Nepal are described in an engaging narrative that describes the grim threats to the animals and landscape alongside the account of their personal experiences. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this frank and funny memoir, a suddenly single father — and nationally known environmental reporter — takes his children on a world tour of some of the world's rare and endangered life forms while reckoning with loss, change, and the challenges of parenting. Photos.
About the Author
Daniel Glick worked for Newsweek for more than 12 years, as a Washington correspondent and as a special correspondent roving the Rocky Mountain West. He has also written for Rolling Stone, the Washington Post Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Men's Journal, and numerous other publications, and is the author of Powder Burn: Arson, Money, and Mystery on Vail Mountain. Having traveled widely and lived on four continents, Glick now lives in Colorado with his two children.
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