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Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarodby Gary Paulsen
I read Winterdance while camping in the mountains of eastern Oregon when it was cold, very cold (though I was snug and warm in my sleeping bag), but I was glad to not be experiencing the Arctic climes in the book. Gary Paulsen describes cold and snow the likes of which I hope never to encounter, but does so with humor and an eye for detail that brings this story to life for the reader a world of stark beauty, the breath steaming from his dogs, the wild animals.
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"There are only a handful of indispensable dog books...Winterdance belongs among [those] classics." Washington Post
"In the tradition of Jack London...[Paulsen's] prose is spare and physical; at its best, it has the fluid simplicity of Hemingway." Booklist
"A breathtaking, heart-stopping, roller coaster ride that depicts the brutal reality of the Iditarod, the magnificent beauty of Alaska, and the unique, if not surreal, relationship that develops between man and dog." Nevada Weekly
"In a style reminiscent of fellow nature writer Farley Mowat, Paulsen deftly examines careening on a precarious edge." Library Journal
Paulsen and his team of dogs endured snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on. Map and color photographs.
About the Author
GARY PAULSEN has written nearly two hundred books for young people, including the Newbery Honor Books Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room. He divides his time between a home in New Mexico and a boat on the Pacific Ocean.
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