Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994 - Sports & Recreation - 256 pages
23 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.
 

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User Review  - sushicat - LibraryThing

Gary Paulsen tells us how, living in Minnesota, he came to participate in the Iditarod, the legendary dog sled race across Alaska, in 1983. When he made the decision to participate, he had very little ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MtnGoat - LibraryThing

Very interesting read! Very funny, esp first half. Graphic description of running the Iditarod. Too much bad language for my taste, esp in the latter part of the book. Read full review

Contents

Prelude
1
Dogs from Hell
55
Major Wrecks 72 Becoming Dog
89
First Snow 95 Alaska
107
Eagle River
139
Finger Lake 1 64 Rainy Pass
174
The Interior
198
Dons Cabin 211 Shageluk 219 The Yukon
224
Norton Sound
242
An End
252
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Gary Paulsen was born on May 17, 1939 in Minnesota. During the first few years of his life, his father was stationed in Europe during World War II and his mother worked in a factory. Paulsen was raised by his grandmother and aunts. He lived overseas after the war in the Phillippines between 1946-49. Ever since he was fifteen, he worked many jobs to support himself. He attended Bemidji College, in Minnesota, paying his tuition by being a trapper. He also spent some time in the army. He decided one day to try writing and tried to become a magazine editor. He spent nearly a year as an associate magazine editor on a magazine for men in Hollywood, California. He published his first book, "Special War," in 1966 and had published nearly forty books and several articles and short stories during his early years. He went back to school in 1972, attending the University of Colorado, but his career was interrupted by a lawsuit in 1977 over "Winterkill." In 1990, he suffered a mild heart attack, which did not hinder his writing at all. Some of Paulsen's most well-known books are the Hatchet series, although he has published many other popular novels including Dogsong, Harris and Me, and The Winter Room, which won the Newbery Honor. Woodsong and Winterdance are among the most popular books about the Iditarod. Paulsen was the recipient of the 1997 Margaret A. Edwards Award for his lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.

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