Summary and book reviews of Monkey Dancing by Daniel Glick

Monkey Dancing

A Father, Two Kids and a Journey to the Ends of the Earth

by Daniel Glick

Monkey Dancing
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2003, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

For anyone who dreams of traveling 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.

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 traveling 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.

Prologue
A Free Trip Around the World

In the middle of the night, after my daughter Zoe woke me for the third time because she was afraid of the snakes, I wondered, not for the first time, whether this trip had really been such an inspired idea. Earlier, Zoe had been complaining about leeches, and before that mosquitoes, and it dawned on me that unless you were raised in the rainforest, accustomed to strangler figs and spiders the size of gerbils, Borneo was a pretty forbidding environment. For a nine-year-old girl reared in suburban Colorado, this place looked downright menacing. My thirteen-year-old son Kolya, also awakened by his sister, didn't help things when he authoritatively informed Zoe that, since she was the smallest mammal among us, any predator would obviously eat her first.

I shot Kolya a venomous look that temporarily silenced him and reassured Zoe that it was unlikely that snakes could board the 55-foot houseboat (called a klotok) where we were sleeping, moored ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Washington Post

Fitfully amusing, especially when the author's two children...are testing the...limits their father has imposed...

The New Yorker

Glick introduces endangered species and places to his children, who had been raised on flashes of music videos and DSL Internet downloads. Glick's journalistic background informs his odyssey with a sense of scholarly urgency; Dad, his son asks, have many things gone extinct in your lifetime?

Hartford Courant

Glick...has the skills to make this unusual odyssey believable and fascinating.

The Chicago Tribune

Glick's writing is frank, amusing, and mellifluous...

Boulder Daily Camera

Much more than a simple travel story. Glick's memoirs, explore the connective tissue of familial, environmental, political and universal relations...

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

An inspiring globe-trotting road trip with a personal and environmental agenda...definitely an armchair trip worth taking.

Lafayette (CO) News

[Glick] is both a father and an observer...his observations not only provide material, but...allow his paternal tendencies to grow...

USA Today - Tom Kenworthy

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.

Los Angeles Times

.....engaging... follows the three Glicks' day-to-day thrill and turmoil as the make their way around the globe... [a] rich narrative.

Child Magazine

In this inspiring memoir, [Glick] describes his transformative six-month trip around the world with his children.

Publishers Weekly

By the time Glick is finished talking...even readers who lack the author's raging wanderlust will long to encounter unfamiliar cultures and witness firsthand the tigers of Nepal, the Javan rhinos of Vietnam and the orangutans of Borneo.

Library Journal - Rebecca Bollen

A fine blend of travel and inspirational writing; for public libraries.

Kirkus Reviews

Big-hearted, pleasingly fitful narrative of the kind of journey that scours the soul of its karmic gunk.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Monkey Dancing, try these:

  • Spare Parts jacket

    Spare Parts

    by Joshua Davis

    Published 2014

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Four undocumented Mexican American students, two great teachers, one robot-building contest...and a major motion picture.

  • No Horizon Is So Far jacket

    No Horizon Is So Far

    by Ann Bancroft, Liv Arnesen

    Published 2004

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Chronicles and celebrates the journey of two modern-day heroines who crossed Antarctic on foot. Though modern technology could not ensure rescue, website transmissions and satellite phone calls enabled more than 3 million school children from 65 countries to bear witness to Ann and Liv's journey.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.