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Dance Real Slow Hardcover – 11 Apr 1996

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Hardcover, 11 Apr 1996

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (11 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747525048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747525042
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,205,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"An elegant glimpse of love and loss." --"The New York Times Book Rev"iew "A debut that glows with warmth and perception." --"Chicago Tribune" "A brave and wise book about keeping love. This is a passionate debut." --"GQ" "A full-hearted novel about a man's love for his child...A winner!" --"Los Angeles Features Syndicate"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 27 Jun. 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am currently reading this book for the fourth time, such is it's sorrowful and realistic intimacy. For once, the single parent is the father, and Gordon Nash is a wonderfuly crafted leading man. The reader is transported straight into Tarent, Kansas, and is at once enamoured in the small town intimacy and suffocated by small town restraints. Perhaps it is wrong of me to say this book is heartbreaking as it is not a wholly sad tale, rather, it is a beautifuly realistic portrayal of modern parenthood, with gentle glances back to a time that the reader perhaps has spent looking back at too. This reader most certainly has. Dance Real Slow is, almost unbelievably, Michael Grant Jaffe's debut novel, and one that is certainly worth reading. Read it once and you may find yourself reading it again and again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 15 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mr. Nicholas Webber 14 Jan. 2000
By Nick Webber - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Jaffe's story provides a wonderful example of how a thirty-something single father deals with parenthood, while at the same time living through the trials and tribulations of his new found life. Love, loss of love, security, and insecurity are all very important themes within this book. Jaffe provides a wonderful set of characters who play out the problems of life in a small town in Kansas (a slow paced backdrop which allows the reader to put into perspective the interaction which occurs between its complex protagonist and the rest of the characters within the novel). All and all, this story is well thought out, and it is very well portrayed. In terms of writing style, Jaffe has room to improve. Though he shows flashes of briliance, his narrative, many times, appears to be organic and repetitive. Written in the first person, there are a lot of "I's," and there is not a whole lot depth in the description of setting. In conclusion, this book excells in bringing to life the problems of a man trying to become a father, and lacks in literary maturity. Something this good writer will only get better at.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a sweet read in parts 27 July 2000
By M. H. Bayliss - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Though Jaffe's novel is far from perfect (weak writing in parts that sounds contrived, some plot strands that just don't work out), let's dwell on the bright side. He captures quite well the frustrations and joys of parenthood. Even the most patient parent occassionaly feels like smacking his/her child at times. Calvin is a cute 4 year old who becomes enamoured of the Portuguese Man of War that his grandmother sends him in a jar! In one of the funniest scenes in the book, they make a trip to a doctor friend who treats the decaying jellyfish and adds formaldyhide which prolongs the creatures jar life a few more days. The love interest part of the book works, although we never find out much about her, but the scenes when his exwife comes back just don't seem to hang together. There were times that the writing sounded "workshoppy" to me. In short, this novel is worth reading for some poignant moments and sweet scenes, but it has several weaknesses that interfere with the novel as a whole.
Life With Father Minus Mother 20 Nov. 2000
By Nancy R. Katz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In the tradition of Kramer vs. Kramer by Avery Corman, Dance Real Slow explores the relationship between a father and his 4 year old son after the boy's mother walks out on them. In, at times, heartbreaking clarity, this book describes the life of Gordon and Calvin, set adrift and learning to cope as a twosome instead of a threesome. Managing hard to put his life in order, Gordon a part time lawyer, reflects not only on his marraige to Katie as he goes through the day to day living of rasing a son, but also his own realtionship with his father. Then when Gordon is finally comfortable in his role as a single parent and when Calvin seems to be well adjusted to his situation, Katie returns. Complicating matters further is Gordon's developing realtionship with a new woman.
Although the subject of fathers and sons has been explored by other writers, particularly Russian authors, Jaffe's book prsents this realationship in a somewhat predicatable and contrived manner. But in the end the predicatement had me rooting for the futther sucesses of Calvin and Gordon.
While I enjoyed most of the novel perhaps its my memory of Kramer vs. Kramer, both the book and movie which I read first and enjoed more, that somewhat spoiled this book for me.
A REALLY GREAT BOOK!! (especially for single dads) 12 Mar. 2012
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio Cassette
I have listened to the unabridged cassette version of this book over & over again. It's really turned out to be my favorite book of all time since it hit home so directly. I discovered it a number of years ago at the same time I was going through a very similar situation. I think dads who have earned custody of their young sons (or daughters) will enjoy the entire content. It accurately explores the challenges of a father raising a small child on his own, the pain left by an exiting mother, and the hope & excitement of a new beginning as well as a new romance entering his life. If going the cassette route, I recommend the unabridged version read by Barrett Whitener.

Ironically the setting for this fictional story is only miles from my hometown, which undoubtedly added to its allure and uncanny similarities for me.

NOTE: This book was also created into a movie in 1999 titled "A COOL DRY PLACE" starring Vince Vaughn. As much as I adored the book, the movie was somewhat of a disappointment. Like many movies, it left out some of the good details found in the original story. But it was still fun to see the characters come to life on the screen.
touching story about single fatherhood 15 Aug. 1996
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio Cassette
This is a wonderfully moving and evocative story of a single
father left to raise his young son by himself after his
wife walks out. Every parent will be able to relate to the
way Gordon feels about his son, Calvin-- he loves him more
than life itself, but sometimes he just wants to strangle
him! When the ex-wife reappears to challenge Gordon's custody
of Calvin, you'll think it's Kramer vs. Kramer all over again,
but this story is less about a custody battle than it is
about the relationship of father and son. Very touching and
highly recommended.
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