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The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close…
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The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers

by Eric Hansen

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This is the first book by Hansen I've read, and I enjoyed it. It is a very funny and quick read. There are not many travel writers who describe events like "It was like an all-male barn dance at sea." Or describe a man spitting his flaming dentures off a pier on Thursday Island. ( )
  benjclark | Jan 12, 2016 |
This book is a collection of stories about the author's experiences traveling the world. I really like the way the author relates to the people he encounters while traveling. His tone never sounds patronizing or condescending, and he seems to have very genuine interactions with the people he meets. I am interested to read more by Hansen. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
After a lifetime of travel to exotic locations, the author recounts some of his most memorable interactions with people he met along the way. You will meet an elderly woman who caters food to royalty from her derelict home, island natives, a stripper and a grieving husband among others. Travel vicariously from the comfort of your own home. ( )
  poetreegirl | Mar 4, 2013 |
I'm a sucker for fluffy, smart-aleck, 3-star travel memoirs, but this one was different. These stories (as the subtitle "Close Encounters with Strangers" suggests), are all about a diverse crowd of incredibly fascinating characters.

The title story was a wonderful study of the natural history of exotic dancers, "...you can't expect to mix money, men, naked women and alcohol and expect to have an easy time." It fell short on ornithology however. Through some shoddy note-taking or editing, the author mentions the main character's trip to Maine, in search of specialties like Colima Warbler and Harris' Hawk. Stick to the strippers, Mr. Hanson.

Many stories were predictable, but all were gems, from the nostagic "Life at the Grand Hotel", to the sad ghost story, "Three Nights on the Mountain".

Speaking of Ghosts, it was "The Ghost Wind" an underdog racing story, that brought a tear to my eye. 150 karoke-screaming cadets on the decrepit Indonesian tall ship beating Japan's "King of the Sea" in a wind-less race to LA. Great stuff. Great people. ( )
  Sandydog1 | Jul 4, 2012 |
This book was just pure fun. Hansen drinks intoxicating kava with native islanders, helps a widower search for the diamond ring his dead wife lost during a plane crash, and visits with a bird watcher who loves to take exotic dancers out on hunts. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679771824, Paperback)

Eric Hansen survives a cyclone on a boat off the Australian coast, cradles a dying man in Calcutta, and drinks mind-altering kava in Vanuatu. He helps a widower search for his wife's wedding ring amid plane-crash wreckage in Borneo and accompanies topless dancers on a bird-watching expedition in California. From the Maldives to Sacramento, from Cannes to Washington Heights, Eric Hansen has a way of getting himself into the most sacred ceremonies and the most candid conversations.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:11 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Eric Hansen is an intrepid traveller with a keenly perceptive eye and an appreciation for the odd and unusual. He will go anywhere, try anything and always manages to capture something remarkable in the doing.

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