Beyond Here Be Dragons is a marvelous book. The reader comes away with a great deal of admiration for the author and his entire family in this Swiss Family Robinson-like adventure in the wilds of Guatemala. The narrative voice is warm and engaging and this adventure is told with a splendid sense of humor. This story of an American family in the rain forest of Guatemala's Peten is not just a story of man against nature. It is a story of man, woman, and children against nature as the author, Jacques VanKirk, includes the tales of his sharpshooter wife, Parney, and his two adorable daughters, Parney Lynn and Gayle as they adjust to life in this dangerous and beautiful land. VanKirk recounts not only the dangers of the forest in terms of poisonous snakes and blood-thirsty jaguars but does not shy away from the treacherous politics of Guatemala in the late 60's and early 70's. Jacque Van Kirk, author of the classic Remarkable Remains, is a hunting guide who is not your typical "great white hunter." He is a man of compassion and insight with a good eye for the foibles of human beings. He fills his tale with a colorful cast of characters, each one well drawn and engaging. Beyond Here Be Dragons sets the reader dreaming of far away places in the spirit of Paul Thoreau's travel books. In reading this tale of an American family hacking out a way of life for themselves in a remote part of the world, the reader is reminded that each of us must face life head-on and slay our own breed of jaguar. A compelling, well written, funny, exciting, and inspiring book.