Jimmy Buffett "has gregarious charm . . . and a bottomless well of stories to tell. . . . Reading "A Pirate Looks at Fifty" is like sitting with Buffett at a beachside bar, listening to him spin tales . . . discourse on life and share nifty bits of geography and history ("Time"). "America's . . . good-time guy joins Hemingway, Dr. Seuss, and ...
Jimmy Buffett "has gregarious charm . . . and a bottomless well of stories to tell. . . . Reading "A Pirate Looks at Fifty" is like sitting with Buffett at a beachside bar, listening to him spin tales . . . discourse on life and share nifty bits of geography and history ("Time"). "America's . . . good-time guy joins Hemingway, Dr. Seuss, and Steinbeck as one of the few who have topped both the fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists.--"Rolling Stone".
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As every Buffett fan knows, the title of this book is a play on a title of one of Jimmy Buffett's most popular songs, "A Pirate Looks At Forty." For him and many of his fans, the fact that they even made it to 50, is still a wonder. This is a travelogue of a long trip (or many trips) Jimmy took with his family. He wanted to go around the world, but he setlled for just seeing a lot of it instead. He flies from obligation to obligation while his wife and children meet up with him or vice versa in some exotic location to celebrate the holiday and his birthday, which coiincidentally happens to be December 25th.
If you are a Buffett fan or parrothead, as I am, this is like getting a chance to travel and talk with the man about regular stuff during the holidays as he lives his life as a pop/country/reggae/rock&roll star. As such, for me it was interesting and a lot of fun and a pretty fast read. If you're not a parrothead or are a little cynical, as you read this you will wonder why he gets to have so much fun and spend so much money on airplanes and hotel stays for a gaggle of people as a slightly better than average singer and songwriter and why did I pay him (again) to read about how he is spending my or his fans' hard-earned money.
He has fatherhood issues like many of us, tries to remain cool to his kids --and fans-- and make the most of special though rare moments with them while ensuring his priviliged children don't grow up too fast. He goes out to dinner with friends and family and has good hotel stays and not so good and ponders life as an aging pilot/father/husband/iconic celebrity.
If you are looking for a lot of deep introspection about turning 50 here, you will be disappointed, but it's otherwise a very pleasant read with some good stories and travel tips and a good inside look at the distant and recent past of the man behind the performances as well as the time he spends with his family.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-06-08 The breezy pop craftsman of "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise" famously spends most of his time sailing, trotting out 1970s chestnuts on the summer tour circuitĉand writing. Buffett's bestselling Tales from Margaritaville (1989) and Where Is Joe Merchant? (1992), among other books, created a world of sun-baked characters whose doings bore some resemblance to those of their author. This memoir draws back the curtain between fact and fiction, and genially takes stock in a manner likely to appeal to the Me generation. Though he rambles, repeats himself and may even raise hackles ("I have been too warped by Catholicism not to be cynical"), Buffett is earnest and unapologetic in his hedonism, seeing his mock pirate's life as the antithesis of the conformity foisted on him as a child in Alabama. In a series of loosely chronological vignettes, Buffett quickly takes us from his bar-band beginnings to a brush with death when he crashes one of his fleet of seaplanes. A lower-latitude voyage with his family (in a newer, bigger plane) to celebrate his 50th birthday makes up the bulk of the book, and takes them from Florida to the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Colombia and the Amazon. The diaristic logbook that Buffett keeps along the way provides endless opportunities to muse on the music business; his older, wilder ways; navigation and, on the horizon, approaching mortality. Buffett's prose won't itself win him more "parrotheads" (as his fans are called), but those with enough patience or reverence to wade through long descriptions of beloved gear, favorite books or "fucking tikki pukki drinks" will find beneath these amblings a disarmingly direct character. Simultaneous audio, CD and large-print edition; author tour. (July)
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