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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions

Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions - Jimmy Buffett

I bought a paperback copy of this book around the time it came out in the early 90's.  I wasn't mad keen to read it; I liked his music but I didn't think that would automatically make him an interesting writer.  I bought it because it was being raved about by a friend's boyfriend - I'd never up to that point heard a male (my dad omitted) admit to reading outside school, let alone rave about how good a book was, so I felt I had to give it a try just to see: what kind of writing interests men?

 

I'm sure I never found a definitive answer to that question (turned out I was just hanging out with the wrong men) but I did fall in love with the stories in this book.  I've been re-reading it over the years whenever I felt homesick or nostalgic, because truly these stories capture a flavour of the south, and Florida in particular, that is hard to find in the present day.  Snake Bite Key (the setting for a lot of the stories, or the characters' backgrounds) could just have easily been in South Florida in the 70's as it is a fictional island in Alabama.

 

I recently upgraded my poor old softcover copy to a lovely hardback I found when I was on vacation, and I just had to sit down and re-read it.  Funny how certain things stick out once your perspective changes:  I never paid much attention to Buffett's references to Australia and Australian Aboriginal myths until I was living in Oz myself; suddenly these references have more relevance for me.  But otherwise, the stories hold up - they aren't all gems and I love some more than others.  

 

My personal favourites:

Off to See the Lizard

Boomerang Love - this is my all-time favourite of the stories in this book.

The Swamp Creature Let One In

 

Good but not great:

Take Another Road

I Wish Lunch Could Last Forever

 

Meh:

The Pascagoula Run

 

These are apparently semi-autobiographical:

You Can't Take it With You:   I wasn't ever really sure there was much point to this one.

Are You Ready for Freddy?:  Tedious to the extreme.  Freddy likes to hear his own voice.

 

Hooked in the Heart - this one couldn't have been great - I can't remember it!!

Life in the Food Chain - Very good.

A Gift for the Buccaneer - I really liked this one. 

Sometimes I Feel Like a Rudderless Child - also thought this one was interesting, although it ended oddly.

 

An oddball collection of stories, but most of them take me back home and leave me smiling when I'm finished; I'm not sure I can ask much more from Mr. Buffett.  Cheers!