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need book suggestions (Read 7165 times)
Captain Rackham
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need book suggestions
14. Sep 2004 at 21:57
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I'm looking for some good pirate fiction! Any suggestions? Blaylock or other authors; doesn't matter.
If it's kind of like Elfin Ship or Disappearing Dwarf, that's great too! Smiley
thanks!
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #1 - 15. Sep 2004 at 00:23
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Tim Powers, friend of Blaylock's and an author in his own right, is a fan of the books written by Raphael Sabatini.  Sabatini wrote some classic tales about Pirates. Here's a site about Sabatini:
http://www.rafaelsabatini.com/

I haven't read anything by him, so I can't provide an opinion about them -- except, they come highly recommended.

Did you read On Stranger Tides, by Tim Powers?  It is a really great pirate book involving Blackbeard legends, carribean pirates, and voodoo magic.

I assume you've read "On Pirates" by Blaylock and Powers?  It contains a collaborative poem about pirates that is very funny.

For something far more alien and very different, I can highly recommend the SciFi/Fantasy novel by China Mieville entitled "The Scar".  The main character ends up on a giant floating pirate city where the majority of the story takes place.  It's phenomenally imaginative and a very good read by this talented writer.

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Captain Rackham
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #2 - 15. Sep 2004 at 03:28
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Thanks very much! The Sabatini books look great, I'll see if I can find one soon. The Powers book looks interesting too. Sadly, I haven't read On Pirates yet. I ordered it awhile back, but for some reason the order was cancelled by amazon. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough to get one. Smiley I'll definitely check if my library has 'The Scar' - it seems like my kind of book! thanks again, and if you find anything else, let me know.
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #3 - 15. Sep 2004 at 14:00
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I can't resist mentioning that my co-conspirator in maintaining the Blaylock website (Krista Johansen) is just finishing the final editing of a pirate story. It won't be published until the spring though, and it's written for a younger audience, so it probably isn't the sort of thing you're looking for: Torrie and the Pirate-Queen



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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #4 - 21. Sep 2004 at 20:52
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I don't know if you are familiar with the work of James Branch Cabell, but he wrote an excellent pirate story titled "There Were Two Pirates".  Written in the first person, it tells the story of Jose Gasparrilla, King of the Pirates.  (There is a excellent description here http://www.cindyvallar.com/adultpiratebks.html#Two ).  Wildside Press has just released a new edition, but you can also find very reasonably priced ($20 - $40 ) copies of the Farrar and Strauss first edition on ABE.

Also, check out Lord Dunsany's stories of Captain Shard and his ship, the Desperate Lark.  They are scattered throughout his early story collections "The Book of Wonder", "The Sword Of Welleran", etc.  A couple of the story titles that I remember are "The Loot of Bombasharna" which takes place on Dansany's own fantasy world, and "A Story of Land and Sea" which takes place in the Mediterranean and North Africa of our own world.  These stories have some subtle  humor mixed in with the lovely descriptive prose for which Dunsany is famous.

Another one that I haven't yet read, but have heard fantastic things about is Mervyn Peake's "Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor".  That is generally classified as children's literature, but is apparently also of interest to adult readers.

-DCB
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #5 - 30. Sep 2004 at 16:55
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Mornin' Captain!

Not really Pirate stories (except The Letter of Marque), but check out the Patrick O'Brian books about Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin.  Master and Commander is the first.  The movie doesn't do them justice and actually has a lot of 20th Century nonsense superimposed on it that O'Brian would have sniffed at.

I assume you have Treasure Island?  On Stranger Tides is great, too.  It's the best thing that Powers ever wrote, followed closely by The Drawing of the Dark.

There is a neat little book called Pirate Ghosts of the American Coast that I read many years ago, not really literature.

Enjoy!
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Julie
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #6 - 15. Oct 2004 at 23:22
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This is my first time posting but I've been visiting this site for a while.

I read a great pirate book called The Sweet Trade by Elizabeth Garrett. It's the story of three real pirates Anne Bonny, Mary Read and Calico Jack Rackham. It has some really improbable events and some great dialogue. The best part is the most ridiculous parts are true and supported by court documents and other sources. It does have some elements of a romance novel, so that may or may not appeal to you.
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Captain Rackham
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #7 - 15. Oct 2004 at 23:28
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Thanks again, to everyone. I'll definitely be checking out as many of these books as I can get my hands on! Yep, I've read Treasure Island. I also have Master and Commander (and rather liked the movie Smiley), and when I can afford it, I'll buy the next book.
Welcome, Julie! Smiley that sounds like a fantastic book; I've always been interested in the story of Jack Rackham (as is quite obvious).
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Jim_Fortner
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #8 - 02. Dec 2004 at 18:27
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John Owen
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #9 - 03. Dec 2004 at 06:41
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about "On Pirates"

why not just order a copy straight from the publisher. eliminate amazon.

http://www.subterraneanpress.com/
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #10 - 13. Dec 2004 at 19:34
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I can't believe this one was left off of everyone's lists, so I'll throw it in for your consideration:

"The Pyrates: A Swashbuckling Comic Novel by the Creator of Flashman"
by George MacDonald Fraser

It's exactly what it claims to be, and more. Fraser is influenced by Sabatini and Errol Flynn in equal measure; he's a master of historical adventure and veddy British wit. This novel stands alone, but if you like it you'll want to read his "Flashman" series as well.
Enjoy!
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #11 - 31. Jan 2005 at 21:27
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A really good fantasy novel which came out a few months ago is "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" by Susanna Clarke.

Part of Amazon's description of this book says "English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.
But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England's magical past and regained some of the powers of England's magicians.".

I wouldn't read the rest of their description, though, because it contains spoilers.

The book took Clarke about 10 years to write, and was heavily influenced by period works like those of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, and the charm depends more upon the way it's written than the story line itself, perhaps.

I believe Tim Powers has recommended this book, and Neil Gaiman as well.

I'm partway into it, and liking it very much. As bookworm fodder goes, it's like a great Thanksgiving meal, having somewhere around 800 pages...
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Jeff M.
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #12 - 01. Feb 2005 at 18:31
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I could be mistaken, but I think that this book was mentioned  during a segment on audio books, on NPR.  Whether or not it's the same one, it sounds like a great read.
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"He'd worked his way through half of G. Smithers, having long ago come to the conclusion that reading is perhaps the finest thing in the world to do in one's leisure time."
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #13 - 02. Feb 2005 at 00:39
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I think it's been mentioned a few times on NPR.  I heard the author being interviewed on the Diane Rehm show, I think.

Has anyone here read "The Steampunk Trilogy" by Paul Di Filippo?  I read it over Xmas holidays and found it to be tolerably entertaining, but not breathtaking genius.  Still, it has it's funny moments, and the third story is a send-up to Lovecraft.
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Captain Rackham
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Re: need book suggestions
Reply #14 - 06. Feb 2005 at 00:58
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You people are simply awesome. Smiley Thanks again and again! (For some reason, I've stopped getting emails about updates, so it's taken me awhile to reply. sorry.)
Jim_Fortner, that list is incredible. I'm going to add all those titles to my 'to-read' list.
Sadly enough, subterraneanpress.com is sold out of On Pirates, but I'll keep an eye on it.
Again, I really appreciate this! I'll be looking into some of these in a bit; at the moment I'm waiting for an order of the first 10 Lemony Snicket books to come in (which are slightly/if not more than slightly steampunk-ish), so that will keep me busy for awhile. My list of pirate novels keeps growing and growing!
Wow, an 800 page book...sounds cool!
I've wanted to read the Steampunk trilogy, but haven't been able to pick up a copy yet.
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