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Book Review - A Pirate Looks at Fifty by Jimmy Buffet


I’ve just finished reading Jimmy Buffet’s A Pirate Looks at Fiftyand I want to read it all over again!  I don’t say that about too many books but this one had me grinning, nodding and laughing out loud from the first page.  I’ve always been a Jimmy Buffet fan and have listened to his music for hours on end on many a sailing trip and while sipping Margaritas in so many Tiki bars throughout the Caribbean, I’ve lost count.  After reading this book (he has others but this is the first one I’ve read), his Joie de Vivre is palpable.  It’s no wonder he writes such wonderful music.  He’s had a life full of crazy adventure and experiences that are hard to believe (some of them aren’t so hard to believe for me as many of his stories of flying into remote island airports and dropping anchor in beautiful bays brought back some great memories of our travels).

Story Telling Wrapped in Good Advice
If you like to get lost in stories of adventure, with colorful characters, this is the book for you.  Buffet also intersperses his skilful storytelling with little nuggets of advice for world travelers… like this little gem: “I learned a long time ago to leave my Yankee bravado at home when I travel.  The best way for an American to get around the world is not to act like you saved it or own it.”  Good advice.  He also gives great relationship advice.  I’ve always believed that if you want to test the mettle of a relationship, do some traveling together.  

Traveling in Pairs
My husband and I love to travel and we’re very well-suited.  I think that bodes well for a relationship (and it’s served us well for over 20 years).  Buffet shares the highs and lows of his marriage (which broke down once but they reconciled and are still going strong).  He ponders that, “We have learned through experience that it’s okay to not like some things that your spouse likes to do, and it’s better to make it known rather than go along.”  Again, a brilliant insight that more couples would be wise to heed.

You’ll hold your breath as he tries to clear his airplane (and family) through customs in Bogal, Columbia after being diverted from his planned landing in Cartagena; and you’ll laugh along with him as he’s constantly entertained by his two pre-school aged children.

He’s a world traveler, avid angler, aviator, world famous musician and devout family man and he’s opened his heart and soul to his fans in this great memoir chronicling some special highlights from his life’s journey.

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