Tales from Margaritaville (stories) and Where Is Joe Merchant? (a mystery) secured songwriter Jimmy Buffett's niche reputation as an affable, poetic beach bum. A Pirate Looks at Fifty, a travel-diary-cum-autobiography, features Buffett behind the wheel of his Grumman Albatross seaplane, safely piloting family and friends through a three-week trip around South and Central America and the Caribbean. He blends gentle scenic narration with rambling, unplugged life stories meant to convey that he's made peace with the whole aging process. For Buffett, turning 50 "can be a ball of snakes that conjures up immediate thoughts of mortality and accountability. (`What have I done with my life?') Or, it can be a great excuse to reward yourself for just getting there. (`He who dies with the most toys wins.') I instinctively chose door number two."
On this tack, Buffett plans an opulent, laid-back trip for his brood and goes into so many details about his favorite possessions (three pages on knapsacks!) that the cheerful vagabond in flip-flops is nearly eclipsed by the rich, domesticated businessman/dad he's become. In addition, stinging losses and limitations--his dad's Alzheimer's disease, his own terrifying solo plane crash in 1996--creep into his cozy yarns. Yet Buffett's infectious, grinning attitude towards life eventually finds resurrection in extended riffs on fly-fishing, solo piloting over water, and surfing. In such passages, he earns his claim to a "saline psyche," a legacy inherited from his grandfather, skipper of a five-masted barkentine that ferried lumber from New Orleans to the Caribbean. Sailing and soaring over Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific seas, Buffett looks at 50 and sees a very good life.
For the millions of fans of Jimmy Buffett's music as well as his bestselling books, Tales From Margaritaville and Where Is Joe Merchant?, here is the ultimate Jimmy Buffett philosophy on life and how to live it. As hard as it is to believe, the irrepressible Jimmy Buffett has hit the half-century mark and, in A PIRATE LOOKS AT 50, he brings us along on the remarkable journey which he took through the Southern hemisphere to celebrate this landmark birthday.
Jimmy takes us from the legendary pirate coves of the Florida Keys to the ruins of ancient Cartegena. Along the way, we hear a tale or two of how he got his start in New Orleans, how he discovered his passion for flying planes, and how he almost died in a watery crash in Nantucket harbor. We follow Jimmy to jungle outposts in Costa Rica and on a meandering trip down the Amazon, through hair-raising negotiations with gun-toting customs officials and a 3-year-old aspiring co-pilot. And he is the inimitable Jimmy Buffett through it all.
For Parrotheads, for armchair adventurers, and for anyone who appreciates a good yarn and a hearty laugh, here is the ultimate backstage pass -- you'll read the kind of stories Jimmy usually reserves for his closest friends and you'll see a wonderful, wacky life through eyes of the man who's lived it. A PIRATE LOOKS AT 50 is a breath of fresh air and a ingenious manual for getting to 50 . . . and beyond.
From the Hardcover edition.
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