Sunday, February 3, 2008

"Blame It On Jimmy Buffett" - Joy Vyoral, HFC Member

Blame it on Jimmy Buffett. Yes, Mr. Margaritaville himself. He’s finally done with his book A Salty Piece of Land something a parade of less-than-gifted fiction writers haven’t been able to do. I officially gave up on a book for which I had paid my own hard-earned money. After reading almost nine chapters of his 2004 novel about Tully Mars and his trek to the tropics from Wyoming, I can’t force myself to go any further. I’ve cried “Uncle!” and tossed the book into my holding box destined for resale at Half Price Books.

I wish I could justify my having been disappointed in this book by saying it is the first of the King Parrothead’s books I’ve read. It’s not! Four or five years ago I read Where Is Joe Merchant?. Early on, I became disillusioned with the pace of the novel and the lazy meanderings of Buffett’s storytelling style. I kept telling myself he would pick up the pace and get to the point soon. It didn’t happen. I slogged onward to the end, doggedly adhering to my personal standard of never giving up on a book I’d started.

A Salty Piece of Land landed on my ‘to-read” reading list at a time when I’m pressed for time in all areas of my life. Work, family obligations and an on fire need to write leaves me with little time for reading, a pleasure that I’ve enjoyed since I was a child. Thanks to Jimmy Buffett’s book, I’m no longer an official member of the Finish What You Start Book Club.

I feel so liberated!


Gary Denton said...


I got this book from my mom for Christmass two years ago. I finished it, but it was an effort. There were things I liked: The old female ship captain, the introduction of Tully "checking in", the discription of foods (fish taco's anyone) and how it all made sense in the end---
--but you're right! It was a slog, and there were times it just didn't make sense.
Too bad. I like his music, and I liked some of the ideas here, but it needed a very critical re-write and some fluff removal.

Dorlana said...

Welcome to the - If it don't grab me in the first two chapters go to next book - club. There is no way i could have made it to chapter nine of a book I didn't enjoy. At least I know I don't have to read the first two chapters of this one. :)