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Hunting Pirate Heaven: In Search of Lost Pirate Utopias
List Price: $14.95
Our Price: $2.79
Your Save: $ 12.16 ( 81% )
Availability: N/A
Manufacturer: Walker & Company
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 910
EAN: 9780802716071
ISBN: 0802716075
Label: Walker & Company
Manufacturer: Walker & Company
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 304
Publication Date: 2007-04-03
Publisher: Walker & Company
Release Date: 2007-04-03
Studio: Walker & Company

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Editorial Reviews:

Hitching rides on a motley assortment of freighters, dhows, yachts, and fishing smacks, Kevin Rushby sailed up the east coast of Africa in search of the lost pirate settlements that, in the sixteenth century, were established on the islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean. He turned east to the islands of Comoros and Madagascar, his ultimate objective being to locate the descendants of the infamous sixteenth-century pirates—such as Captain Misson, the legendary French pirate who may have been dreamed up by Daniel Defoe; English sailor-turned-buccaneer Thomas White; and Rhode Islander Thomas Tew—who carved kingdoms for themselves in the remote jungles of northeast Madagascar. As he traveled, Rushby met up with the crackpot dreamers, tough settlers, fighters and failures who live on the coasts and islands now—where forgotten Portuguese forts lie covered in jungle, where some have tried to shoot their way to paradise, and where the ocean can destroy lives and dreams as quickly as men and women create them.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A Death-Defying Search for the Pirate Edens in East Africa
Comment: Unless you are a lot more adventurous than I am, the closest you will ever get to most of the places and people described in this book is reading the book. Mr. Kevin Rushby deserves great credit for taking on a very dangerous and unpleasant journey in search of what utopian life in the tropics really provides. His talent for taking situations seriously and letting his imagination run wild provides the book with a fiction-like quality that makes the writing more vivid and interesting than in most non-fiction books.

What little we know about pirates mostly comes to us through fiction . . . often built on bits and pieces of what people have claimed to be true about pirates. Mr. Rushby did his homework before starting by locating the regions on the Indian Ocean on or adjacent to Mozambique where pirates were supposed to have been active. From these stories, he heard tales of "edens" where pirates went to rest up . . . or even retire. "What were these edens like?" he wondered.

Starting from the area where the British East India Company launched its first voyages 400 years ago, he quickly moved to a freighter leaving South Africa so he could hedge-hop the coast of Mozambique. From there, his accommodations and creature comforts went mostly downhill. As he visited each area, he asked about pirates . . . but usually didn't learn very much until almost the end of the trip. But he did meet modern equivalents of people living in tropical "paradises" and he often reflects on what he finds. He often finds "trouble in paradise" as well as paradise.

Along the way, he suddenly discovers that not everyone is as friendly as they might be. Nature can be dangerous, too!

Be sure to stick with the book until the end. It just gets better and better.

I did grade the book down one star though. Why? I found that this would have been a better book if it had focused simply on what life is like in that part of the world . . . and either mentioned the pirates in passing or skipped them. I found the pirates to be more of a distraction than an appeal in my reading.

But if you are a great fan of books about pirates (no matter how remote the connection is), you will probably enjoy learning about the current reality and the ironies these facts reveal about the legends.

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