Monday, May 31, 2010
BookLook Review "On Stranger Tides"
“On Stranger Tides”
Captain Jack Sparrow will soon take to the seas again and the script is based on the 1987 pirate novel, “On Stranger Tides” by award-winning fantasy author Tim Powers. Tim(oddly both writers are named Tim)Elliott, the co-writer of the first three “Pirates” movies said the story of the novel aligned with where they wanted to take the fourth film being filmed in Hawaii this summer. “We wanted to do a story about Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth, and Tim Powers wrote a book about Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth... it just turns out that to do that story you would need that book," said Elliott. Therefore, we all must read this book now since everyone else will soon be doing it.
“On Stranger Tides” is great story-telling. It’s as fast as a pirate ghost ship skimming the tops of turquoise Caribbean waves. It is also just as shallow – don’t expect too much since this is a tall tale after all. An insane British scientist brings his lovely young daughter Elizabeth to meet up with Blackbeard himself on a quest for the Fountain of Youth. John Chandagnac, a handsome young man also headed for Jamaica is forced to join the pirates and is renamed Jack Shandy. We now have another Captain Jack who is more Orlando Bloom than Johnny Depp. And we have another beautiful Elizabeth who also runs around in a white nightgown. Pirate movie images do appear in your mind as you read this book and I would wager a gold doubloon that Tim Elliott read this book before he wrote the first two movie scripts. They are just too similar.
Black magic and voodoo dominate the story and the characters. There is an abundance of sorcery and creepy creatures returning from the dead to dance around on ghostly ship decks. The addition of legendary pirates who actually existed makes the book even more interesting. Their true stories are woven into the tall tale with skillful exaggeration. It’s not a book for young readers or book clubs, but those who enjoy historical fantasy writing will be thrilled and chilled by it.
We all know the book is better than the movie, so be sure to read “On Stranger Tides” before the movie comes out in May 2011. And thank you Springville super librarian John Averett for searching for the book for months to place it on our shelves. It should be arriving soon. You may want to call the library to see if it has been added to the collection. Now everyone please check it out to prove my prediction of its inevitable popularity!