Sure, "Treasure Island" is the best pirate story of all time -- but it's by a narrow, narrow margin. While Stevenson was a heck of a fantasy writer -- check out his "Bottle Imp" if you doubt it -- Tim Powers is perhaps the best fantasy writer most fans have never heard of. And in typical Powers fashion, in "On Stranger Tides," he tosses in everything he thinks he might need in a pirate novel -- historical figures, naval action, a noble man in a bad situation, voodoo, jungles and so on -- and a few things only he would think to link to the rest and comes up with another hit, and my favorite Powers novel. The action here careens back and forth across the Caribbean and if Powers isn't wrestling crazy ideas to the ground as he does in "The Stress of Her Regard" or "The Anubis Gates," it's only because, this time around, the play's the thing. This is a book I loan out to all of my sea-loving friends, knowing that they'll...
My friend Dean and I regard Tim Powers as one of today's best writers that hardly anyone knows. We can only hope loyal readers such as ourselves using forums such as this one can get the word of Mr. Powers vast talents out to the masses!! Interestingly enough, though this is one of Mr. Powers' earlier works, it's the one I waited the longest to read. No apparent reason, but I wish I wouldn't have waited so long. It fits right in with the author's penchant for offbeat plots. In the past, Mr. Powers has written about ghost hunters, gamblers with a sense of the occult, and other eccentricities. "On Stranger Tides" introduces us to the world of Caribbean pirates with a bent for the occult. It is not as dark as other Tim Powers novels, but is every bit as powerful and entertaining. The story takes place in the early 18th century and is a confabulation. That is, it is a work of fiction that includes in its cast, actual, historical personages who lived during the time. In...
The Caribbean, 1718. Jack Chandagnac - Jack Shandy - is sailing to Haiti to reclaim some property when his ship is boarded by pirates. Shandy is recruited onto the pirate crew and becomes aware of a bizarre conspiracy that is unfolding between one of the passengers, Benjamin Hurwood, and the feared pirate Blackbeard, involving Hurwood's daughter Beth and the mythical Fountain of Youth. Shandy is soon drawn into a strange and magical quest set against the backdrop of the dying days of piracy in the Caribbean.
On Stranger Tides is arguably Tim Powers' most well-known and influential novel. Published in 1988, it has been quoted as one of the primary inspirations behind both Ron Gilbert's splendid Monkey Island computer games and also the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, to such an extent that the film producers bought the rights to the novel and the imminent fourth film in the series is both named for and draws on some of the plot elements of the book. Yet it's not...
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