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A Salty Piece of Land
By Jimmy Buffet

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By Jimmy Buffet
Read by John David Souther and Hank Jacobs
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2004)
An Abridged Recording on 8 CDs or 6 Cassettes
ISBN: 1-5862-1400-4 (Cassettes)
ISBN: 1-5862-1401-2 (CDs)
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by Anne Marie Vaughn - January 25, 2005

Jimmy Buffet writes a wildly imaginative story full of colorful, bizarre characters from Wyoming to the Bahamas. In this adventure, we ride with Tully Mars, from Buffet's best selling Tales from Margaritaville, and his pony, Mr. Twain, on his journey from his home in Heartache, Wyoming to A SALTY PIECE OF LAND in the Caribbean. And what a ride it is.

Tully was a small boy in Wyoming when his dad was killed in the war. The only thing Tully had of his father's was his radio. This magical radio caught the waves all the way from his father's beloved Hawaii. Tully's friend and mentor as a young man was an old Indian named Johnny Reddust. Johnny had given Tully a conch shell and a wooden gecko. As he lay dying, Johnny told Tully to listen to the conch shell and gave him a gecko to be worn on a chain around his neck as a traveling companion. Johnny continued to work on a Wyoming ranch until it was sold to the "Wicked Witch of the West", Thelma Barston, and turned into a poodle- breeding operation. On the fateful day he threw some exercise equipment through the front window of Thelma's ranch house, Tully's odyssey began. Tully runs from Wyoming and the law with his pony, Mr. Twain, his radio, an engraving from his great, great grandmother, a painting he'd picked up in a flea market called The Patron Saint of Lightning, his conch shell and gecko to find his salty piece of land.

Tully meets a kaleidoscope of characters in his search. He spends some time with Donna Kay in Arkansas, until he learns of a warrant for his arrest with a thousand dollar reward for his capture. Two bounty hunters, Wilton and Waldo, hired by Thelma, are on his trail. Tully rides to the Alabama beach town of Heat Wave and finds a shrimp boat captain, Captain Kirk, on the way to the Yucatan in Mexico willing to take Mr. Twain on-board the Caribbean Soul and the journey begins.

Tully becomes fast friends with Ix-Nay, an Indian shaman. He meets Bucky Norman, another Wyoming cowboy who found the ocean; Willie Singer, pilot of a flying pink flamingo; Dawn, Thelma's niece all grown up and many more. The most prominent is Cleopatra Highborn. Cleopatra is 101 years old and captain of a schooner called Lucretia, given to her by her father on her 18th birthday. Cleopatra is an avid Cuban baseball fan who is searching for a special Fresno lens, called a "bull's eye" lens, in order to restore a lighthouse she owns on Cayo Loco before she dies.

This review does not nearly convey how entertaining this book is. And, to top it all off, you get to hear Jimmy Buffet sing A Salty Piece of Land.

Jimmy Buffet first wrote children's stories and then his Tales From Margaritaville. After that, everything he wrote went immediately to #1. In 1998, he became the first author to have a #1 book on the New York Times best sellers list in both fiction and non-fiction.

John David Souther and Hank Jacobs do a wonderful job reading the book. The accents are believable from the cowboy twang to the lilting Caribbean cadence. So real you can picture the characters as you read. You'll love the ride to A Salty Piece of Land.

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