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“Tim Powers works a wondrous alchemy through his stories. He takes the familiar, known world, applies to it the philosopher's stone of his unique vision, and returns it to us utterly transformed - fascinating and fresh. In `On Stranger Tides', he has taken the familiar story of Blackbeard and his...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“This book made my very short list of books that I've started but not read completely. Once I start a book, I feel a commitment to read it to the end, and many that took me a while to warm up to, eventually turned out to be among my favorites. Not "On Stranger Tides". I like historical fiction,...”see full review » see other reviews »
“This book made my very short list of books that I've started but not read completely. Once I start a book, I feel a commitment to read it to the end, and many that took me a while to warm up to, eventually turned out to be among my favorites. Not "On Stranger Tides". I like historical fiction, adventures, science fiction and fantasy, and this has them all, but just too convoluted and unlikely to suit my tastes. Using first person for one who is either in someone else's skin or mind, or has someone else in his own mind, is too hard for me to follow. Blood and gore, to me, don't, in and of themselves, make a book exciting or interesting. The note says I "finished" it today, but really, I just stopped reading it about 2/3 of the way through.”Angelo F. Coniglio wrote this review Monday, June 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I haven't liked this book, there are some chapters when the action is fast but there are others where the action is slow or the author writes about magic being very difficult to follow the plot (21/02/2012)”José María Díaz wrote this review Thursday, May 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“great”Alejandro R. Corona wrote this review Saturday, September 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“What a fantastic pirate yarn! A young man traveling to the Carribbean is taken captive by pirates and soon finds himself caught in a twisted plot involving Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, voudon magic, the Fountain of Youth, and an Oxford Don of philosophy and natural science. The action is consistently sprinkled throughout the story, and is spiced by a remarkably workable system of magic. One of the real treats is the restrained, understated use of traditional voodoo zombies.
This novel was the direct influence on the fourth Jack Sparrow adventure, POTC: On Stranger Tides. The book was published before any of the POTC series, and clearly influenced all of them. The theme of magic fading from the world, alongside the pirate life, is strong in the book and forms the central thread through the series. There are moments when each of the heroic characters remind you of Jack Sparrow, and it's hard not to read their dialogue without inserting the languid, Richardsian drawl Johnny Depp affected.
If you like pirates and/or off-beat Fantasy, read this book. ”
“Better to not know which moment may be your last. Every morsel of your entire being alive to the infinite mystery of it all. ”JangJang wrote this review Monday, February 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An amazing book. This is a must read for anyone into Pirate Fiction. It has a perfect blend of the reality and romance of piracy”Pyrate wrote this review Saturday, February 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“"On Stranger Tides" exerted an enormous influence upon the pirate genre (which was basically dead in the late 1980s), and supposedly served as the main inspiration for Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean"-ride (along with the films based on the same) and the "Monkey Island"-series.
Interestingly enough, the latest installment in the increasingly bland adventures of Jack Sparrow (Captain!) is even named after this novel, even though the similarities between the two are superficial at best. Which, given the stale aftertaste that movie left in my mouth, is probably for the best.
So, how does "On Stranger Tides" fare? Personally, I loved the occult element within this novel: it seems as if Powers really did his homework when it came to Vodun and magic, as his discourses about the loa come quite close to what you can find in ethnological treatises on the topic. In this novel, magic isn't merely a deus-ex-machina, but there's a whole system of metaphysics involved - up to the point where characters hint at scientific discoveries of the 20th century, such as quantum mechanics or the creation of metals in "dying" stars.
It is this element that makes "On Stranger Tides" stand out.
Its plot and its characters, however, come across as rather bland and mediocre. If you haven't figured out how it will end after the first twenty pages or so, you probably haven't read too many adventure novels yet. Thus, it's not half as exciting as it might be, providing few surprises and a pretty straightforward yarn. Nevertheless, it is an interesting representative of what I like to call "popcorn literature".”
“Caribbean pirates and magic, a fun read when you are in the Bahamas on an island mentioned in the story. Not his best. ”Jack R wrote this review Monday, June 27, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No