Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Last Bookaneer

The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl
Publisher - Penguin Press
Publish Date - April 2015
Genre - Fiction
Buy on Amazon

My Rating:

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on the blog before or not but, I have a thing for Pirates. Not the real-life creepy pirates who seize ships and have horrible pirate fashion sense but rather the romanticized pirates of days past. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Carribbean Pirates. THOSE Pirates. You can't help but love all of their swashbuckling, eye-patch wearing, lawless behavior. Maybe deep down I just really love Johnny Depp but who knows.

At any rate, my love of pirates is what caused me to pick up this book while I was perusing the shelves at my local library. The Last Bookaneer just sounded pirate-y so I of course had to read it.

The title did not disappoint – it did have a touch of pirating (pirateerring?) I think I made up a word here. Just stay with me. Pirates make me a bit crazy. We’ll just say the book lets you into a world of the pirate life from a literary perspective – literally.

The Last Bookaneer takes place in the late 1800’s when the publishing industry was on the verge of collapse because of loose copyright laws hundreds of years old. Bookaneers of the time made a living off stealing the latest manuscripts from famous authors, selling them to publishing companies for a pretty penny all without the author’s permission. Pen Davenport is the most infamous Bookaneer in Europe and new copyright laws threaten his very existence.

Pen and his reluctant assistant Fergins set off on their last big heist – to steal a dying Robert Louis Stevenson’s final novel. Of course, Pen is not the only Bookaneer after this novel and he runs into trouble when his adversary Belial shows his face. They end up embarking on a journey that has more twists and turns than any of them ever expected as the sun begins to set on their bookaneering way of life.

The title and the synopsis had me hooked and I couldn’t wait to dive in to this novel. I expected excitement, action and crazy adventures. While the underlying plot and eventual conclusion was exciting, I was ultimately left disappointed in the novel as a whole. The writing style was never able to truly draw me in and keep my attention. I don’t give up on books though – even if they are slow, rough reads, I always finish them.

The narrative was weak and it tended to ramble without doing much in terms of development. I kept waiting for the story to really take off and it did keep me guessing at each turning point like “here we go, this is when it gets good!” Unfortunately for me, that never happened. Great premise and great promise that fell short on execution. For now, I’ll stick with Jack Sparrow.

There are studies about why we love pirates so much so read this and this. Or, if you wait until the fall, you can celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19th. Yes it's a real day. WikiHow teaches you what you need to know here so you'll be prepared.

Pair This With: La Sirena Pirate TreasuRed

I HAD to try to find a wine out there to pair with this novel that was pirate-y and I found it! I have to admit that I haven't actually tried this wine but I will be going out to find it ASAP. First of all, the play on the name? Come on. How cool is this wine? La Sirena's website describes this wine as a "rambunctious blend of seven varieties with full ripeness and big flavors..." I need this wine in my life and you do too so drink up ye sorry scallywags!

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