Fool's Paradise by Robert E. Ferguson

Fool's Paradise

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A swashbuckling adventure novel, the first in a planned trilogy, that tells the story of modern-day pirate Bobby McAllister.

Novelist Granger Lawton suffers from a lack of material for his second book. His publisher insists that he leave the comforts of his Arizona ranch to interview a 20th-century pirate and Southern gentleman named Bobby McAllister, in order to write a book based on McAllister’s life. Lawton feels that he doesn’t have a choice but to go and hear what the man has to say, but he finds McAllister’s tall tales of adventure and treasure hunting in the Caribbean difficult to believe. McAllister tells him a story of how, after fleeing law enforcement officials in Georgia, he became mixed up with an eclectic group of treasure hunters looking to find and recover the Hacha, a 17th-century Spanish ship. His path to eventual success included sexy, mysterious women; crooked, vengeful cops; a talking parrot; and, unfortunately, the deaths of close friends. He then tells Lawton that his life’s true calling has been to find a different, more elusive treasure, and he enlists the reluctant writer in his quest to find a legendary ship known as the Prize. The novel jumps back and forth in time quite a bit, and, as a result, the plot grows somewhat confusing, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of all of the colorful characters. Readers probably won’t mind terribly much, however, as they’re likely to get swept up by the charismatic McAllister’s enthusiasm. Debut author Ferguson based McAllister’s story on his own life experiences salvaging treasure from sunken ships, and he blended fact with fiction and fantasy to create a posthumously published trilogy. As readers try to guess what’s true and what’s invented, they’re likely to find the novel enjoyable on a whole other level.

An entertaining, if somewhat overwhelming, adventure tale.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1770671485
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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