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Captain in Calico by George MacDonald Fraser
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Captain in Calico (2015)

by George MacDonald Fraser

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The whole concept of this book is marvelous. Hidden away in a box for all those years. Found by the author’s children and published posthumously complete with the original letters from the publishing houses of the day turning it down as not worth printing. OK, it is not Treasure Island, but it is good pirate yarn woven around real brigands from the Caribbean of that period and well worth reading. Anything the story lacks is more than compensated by the history of the manuscript and the way it eventually found it’s way into print in 2015.
If GMF had changed the Mills and Boon type title and written in a midshipman named Flashman it would have been a huge success. I’m so glad that he didn’t and I’m sure he is too. ( )
  Novak | Mar 19, 2018 |
I won my copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. This is a fun adventure story that reminds me of Alexander Dumas' novels, Horatio Hornblower books, and Ivanhoe. The female characters are not well developed, and the emphasis is on the story, not character development, overall. So, while this is not a very deep or insightful novel, it is a fast, fun read about pirates in Barbados and Jamaica under British rule. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
First off: I have to admit, I haven't yet read anything else by George MacDonald Fraser, so those hoping for me to compare this book with his larger body of work must remain disappointed - sorry!

When I picked this up, I wasn't aware that this is actually Fraser's first novel, which remained unpublished during his lifetime. I just knew that I'd heard the author's name around for quite some time, and that it was a pirate story. (Pirates are always a selling point, with me.)

As one might guess from the title, this is a fictionalized account of the notorious Calico Jack Rackham and Anne Bonney. (it's quite a different take from the one currently being broadcast in 'Black Sails' - but I'd still recommend it to fans.)

My verdict? Well, as a story of pirate adventure, it does the job. It doesn't transcend the job, however. It's not a great work of literature, it's not full of great historical research or insights, and it does feel a little old-fashioned. It also ended a little abruptly, I thought. But if you're looking for a quick, fun read - with pirates - this may buckle your swash.

I've still got to get one of George MacDonald Fraser's more well-known and acclaimed works onto my reading list.

Many thanks to Mysterious Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802124380, Hardcover)

George MacDonald Fraser was famed for his legendary Flashman series, featuring the incorrigible knave Harry Flashman. In the colorful standalone novel Captain in Calico, which has never been published, Fraser introduces another real-life anti-hero: Captain John Rackham, called “Calico Jack,” an illustrious eighteenth-century pirate who marauded the Caribbean seas.

On a tranquil evening in the Bahamas, Calico Jack, long wanted on counts of piracy, makes a surprise appearance at the Governor’s residence and asks for a pardon. A deal is brokered after Jack reveals the motive for turning himself in: love. When he last set sail from the Bahamas two years ago, Jack left behind a beautiful fiancée, and he hopes to win her back. But while Jack was off pirating, his beloved has become betrothed to a new man—the governor himself. It doesn’t take long for this truth to come to light, and after embarking on a new romance with famous Irish pirate Anne Bonney, Jack is quickly transformed back into a thieving captain in calico.

With his trademark picaresque style, Fraser draws readers into the wild west of the British empire, where black sails prowl the waters and redemption can be found in the most unexpected places.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:13:31 -0400)

Captain John Rackham, called Calico Jack, a pirate who marauded the Caribbean seas, is wanted by the government on counts of piracy. He makes a surprise visit to the governor's residence and asks for pardon for his men. A deal is brokered, but the governor does not reveal that Jack,s beloved fiancee has become betrothed to the governor himself. Jack discovers he has been deceived and publicly threatens the governor, then locks swords with a notorious Frenchman. All seems lost until Anne Bonney, a buxom Irish woman, comes to his rescue and sets about planning one of the most audacious lootings in the Caribbean.… (more)

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