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A Salty Piece of Land

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,224 Ratings  ·  527 Reviews
Handle: The #1 bestseller Jimmy Buffett flies back into view with a delectable new collection of tales from his carefree and adventurous world. Description: The beloved traveler/troubadour offers up a plate of stories--some real, some imagined, some where it's impossible to say--from his world of seaplanes, tropical isles, and wayward adventures. A Salty Piece of Land is a ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published September 23rd 2004 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jun 02, 2007 Audreysuzy added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parrotheads
everyone's submissions are far too serious and overly reflective for me. so, this is my attempt to rebel. jimmy buffett: drunken debauchery, cheeseburgers and flip flops flood your thoughts, yes? preposterous to *actually* consider the jimbo a bona fide author. he's no vonnegut. twain does circles around him i'm sure. but i challenge you to read his lyrics. what's more, open up this book. it's not a masterpiece. rather, it documents the life of a wayward wanna be cowboy-sailor. who cares right? ...more
Aug 17, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Surprisingly (at least to me), Jimmy Buffett is quite the storyteller. I didn't expect a celebrity novelist to be quite so entertaining, or so good at crafting a genuinely interesting tale. Granted, Buffett's songs are stories in themselves and he has written quite a few novels in his day, but still I didn't expect much from this book; I picked it up because my dad said it was alright and I wanted something to read that wasn't academic. So I was quite pleased to find that I really enjoyed it. I ...more
Chad Sayban
Jul 19, 2012 Chad Sayban rated it liked it
Shelves: good, own
When Montana cowboy Tully Mars looks to run away from his problems, a boat headed for the Caribbean seems like the perfect place to start his life over. The consummate cowboy, Tully brings his horse with him to the tropical island of Cayo Loco to get lost. Instead, he not only finds himself, but a quirky gang of expatriate friends who not only have his interest, but have his back. But it is the 101-year-old Cleopatra Highbourne at the helm of her 142-foot long schooner who will change Tully’s li ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Rj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that are written on a higher level of technical grace and conformity. This is not one of those books.
This book is written simply, but the story is one that grips your heart and imagination, and hits you right in the "god I need to go there" gland.
I have traveled to all of the places in the book (that are real) and can vouch for the fact that everything is accurate. Jimmy Buffett has an ability to take the real world, including the grime, and make it something you yearn for
Oct 03, 2010 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In "Power of the Myth", Joseph Campbell said, "People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life."

Jimmy Buffett's characters share that trait. They are everyday people who walk their own path in spite of themselves, make friends along the way and eventually accomplish worthy goals - maybe not GREAT ones, but worthy ones. Fictionally, they are rewarded, but it wasn't what they were looking for when they began their journey.

In this book Buffett has explained to us how to live life. As
Jul 02, 2008 Nomanisan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
I learned that Jimmy Buffett is a much better singer/songwriter than he is an author. Oh, my. I wonder if Homer Hickam knows that Buffett sort of "borrowed" some of his stuff from The Ambassador's Son? I wonder if he cares? I wonder if it matters, because I doubt they have many overlapping readers.... I wasn't going to put anything into goodreads about this book, but then I saw that the average rating for the book was 3.54, and I decided that couldn't be allowed to stand without my putting in m ...more
Mar 02, 2011 Nastassja rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-quite-done
So I bought this book last summer from Big Lots for about $3.00


Thought it would be a great beach/summer read, (I mean, look at the cover. How could it NOT be a great beach/summer read?) but for whatever reason I just couldn't get into it! I didn't really care about the characters or the plot. Which is crazy! I'm supposed to love it! It's by the guy who wrote "Cheeseburger in Paradise," and who doesn't love that song? And "Margaritaville?" Come on now! That's my jam!

Anyhoo, gonna give it anoth
Simon Crum
Picked this "summer reading" book up at a library sale. Now there's a reason Jimmy Buffet is a singer and not a writer...but he's also a story teller. Initially the waves were a little rough but then I settled in. I liked the main character and his horse. Tully just seems to be blessed with the same luck Jimmy himself has had throughout his career. Just serendipity after serendipity. Still, sometimes it works like that. You end up somewhere you don't think you should be only to meet the right gi ...more
Jan 30, 2008 Liam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I absolutely loved this story. I am a traveller as well and I would love to have the experiences that Tully has in this book. It was an amazing read and I hope everyone takes the time out to check it out.

Up next on Reading Rainbow...
I sailed off on high seas as I listened to this book on tape. The advantage to HEARING this book over having read the book is the added music. The recorded book began and ended with a song by Jimmy Buffet. The description of the Caribbean Islands, the Tarpon swimming, the fishing challenges swept me to another land and place. Detailed stories spill from the salty and slightly defected characters. One traverses the world with each tale. Captain Cleopatra, 101 years strong, throws a life line out ...more
Jean Zott
Jul 16, 2014 Jean Zott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think all the positive reviews are from parrot heads that “want” to like this book. It is an adventure to nowhere.

The book is an array of characters with strange names that always have incredible back stories (which bog down the book with useless information). Characters like Cleopatra Highbourne (a 101 year old schooner sailor), Thelma Barson (a poodle ranch owner) and Sammy Raye Coconuts (a gay millionaire that rides in a hot pink airplane).

You realize that Jimmy Buffet has lost touch with r
Feb 03, 2008 Joy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
I hate giving up on a book once I've started reading it, but this is one I just have to stop reading. I should have known better than to even try after having read Where In The World Is Joe Merchant? about five years ago. I had tired of that book about half-way through but slogged through to the end. That one was a waste of time, too, but I just wouldn't give it up.

This book is more of the same. As a fiction writer, Jimmy Buffett is a huge yawn. He's good at storytelling via his wonderful songs,
Aug 30, 2012 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an adventure! Move over Indiana Jones; Tully Mars is the sea worthy adventurer.

Forced to leave Wyoming or face jail, Tully Mars hitches up his horse, Mr Twain, and rides to Alabama. From there, he takes a boat ride (with Mr Twain) into a new world of sailing, fly fishing, and new friends. Of course, he still has to hide from the bounty hunters who are after him which means he uses fake passports and by-passes customs/immigration control altogether. He meets many new characters (and they are
Steve Hall
Apr 04, 2013 Steve Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Jimmy Buffett is as good an author as he is singer/songwriter. And A Salty Piece of Land is right up there, as a novel, as "Margaritaville," "Fins," and "One Particular Harbor" are as songs. Filled with humor, pathos, booze, and bonefishing (but not so much that any of these detract from the story), the book is a quick and entertaining read.

I picked up this book while on vacation a couple years ago, and read it in two sittings. It's definitely a book I'll read again.

Tully Mars is a cowboy from
Matt DiSilvio
Jan 22, 2012 Matt DiSilvio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You would think that Jimmy Buffett's only talents were getting drunk and making fantastically mediocre music. Well you would be wrong. He is also a pretty damn good writer! I am a huge Jimmy Buffett fan so that is what prompted me to pick up his book "Where is Joe Merchant". Don't get me wrong, the book was certainly entertaining and enjoyable but it was by no means "amazing". I had heard from my girlfriend (also somewhat of a Parrot-Head) that "Salty Piece of Land" was a "good read" (see what I ...more
Jun 29, 2010 Jeana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: escapism
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. But it just dragged and I didn't really get into it. I don't know if it's just Buffet's style--he uses A LOT of expository--and I thought the way things were set up was a little misleading. When I first started reading, I thought this book was going to be about fixing up the lighthouse. I was disappointed to realize it wasn't and that it was all a bunch of back story about how Tully got to the islands. There were some parts that were more engagin ...more
Rob Dewitte
Okay, look, I love Jimmy Buffett. Love him. At last count I had like 40 of his CDs, all of his books. But this thing is just way too long. It could've been 100 pages less and you wouldn't have lost a thing. Jimmy tells a story the way he talks onstage, which is all fine and good, but it doesn't make him adept at making other characters come to life--because really, every character is part Jimmy. There are unquestionably memorable characters here, and the overwhelming theme of life in the islands ...more
Jul 30, 2011 Nancy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book rambles on and on and on......I almost abandoned it several times. The first few chapters and the last 1/4 of the book were very good but the middle half to 3/4 of the book needed to be severly condensed.

A better idea for this rambling story would have been to make A Salty Piece of Land into 3 or 4 books, with one book being about Cleopatra Highbourne (a fascinating character). The remainder of A Salty Piece of Land could be divided into 2 or 3 stories about the antics of Tully Mars.
Mar 06, 2012 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book I ever read! although I have a bias as a huge Jimmy Buffett fan, aside from that, this book was so easy to read. It was so smooth and the adventure never ended. It was never boring and everything flowed right along until the very end. Characters were so imaginative and believable and the writing and narrative was excellent. There are so many memborable quotes and side stories, this book should be required reading for everyone seeking an escape from dull life into remarkable journey, be ...more
Chris Rollison
Oct 25, 2011 Chris Rollison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite books. I read this one at least once a year. Is it a great piece of American literature, no, but is that what you are really wanting if you are reading a book by Jimmy Buffett. This book helps me escape, just like his music, this lets me leave my stress filled life and take off and live the life of an expatriate. I travel with Tully through all of his adventures, they teach me to slow down, don't take life so seriously, and take risks. If you have no imagination, do no ...more
Mark Taylor
Aug 09, 2012 Mark Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
....I did not know what I was getting into when I started to read JB. I am a fan of his music, I love Key West and hot sunny weather. I like Margaritas and that whole laid back life. When I read this book I left my wife and kids back in some cold midwestern town and I just moved down to the Keys and started drinking and sailing to the islands. Man, this book changed my life. I put suntan lotion on it cause it was so hot. Bout a guy and his horse who gets lucky and gets money and the rich girl at ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Christmas gift 2004. Includes free CD with new Jimmy Buffett single. The song isn't much--a slight musical summary of the novel.

The novel is good, short of greatness by a 50-pages-long momentum-killing letter in the middle about a cargo cult in the South Pacific. Yes, it ties in to the story, but isn't very interesting.

Salty is a continuation of the life of Tully Mars, the Wyoming cowboy who took his pony to the shore to escape a former employer whom he left under less than good terms. He meande
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
"Grief is like the wake behind a boat. It starts out as a huge wave that follows close behind you and is big enough to swamp and drown you if you suddenly stop moving forward. But if you do keep moving, the big wake will eventually dissipate. And after a long enough time, the waters of your life get calm again, and that is when the memories of those who have left begin to shine as bright and enduring as the stars above."

Jimmy Buffet can be so profound sometimes, for a big goofy old parrot head!
Dec 29, 2015 Quietgirl255 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book having really low expectations and was pleasantly surprised by the tales within. I had no idea Jimmy Buffet could spin such a delightful and entertaining yarn. If you have ever longed to leave your life up north and head to the beauty of the islands this book is for you. Although you would soon learn those island dwellers often live crazy lives ( in a good way, mostly)
Tully is a wanderlust cowboy but I think my favorite character was Cleopatra. I found her to be a very ins
May 08, 2015 Sarahh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I honestly read this book only because I am a Jimmy Buffet fan. I can honestly say his ability as an author is no different than his ability as a song writer. His book was very entertaining and kept my attention. It just was not my cup of tea, genre wise. It was a very self-evaluating, piratey, adventure tale. While I enjoy a good soul-searching novel, this one was just not one I'd choose myself. I did like how he convinced me of the power of being alone with your thoughts can do wonders for any ...more
Doug Warren
Oct 11, 2014 Doug Warren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what I was expecting when I sat down to read this book, but this wasn't it. Really, I had read some of Kinky Friedman's novels, and I thought Jimmy Buffett would in the same vein as Kinky in how wrote the books about a fictionalized version of himself (I mean, they are both novelty singer/songwriters from the 70s, right?), but that was not the case. And I gotta say, I was kinda disappointed.

I gotta tell you, the book started out slow. And then it continued being slow. Not a whole l
Sarahlynn Lester
This isn't bad, but I can't get into it. I've given it a fair shake (153 of 372 pages) and if I owned it I'd probably finish it eventually - in little bursts between other books. But it's slow going and I've been renewing it from the library since late October so it's time to let this one go for now.
Jul 10, 2013 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book awhile ago and was reminded of it today. I liked the story. I liked the idea of running away from life as one knows it and trying something different. I enjoyed reading it on the beach with some cold wobbly pops. It was a fun light read and didn't require me to have to think to much.
Nov 13, 2014 Lynette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. This picks up and fleshes out the character of Tully Mars who was my favorite from Tales from Margaritaville. One more time - I read the book with a big map of the Caribbean spread out on the table in front of me trying to figure out which were real and which were fictional locales. I rarely read two books back-to-back by the same author, but I enjoyed "Joe Merchant" so much I just kept going... I now have a new, 50 song playlist on my iPod inspired by songs actually mentioned in the ...more
Deborah LaRoche
This book is a lot like one of Jimmy Buffet's songs...light, happy, yet with a insightful take on the human condition. I will say there was a long stretch in the middle that wore me down, but the ending comes back around and makes it worth the read.

Some favorite quotes...
"There is no beauty like that which overtakes us by accident."

"As I sat there, I had one of those moments where you just have to stop and look around at where you are and wonder how in the hell you got there. After having gone t
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James William "Jimmy" Buffett (born December 25, 1946) is a singer, songwriter, author, businessman, and recently a movie producer best known for his "island escapism" lifestyle and music including hits such as "Margaritaville" (No. 234 on RIAA's list of "Songs of the Century"), and "Come Monday". He has a devoted base of fans known as "Parrotheads". His band is called the Coral Reefer Band.

More about Jimmy Buffett...

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“There will always be those who feel more comfortable not venturing from the warmth of the hearth, but there are those who prefer to look out the window and wonder what is beyond the horizon.” 26 likes
“Maybe there is another who sees life not as a flickering candle but as a torch that can illuminate an undiscovered world.” 23 likes
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