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Tales from Margaritaville

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  2,258 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
Margaritaville may not appear on a map, but it does exist--at least in the brilliantly creative, sometimes slightly skewed imagination of Jimmy Buffett. Tales from Margaritaville is a collection of short stories (some purely fiction, some based in truth) so vividly packed with restless dreamers, wild wanderers, and pure gypsy souls that just reading it is a wild adventure. ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published June 3rd 1989 by Fawcett (first published 1989)
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Sherry Fundin
I have read some of Jimmy’s books and I am a huge fan of his. You may label be a Parrothead and I will wear it with pride.

Tales from Margaritaville is a journey for dreamers and adventurers to let your imagination and your inner child run wild and free. Join us in this wonderfully fun walkabout with Jimmy Buffett.

Everyone asks, “Where is Margaritaville?” It is in the minds and souls of all us beach lovers.

We will spend a lot of time In Heat Wave, Alabama, we will also travel from the west to the
Nov 05, 2014 Lynette rated it really liked it
As a 30+ year parrot head, of course I loved this book – it’s like getting the back-story into some of Jimmy’s song lyrics. It’s a rather random collection with the tie-in for the first set (The Heat Wave Chronicles) being the mythical island “Snake-Bite Key” off the coast of Alabama, and the over-all tie-in being the concept of Margaritaville… As I’ve known all along, Jimmy is a great story teller. I enjoyed the blend of fiction and autobiographical incidents. I wished for more conclusive resol ...more
Tales from Margaritaville (Fictional Facts and Factional Fictions) is a collection of short stories by Jimmy Buffett.

Stories read in random order, as part of the 2014 Deal Me In! Short Story Reading Challenge (

Take Another Road
A sweet story of wanderlust and fulfilled dreams. Tully Mars is an authentic Wyoming ranch cowboy, working cattle daily with his beloved trusty horse Mr. Twain, named after Tully’s hero, author Mark Twain. When the ranch is sold to
Jul 29, 2012 Judi rated it liked it
Reading TALES FROM MARGARITAVILLE is like being at a love-fest for the CD recordings "Songs You Know By Heart" and "Off to See the Lizard." In the story Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, we meet Tully who is leaving Wyoming with his horse. Then there are the Heatwave Alabama tales: Off to See the Lizard, Boomerang Love and then finally the Son of a Son of a Sailor story.

I read this book a long time ago but it hasn't left my collection. When I run across the book while rearranging the
Stephanie Holcomb
Feb 22, 2010 Stephanie Holcomb rated it liked it
If you are a fan of Buffett's, you'll enjoy this book for about all it gives you. I found myself rolling my eyes whenever he pulled out a line or phrase from one of his books, and found some of the stories more interesting than others. They aren't consistent--it's like he decided he needed a love story here, a sports story there...I liked that he repeated characters we would meet in one story and write about them, so you got to know people, but some of the stories were trite and almost like he w ...more
Jul 24, 2016 Katharine rated it it was ok
I expected this to be a light but entertaining read. It was actually kind of boring and a little repetitive - a party breaks out after a sailing mishap or a storm and the main character drinks all night in an island bar with his newfound friends and beautiful women. Luckily, I only paid 50 cents for my copy of this book at a library book sale.
Kyle Hamilton
Mar 09, 2015 Kyle Hamilton rated it it was amazing
I am a huge Jimmy Buffett fan and this book took me away to the Gulf Coast where Jimmy grew up. The book features five short, fictional stories that all eventually intertwine in the end. This was a unique format that I hadn't encountered before. I kind of expect that from Jimmy though. He's always coming up with crazy ideas and I imagine him writing these short stories on his porch at his beach house. These short stories add to the mystery of the fictional city of Margaritaville. It confirms my ...more
A collection of short stories by one of my favorite singers, Jimmy Buffett. For the most part the stories were enjoyable and pleasant but not great and I guess I expected more laughs.
Jan 26, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's just a fun journey with some insights into the Southern states. I grew up out there somewhere.

I read the reviews criticizing the lack of it's depth. So the Reverend Jim isn't Walt Whitman? Neither is Shakespeare or vice versa. If you want to read Thoreau, then read it. Maybe Jefferson's Bible is more your taste. If you want a little diversion and connect with southern culture, then it will ring true. If not, put the book down and find something else.

I was reared in Monroe, LA. This is good
Mark Muckerman
Jul 22, 2014 Mark Muckerman rated it it was ok
What you'd expect from Buffett; no more, no less. Pleasant, pithy little anecdotes that would be great stories to hear from a stranger in a bar 2/3 of the way through a bottle of dark rum.

As a first effort before he was mega-huge and mega-commercial, a fine freshman effort. Plus, what more do you expect from a solid storyteller whose entire professional life has been defined by a rule of "not to exceed 4 minutes..."?

It's like a donut: pleasant, easily consumed, you'd eat more if there were some,
May 03, 2014 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have, of course, always liked the music and lyrics of Jimmy Buffett. My favorites are “Banana Republics” and “Come Monday” (also my wife’s favorite). I have not been as impressed with his prose, well HAD not been impressed. I have read “Who is Joe Merchant,” an overlong, disappointing mystery, as well as an equally overlong but more engaging memoir, “A Pirate looks at Fifty,” especially the passages about the challenges of flying a seaplane. I knew that he had published “Tales from Margaritavi ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: collection
I felt compelled to read this book for a few reasons 1.) Being I grew up as the child of a parrothead, unconsciously singing, "I don't know where I'm going to go when the volcano blows." is a natural extension of eating breakfast. 2.) I bought the book for $4! 3.) I like margaritas 4.) Jimmy Buffet loved Hemingway and simpatico with Hunter S. Thompson so maybe there is something else there.
The book is broken into 3 sections, the first 2 sections were not as fulfilling to me. Why yes to others wh
Apr 30, 2013 Steve rated it it was ok
Let me start off by saying that I love Jimmy Buffett. I've listened to him for the better part of 35 years now,I have Margaritaville on the pre-sets on my Sirius XM radio, I have him on my phone,and given the chance, I'd see him play whenever I could. But I have to say that this book was kind of a let down. I love his lyrics, I love the stories he weaves through songs, but they just don't convert very well to book form, and that's saying a whole lot because I'm a huge fan of the short story.

To b
Aaron Marvel
Aug 26, 2012 Aaron Marvel rated it liked it
Considering this was Jimmy's first go round at writing (mostly) fiction perhaps I should cut him some slack, but it's very clear, at least at this stage, that he wasn't so talented as a fictional writer. It really lacks details (it's all in the details, isn't it?) and quickly jumps from idea to idea in all the stories. While the stories are amusing and light-hearted, they leave a lot to be desired. About a decade later he would write A Pirate Looks at Fifty, a non fictional account of some of hi ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Kristal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only from the imagination of a true Southern soul could such kooky and crazy characters come to life! And the fact that some of them are based on actual people only adds to the likableness of this book. Restless dreamers, wild wanderers and pure gypsy souls fill the pages of this collection of short stories that range from the Gulf Coast to the Caribbean Islands.

A must read for any beach vacation.
May 07, 2014 Diana rated it liked it
We have all heard "wasted away again in Margaritaville" but where is it. This book shows you that it is a feeling, a way of life, and certain people plus adventure.
The book is collection of short stories by Jimmy Buffet and he certainly knows where Margaritaville is. Some of the stories are pure fiction and some are based on some truth.
Makes a for a good read and good break from heavy stories.
My only complaint is that when I read short stories, I always want to know more about the story.
Sep 04, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
Tales from Margaritaville is a collection of short stories by singer Jimmy Buffett, published in 1989, 230 pages long
5 stars

This is a fun read , the book is broken up into three parts
The 1st is the intoduction
2nd is baced off the songs from his album Off to See the Lizard .
The stories all take place one way or anther on or around Heat Wave Key AL. The book reminds me in some way of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, the way all the stories fit togther . My faverate of the short stories
Andrew Harkless
Feb 03, 2015 Andrew Harkless rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of Jimmy Buffet’s music, then you will love his collection of short stories in Tales From Margaritaville. And for those of you who don’t appreciate Parrothead music, I defy you not to enjoy these wonderful yarns. Anyone who needs to escape for a while should try reading a couple of tales from fictitious Margaritaville. What Buffet delivers is the adult equivalent to delightful pirate, or cowboy and Indian stories for children.
Rick Bavera
Jun 17, 2014 Rick Bavera rated it liked it
An entertaining read from a famous name.

I enjoyed the stories, and the autobiographical (or semi-autobiographical) sense of things in the book.

This book really fed my I am not sure if I am satisfied to have vicariously traveled through the book, or if I want to be able to go out and roam around a bit now.

Let me think about that for a bit.
Nadine Morawski
Apr 08, 2015 Nadine Morawski rated it liked it
I actually loved this book. It was a nice escape from reality that introduced you to interesting and strange characters. The text wasn't difficult to read. I found I whipped through the book pretty quickly. I have kept this book on the shelf as part of my collection. I recommend it for those that need something just a little bit different.
Barbara M
Mar 13, 2016 Barbara M rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's short stories and I don't usually read those - I have only one other on my shelf - but this was great. The next year I went to Key West and it set me up for an excellent visit. It's quirky and its fun (both Key West and Tales!). I highly recommend this book.
Jun 01, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
I love the songs of Jimmy Buffett. So to read "Tales from Margaritaville" was a kick. It's been around a long time...great fun. Shades of Carl Hiassen and Randy Wayne White.... Changes in Latitudes is running through my mind. "Tales" was a nice break as I slog through Jay Wink's "The Great Upheaval."
Ray Erickson
May 12, 2016 Ray Erickson rated it liked it
Jimmy loves to tell stories and he shares a few interesting ones here but his attempts at fiction are less than youd want from a man as gifted as Jimmy Buffet is. I say, dont quit your day job Jimmy. ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Gwen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-read
I love Jimmy Buffet music so I had to give Jimmy Buffet the author a chance. I enjoyed the short stories. They are stories to read in one reading. I noticed I enjoyed them more that way vs. read a page and do something and come back later. The stories make you want to sail away to Margaritaville and enjoy the sunshine and fishing. Not all of the short stories are winners. My favorites were: Take another road and Boomerang Love in the Heat Wave Chronicles and Are you Ready for Freddy? in the Marg ...more
May 15, 2014 Diana rated it liked it
An entertaining collection of short stories some perhaps semi-autobiographical which take place in New Orleans, the Caribbean, and along the Alabama/Florida panhandle coast.
Jul 11, 2016 Megan rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Fantastically pure Jimmy Buffett. Leaves you lusting for open waters, a sandy beach, or maybe just a Margarita. A great way to get ready for my trip to Key West this week! Thanks Jimmy!
Tony Wassom
Sep 24, 2015 Tony Wassom rated it it was amazing
Truly, life altering. Much needed fiction at a critical turning point in my life; it spoke to my gypsy soul and helped me escape.
Terri Ann
Mar 20, 2008 Terri Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Reissued in 2002, I found this on the paperback table at the bookstore in Kihei, desparate for more reading material as the two books I took to Maui were quickly devoured. Buffett wrote these stories before his novels. The quintessential beach read. It's about the beach, the sea, sailing, drinking, and carousing. Great short stories. I especially enjoyed the upbeat nature of the book. The stories were about people realizing their dreams, and just that. No morality tale of being careful for what ...more
Anne Turnley
Jan 17, 2016 Anne Turnley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion this is the best of Jimmy's books. Each story is well thought out and fascinating. A joy to read.
This book lets the reader see how creative and multi-talented Jimmy Buffet really is! Great quick read.
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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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“1. Never forget--"they" are always the enemy.
2. Just remember, assholes are born that way, and they usually don't change.
3. You don't want to go to jail.
4. When you start to take this job seriously, you're in trouble.
5. It takes no more time to see the good side of life than it takes to see the bad.
6. If you decide to run the ball, just count on fumbling and getting the shit knocked out of you a lot, but never forget how much fun it is just to be able to run the ball!”
“The right combination of guilt and machismo has sent many a fool out into the jungle when he should have stayed home.” 14 likes
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