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Life Lessons of a Legend

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Life Lessons is a dramatic and inspiring story of Captain Tony Tarracino's remarkable journey from the ghettos of Elizabeth, N.J. to becoming a living legend serving as the Mayor Emeritus of Key West. He made a career of being a mesmerizing storyteller, captivating personality, and Casanova of the sea. The Captain swears like a sailor on leave yet speaks of compassion as t ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 26th 2008 by Booksurge Publishing
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Brad Manard
Jun 23, 2012 Brad Manard rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Having not been to Key West or familiar with Capt. Tony - or Jimmy Buffett for that matter, I read Life Lessons because I know the author. Not knowing what to expect, I found the writing fluid and fun. The story is both engaging and filled with thought provoking lessons from a true man of the past with a vision on the future. I never met Tony and in learning his history, I was at first skeptical, then intrigued, and finally, as Tony did in real live, drawn in and fascinated. From reading Life Le ...more
Dewayne Biddy
I must tell you, the book was not what I expected, not at all. I was thinking I would read a quick biography on the man, myth, and legend. I was surprised at how you unfolded the life of a complicated man and made his life mission so simple to understand and implement. Every time I would read a chapter you placed me exactly at certain points on the Island that I know all too well. Having local knowledge of Key West makes this read that much more rich in my opinion. I really enjoyed the way you t ...more
Cap'n Bobby
I would recommend this book to anyone, especially to people who have an interest in Key West, Jimmy Buffett, or Captain Tony. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the book, a book written about a man, Capt. Tony, who had a reputation as a womanizer, gun runner, gambler, etc. Strangely, the message of the book was very spiritual, very Christian, very Buddhist, that life is about people. Treat people with compassion, find the jewel in people, always offer a kind word. It takes no longer to ...more
Sep 16, 2012 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jimmy Buffet Fans and Caribbean history buffs
Recommended to Dan by: Saw it at Captain Tonys Saloon in Key West
A gambler on the run from the New York Mob, a boat captain, bar owner, gun runner for the CIA into Castro's Cuba, Mayor of Key West and on top of all that, he fathered 13 children from 8 different women. We Captain Tony died at the young age of 92 his oldest sone was 72 his youngest was 20. The very true story of Captain Tony. The owner of Captain Tonys Saloon in Key West and the subject of Jimmy Buffett's song, "Last Mango in Paris." Not really a page turner and the first book by the author, bu ...more
Mickey Asteriou
What we have here is an ethical conundrum. The book's refrain is to show compassion, to share a word of kindness. So, do we follow this advice and concentrate on the fascinating tales of Captain Tony themselves; or do we fixate on the awkward, forced writing and the embarrassing amount of spelling and grammar errors? At book's end, you have to ask yourself: are you the kind of person who can find the jewel in this book and give it five stars, or are you going to be an a-hole and give it two.
Dec 10, 2012 Lisa marked it as to-read
I won this on First Reads.

I take reading and reviewing books very seriously. Due to deaths and major family health issues, I have not been able to dedicate time or energy towards reading or reviewing. I do not want to do either half heartedly, so I will have to post this for now and will come back when things slow down. At that time I will update this with a proper review.
Gave the book 3 stars because a third of the book is about Captn Tony, a third of the book is about the author and a third is BS (one for each). Overall, a good book and lots of neat historical stories. I am just not sure how much truth are in some of the stories. "Life Lessons" is an appropriate title.
Melvina Davis

The story is both engaging and filled with thought provoking lessons from a man of the past with a vision on the future. I have never met Tony and in learning his history, I was at first skeptical, then intrigued, and finally, as Tony did in real live, drawn in and fascinated.

Won on goodreads.
Marty Hughes
Good book on a legend that we will miss. I met Captain Tony in his old bar a few years ago. I was complaining out loud that the shot glass prices were too high. Captain Tony sitting over on a stool out of my sight lowered his cigarette and said, "Seven dollars is a little high".
Glad I read it because it was on my list. Writing 'style' drove me crazy, and the book itself - well, never mind. Lots of people love it & thats great. I'm not one of them, so I'll stick with 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all . . .'
"I went down to Captain Tony's..." The beginning of the famouse 'Last Mango in Paris' Jimmy Buffett song resulted in one fan, now author, to write a book about Tony's adventures and advise. A good quick summer beach read.
Terrible writing on a great subject.I found spelling or grammatical errors on nearly every page, it seemed. It distracted from what should have been a fantastic story.
Great book about a Great man. Had the pleasure of meeting him twice.... Bad rep, but a wonderful and hopeful heart...
Good stories about a legend.
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