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A Salty Piece of Land

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  3,927 ratings  ·  499 reviews
It's not on any chart, but the tropical island of Cayo Loco is the perfect place to run away from all your problems. If you're looking for a license to chill, come along as cowboy Tully Mars takes his pony to the shore-on an unforgettable Caribbean adventure as colorful and wonderfully bizarre as cocktail hour at your favorite expatriate bar. From a lovely sunset sail in P ...more
Kindle Edition, 528 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Audreysuzy
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
Rachel
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
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
Rj
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
...more
Jack
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
...more
Nomanisan
Jul 02, 2008 Nomanisan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
Nastassja
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
...more
Liam
Jan 30, 2008 Liam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...
Helen
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
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
...more
Joy
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,
...more
Fiona
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
...more
Steve Hall
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
...more
Matt DiSilvio
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
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
Nancy
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.
...more
Justin
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
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
....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
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
...more
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!
Sarahh
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
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
...more
Peggy
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.
Lynette
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
...more
Matt
Really enjoyed this book. Jimmy Buffet's imagination really makes the book believable, and his natural style keeps an enjoyable pace throughout the entire book.
Keith
Jimmy Buffett is an extremely entertaining singer...okay he's an entertaining storyteller as well but he's a better singer. Man I really feel like I need a Margarita.
Heidi
It's one long beer tale. Great for mindless reading. I started it a while ago, and just haven't finished it.
Robert Fritz
I found this book in a used book store in Cape Coral, Fl during our first week on vacation. I had brought three, but finished the lengthy "Duma Key" by Stephen King and decided that I might need more. I also purchased a Laurence Shames and a Robert Parker. I finished all of them on our current trip and fortunately feel that I picked well. Buffett has a fun voice - I liked his characters and the various settings to which the main character travels. A fun read for a vacation... we'll be home next ...more
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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.

Aside
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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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