Thurston Hunger's Reviews > A High Wind in Jamaica

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
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Aug 19, 09

Recommended to Thurston by: Bibliophilistine Claire
Recommended for: Art Linkletter
Read in August, 2009

1929...so the language has a familiar but foreign feel. Amazingly this was before Hughes had children ;> (I could see this written as a response to the mutiny that parenthood could wreak upon the life of an Artist...as a young dog or otherwise).

Of course 80 years later, and in the US today we get some kind of claptrap like Kindergarten Cop or My Mother the Mafia, wherein the story would be played for cheap laughs and avoid going within 10 nautical miles of a naughty Lolita nation. Honestly today, I'd be hard pressed to choose the Somali pirates over the adorable/deplorable silver spoon sons and daughters...but after this book, I'd at least think twice. And this book does indeed make one think.

The book also brought to mind that Presidio court case of a decade or two ago with what-was-it, Satanist day care or something? Or that old Star Trek "Miri" episode, less so...but not really "Lord of the Flies" as that was children in the absence of adults, here it is all about the pairing of amoral and immoral, kids and pirates. And let us not forget the drunk monkey...

Alternatively titled, "Innocent Voyage" and quite a departure from innocence at that. The journey moves at a good clip, and on a simple level this remains a solid page-turner. Especially when out at sea.

Alas, and avast, my review hardly does the book justice, but ironically the book shows how hard it is for justice to be done. Strongly recommended by me (as befits the current 6 requests for Santa Clara County's one copy). Hmmm, sounds like NPR blew some wind into the sails of Hughes' novel, justly so.
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