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On Stranger Tides

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  7,831 ratings  ·  779 reviews
Aboard the Vociferous Carmichael, puppeteer John Chandagnac is sailing toward Jamaica to claim his stolen birthright from an unscrupulous uncle, when the vessel is captured . . . by pirates! Offered a choice by Captain Phil Davies to join their seafaring band or die, Chandagnac assumes the name John Shandy and a new life as a brigand. But more than swashbuckling sea battle ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Babbage Press (first published November 1987)
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Popular Answered Questions
Angie P I think so. There aren't any sex scenes or bad language.
There is some violence with ship battles and swords.
I would rate it PG13.
I hope that helps.
I think so. There aren't any sex scenes or bad language.
There is some violence with ship battles and swords.
I would rate it PG13.
I hope that helps.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonPeter Pan by J.M. BarrieThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanBloody Jack by L.A. MeyerPirates! by Celia Rees
551 books — 708 voters
Moby-Dick or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleMaster and Commander by Patrick O'BrianTreasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwayTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Nautical Novels
367 books — 293 voters

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,831 ratings  ·  779 reviews

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mark monday
On the menu tonight: ON STRANGER TIDES

Amuse Bouche
This treasured bit of savory Pirate en Papillote will tantalize your taste buds: a choice cut of ole pirate lore and Caribbean history, spiced with traditional Creole seasonings, and glazed with a stringent sea salt reduction to further whet the appetite. Ahoy, diners, prepare yourself for a repast that is simultaneously light and fulfilling!

A tossed salad of varied delights: for the historian, we include historical greens as served
Become the YOU you've always wanted to be in just 6 short months!!!
You want to work MAGIC? ... You can do it!
You want to become a MASTER SWORDSMAN? ... You can do it!
You want to CAPTAIN your own ship? ... You can do it! You want to be a MASTER OF SEAMANSHIP? ... You can do it!
You want to cook Bouillabaisse like a FIVE STAR CHEF? ... You can do it!
Just follow Jack Shandy's patented TEN STEP PIRATE PROGRAM
and you too can be a master of your own
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I liked this one a lot better than The Anubis Gates. For one thing it has pirates and battles at sea, voodoo monsters and that vegetal Thing from the Florida marshes, animated skeletons and rum bottles, a damzel in distress and a sultry temptress. If it sounds like the last episode of the Pirates of the Carribean francise, that's because On Stranger Tides is the source material for the movie. Frankly, I prefer the book to the movie, even without Johnny Depp.

Among the things I learned from this b
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is what happens when you're the ACTUAL inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

The movies shuffle around some pieces, make it streamlined and less complex, and of course NAME it after a ride.

But the story itself...

It's a truly historical romance that is filled to the brim with press gangs, pirates, hidden islands, Blackbeard, and with so much magic overflowing from the Lao that it absolutely reads like a modern epic fantasy.

It is not a modern epic fantasy. It came out in 1987.
If you are as nerdy about movies as you clearly are about books if you are visiting this here book website, you probably recognize "On Stranger Tides" as the name of the fourth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Belabored Franchise Subtitle series. This is wholly appropriate. After all, you can't read the book these days without thinking of the movie trilogy extended cash grab saga:

* Both are about pirates, natch.
* Both are set in the south seas.
* Both combine seafaring lor
Nov 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audiobooks, 2010
On Stranger Tides may be the best audiobook I've listened to so far. Bronson Pinchot's narration brought this story to life in a way that my brain never could have if I had read it it print. He performed it rather than read it and the result was the most fun I've ever had listening to a book.

For a long time, the rumor mill has been saying that On Stranger Tides is to be the basis for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie. While I was listening to this book, I looked on IMDB and found that the
Caro the Helmet Lady
Ahoy mates!

No, I didn't look here for Jack Sparrow. Nor Johnny Depp. This book caught my attention with promise of meeting Baron Samedi. And you can't say "no" to Baron just because you're not into pirate stories! So I picked it up and started turning pages and I wasn't disappointed. I really liked it, surprisingly, even though I didn't get to meet the Baron, at least not the way I imagined.

The pirates were their usual – drinking, cursing, fighting and robbing bastards. Pretty much all you can e
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My theory is this: when Disney decided to make a movie out of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, some imagineer was assigned to read a bunch of stuff about pirates and figure out a story for it. And that poor lil imagineer stumbled across this gem and was like, WHOA. Not just the movie On Stranger Tides comes from this, but the whole franchise owes a LOT to this book. I only wish it hadn't been so short. I feel like much of it was rushed and that it could have been much longer or even a series.
4.0 to 4.5 stars. This is an excellent book and one that I could easily see myself giving 5 stars to if I had been more in the mood for a slightly leisurely pace. The writing is superb, the plot is complex and intelligent and the magical elements are really uniquely done and very interesting. I especially enjoyed the discussion near the end of the book of WHY magic has disappeared from the European continent). These kinds of details always add to the richness of the narrative.

In brief, the stor
I give this book 3.5 star.

From a perspective, this is a unique book for me. I have never read a pirate fiction, or naval adventure fiction before, or voodoo-based magic. I admit I am still confused with the ship terms, which means i could not imagine a complete picture when reading about a scene on a ship. Regardless of the trivial details of the setting, I could follow the storyline.

But from other perspective, this book is so standard with stereotype plot formula. The first and second chapter i
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fantasy
With a damsel in distress, pirates and pirate ships, voodoo, magic, ghosts, the Fountain of Youth, swashbuckling sword fights, puppet theater, cannons, prisoners, games of wits, Blackbeard, and zombies--with all of these elements, a book like this has got to be fun! And it is; a bunch of really fun characters, fast-moving plot, humorous twists in the story line, all help to make this an enjoyable read.

Actually, I did not read this book; I listened to the audiobook. Bronson Pinchot does an excell
Maya Bohnhoff
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a little magic in their reality
This is one of Tim's older novels, but it's a doozy. I love the characters, the action, the whole magic, the use of nautical history... I love sailing ships, so this was a special treat.

The underlying human story is about how John Chandagnac goes from proper, uninvolved and rather shallow gentleman to Jack Shandy, a pirate with the emotional depths of the seas he sails. This is a perfect storm of a book in many ways. I mean, it's got a virtuous yet flawed hero (who cooks!), towering evil for hi
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I seem to have a pattern of getting books I really look forward to, only to be somewhat disappointed in them. Perhaps if I had not had such high hopes and expectations I would've liked it more?

The pacing was a bit slow, and it was definitely not one where I couldn't wait to get back into it. I did like Shandy and Davies and Skank. I think my favorite part was watching Shandy turn into a pirate and accept his role, and to find that they were, despite their wicked ways, actually good guys. Honor a
Jan 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, one-star
I tried to concentrate on what was happening, but I couldn't delve into the details that this book offered. My unfortunate reading experience reflects the score of this flawed book. The prologue and epilogue are the most well written and most climactic parts, respectively. There's something wrong with the author's style, as far as I'm concerned. It's like an ill tuned radio. Nothing really comes out of the pages and grabs you. One of those books I would have- indeed once did - abandoned reading ...more
This pulpy and wildly implausible, in a retro, Men's Adventure sort of way. It has pirates, Blackbeard (though they don't call him Blackbeard most of the time), damsels in distress, voodoo and zombies.

Oh, and a main character who's magically good at everything he does. Despite never handling a sword, he's able to teach a swordsman new tricks within minutes of picking one up. Despite never firing a gun, he's able to give the pirates lessons on accuracy within an hour. Despite never cooking for a
Raymond St.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Powers is well worth reading if you like fantasy.
He has excellent narrative quality, a mind devious for plot and structure, and does action and adventure as other writers only dream.

But if you are a fantasy writer, Powers is a doubly worth studying.

Consider that the man has written shelves of books; but they are stand-alone in a time when everyone asks for an acronymed series (HP, ASOIAF, LOTR, WOT, KkC... ).

Take 'On Stranger Tides'. It is not enough for Powers to tell a zombie-pirate story. He
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun one, in no small part due to the fantastic narration by Bronson Pinchot.
This is a piratical romp with voodoo, cannon fire, and hints of quantum physics. The characters are varied and interesting, though the English characters tend to be duller than the rest. The plot is a glorious mess, but it feels a bit too long. It all could have been resolved at the 3/4 mark without much issue, making the last quarter feel like filler. The romance, also, is a bit perfunctory, but the rest of t
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel about pirates...Magical Pirates (gasp!). No booty, no hooks for hands, no peg legs, no parrots nor even a single aaarrrggghhh in the entire book. Still a decent enough pirate tale even though a chore at times to read while waiting on some action. Varied from 2.5 stars for the first half to 3.5 stars later with a 2 star ending.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s something about Tim Powers’ books that just won’t sing for me. Or, appropriately enough for this book, no siren song. Which is quite frustrating, because they seem like they’d be right up my alley. They have all the right elements. This one…it has pirates and magic and adventure and zombies and pursuit of eternal life. It’s a dream boat (yeah, seaworthy puns, of course) really, but it never quite takes off. Literally it does, of course, it’s a high seas adventure of a grand scale, it’s a ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Pre-Read: Ok, I'm putting aside the dreadful Pirates of the Carribean connection, and try to read this on it's own merits.
Lauren Stoolfire
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers is a great historical fantasy adventure that formed the basis for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I love how Tim Powers combines real world history and magic. As I've come to expect from Powers, his writing is complex, descriptive, quite visual, and magical in its own right. The only issue that keeps me from giving this novel a full five stars is that the pacing is a little too slow at times. Overall, I need to read more from Tim Powers and just plain ...more
Jun 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of adventure stories, pirates and/or unique fantasy
Shelves: pirate
I bumped this up my reading list because I wanted to read it ahead of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie ruining adapting it, and I'm glad I did. I really can't see how they are going to do this book justice, and I honestly don't think they'll try -- they'll likely steal a few easily borrowable elements like the voodoo magic and the quest for the fountain of youth, and ignore the main story, which would be tricky to cram Jack Sparrow into. I wish that Pirates of the Caribbean would not ha ...more
Robert Magness
Jun 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
I really did not care much for this book and it worries me--though it doesn't surprise me--that this is what Disney looks to loosely adapt for Pirates of the Carribean 4. All the outlandish and ridiculous elements of Pirates 2 and 3 are ramped up to 11 in this story. The prose is fine; the characters are interesting enough; but the problem is the supernatural elements. It's too supernatural for its own good and looses the suspension of disbelief early on. Remove a few supernatural sequences and ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, audiobooks
This book is just insane. It's a great way to pay homage to pirate stories, with plenty of real-world references, and to mysticism of indigenous peoples. I spent the whole time I listened to the book wanting to play Assassin's Creed Black Flag (again) and watch Pirates of the Caribbean (of which the film with the same name has almost nothing in common). There aren't nearly enough women characters in the story, and Shandy is a bit of a Marty Stu, but I did like that his many abilities, including ...more
Another nutty Powers adventure combining Leiber styled swashbuckling, gothic horror, and quirkiness worthy of a Terry Gilliam film. Like Waldrop, Powers can cram a narrative to the brim with eccentric facts and connect the dots into seamless fun. Here he throws voodoo, Native American magic, Blackbeard, quantum physics, zombies, the fountain of youth, battling magicians, and Puppet Theater. One unbelievable and tidy coincidence at the conclusion is one of the few hitches in the fun adventure. If ...more
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Tim powers does it again. This may be my new favorite pirate adventure ever. Seafaring lore, oddball characters and a realistic basis for magic that I loved. I have yet to read anything by Powers that I have not liked and this story was just about perfect. An outstanding novel that I heartily recommend.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really 3 and a half stars. A pirate adventure tale interwoven with alot of fantasy elements. This book has pirates, voodoo, sea battles, ghosts, magic, and daring rescues. It was originally written in 1988 - long before the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie - but many elements of the story have appeared in those films. I took a half star off for the uneven pace of the plot, especially in the first half of the book. It does pick up in the second half, leading to an exciting and satisfying endi ...more
Update: This review probably isn't very helpful if you haven't read the book. Rereading this review after forgetting what the book was about, I don't understand much of it. Oops.

I should start by saying that even though this novel is nearly 26 years old I wouldn't have heard of it had they not based the fourth film in my favourite series, Pirates of the Caribbean, off of it. Having said that, I should say that I didn't find too many similarities between the stories so I am reviewing the book, NO
[Name Redacted]
The prologue is gripping, the first chapter drags a bit, but the rest of the story is incredible. Powers manages to weave together the history of piracy, the age of sail, new world vodoun, and old world magic into an amazing tale which has served as the basis for both the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the Monkey Island computer game series -- indeed, re-reading it now as an adult I realize that many elements from the first half of the book were used as a jumping off point for the televi ...more
Recently some folks have been touting the name Tim Powers in the FB groups. Intrigued I searched the usual local places and came up dry. Luckily my library had this particular title as an audiobook. I realized the similarity of titles with a certain Pirate movie made by Disney, I had no idea the movie was loosely based on a book.

As a whole it was a nice diversion for my commute. Bronson Pinchot does a fantastic job narrating.

Jack runs afoul of some pirates on his voyage to the Caribbean. Voyag
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Pirate Mythology 2 7 Dec 31, 2018 08:59AM  
What does Carrefour meant by the "thing" Davies have Shandy? 1 8 Jun 21, 2018 11:44PM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers 47 37 Mar 15, 2018 07:18PM  
Return of the Rog...: On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers 6 9 Jan 30, 2016 12:11PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine editions 3 20 May 07, 2014 12:06AM  

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Timothy Thomas Powers is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare.

Most of Powers's novels are "secret histories": he uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations a

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