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A Salty Piece of Land

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  5,576 ratings  ·  640 reviews
#1 bestselling author Jimmy Buffett is back at last with his first new novel in a decade!

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
Mass Market Paperback, 510 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Little Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Jun 02, 2007 added it
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
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: florida, mystery
A Wyoming cowboy makes his way to The Caribbean after getting fired from his job. Bumming around, he gets a job restoring a lighthouse. Strange things start to happen.

About what one would expect from a book by Jimmy Buffet. Light, but entertaining.
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
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
Fred Forbes
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
You know that any Floridian with a sailboat will have a copy of Buffett's 4 CD collection titled "Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads" aboard. The music is the perfect accompaniment to the glorious wind, waves and water of the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. Like his music, his books take you there like few others can do. Frankly, I don't know how this one snuck by me as I have read and enjoyed all his others. Probably got backed up in my reading or was waiting for paperback release or kindle price ...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
Mar 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The same airy feel as any Buffett book. There is always a good long get to know ya with the charactors, but they are generally charactors you like so no harm in that.
Jimmy Buffett is great at writing clever and catchy songs, but this book could really do with some editing. It was far too long. It felt like every time Tully met a new character they immediately needed to tell him their entire backstory (20 pages) or write him a ridiculously long letter telling him their exploits - and the backstory of every person they met. AAaaaaaahhhhh!!! When will something actually happen to Tully besides fishing and talking and driving and talking and sailing and talking? ...more
Jun 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Jean Zott
May 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
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,
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I didn't know that Jimmy Buffett was also a novelist! While never a huge fan of his music—I like it okay—I thought this was cool and wanted to give the book a shot. I don't like giving low star ratings to books, because, as I've said before, this person took time out of his/her life to provide something entertaining for the rest of us, and who am I to criticize? But here are my pros and cons.

Pro: He actually is a pretty decent writer! His research and descriptions are great. It was enjoyable to
Roger Smitter
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book of 2004 shows its age. Buffett tries to explain the world he wants to live in.
Probably that world still exists for lots of people. Today we might see the book as an unbelievable world.

But, there’s some fun stuff in the book. We meet “Bonefish Bob” and “Jetfuel Joe” and visit the :Lost boys Fishing Lodge.” We get hear about Jack London’s book The Cruise of the Shark. We learn that “Beliese City was “…no trip to the Grand Canyon.”

It’s clear that he loves the sea and being on the sea.
Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jeanette (Again)
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it
"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!
Apr 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
While interesting at points, this story's plot meandered unpredictably. The story failed to keep me engaged enough to desire to keep reading. I had to force myself to finish reading the book, and that is because I am stubborn- rarely have I not finished a book once I've started.

While I am a longtime fan of Jimmy Buffett's music, this book did not appeal to me.
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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...
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As I sit on my couch, legs propped up, coffee in hand; reading 'A Salty Piece of Land' simultaneously staring out the window at the icicles forming on my neighbors porch as the temperature drops to 21 degrees, I can't help but appreciate how Jimmy Buffet transports me to a place of warmth and comfort. Mr. Buffet has always managed to convey that feeling in his music, but I did not know the extent of his story telling prowess until I read a couple of his books. Is he Twain? No, Buffet doesn't wri ...more
Kevin Findley
It is always a pleasure to read a Jimmy Buffett novel. There is always that question in your mind, "Did this really happen to Jimmy, is it embellished, or is he just talking out of his blender again?".

Well, it really doesn't matter. The man is a good storyteller and that is what counts. I'm not even going to go into the details, except that you wont expect the ending until it kicks you right in the heart. In a good way of course, that brings Tully together with the only people in the world that
Karen Barbieri
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Felt like I was sailing with the characters....enjoyed reading the book.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Steve Hall
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
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
Matt DiSilvio
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Simon Crum
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Picked this "summer reading" book up at a library sale. Now there's a reason Jimmy Buffet is a singer and not a writer...but he's also a story teller. Initially the waves were a little rough but then I settled in. I liked the main character and his horse. Tully just seems to be blessed with the same luck Jimmy himself has had throughout his career. Just serendipity after serendipity. Still, sometimes it works like that. You end up somewhere you don't think you should be only to meet the right gi ...more
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: escapism
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. But it just dragged and I didn't really get into it. I don't know if it's just Buffet's style--he uses A LOT of expository--and I thought the way things were set up was a little misleading. When I first started reading, I thought this book was going to be about fixing up the lighthouse. I was disappointed to realize it wasn't and that it was all a bunch of back story about how Tully got to the islands. There were some parts that were more engagin ...more
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jul 18, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, florida
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
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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.


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