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Life Lessons of a Legend

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  19 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 ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 26th 2008 by Booksurge Publishing
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  55 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Jun 14, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Brad Manard
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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 ...more
Kirk Coco
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
The amazing life of Captain Tony would certainly make a great book and movie. Unfortunately, it made a B-movie and then this poorly written and ABYSMALLY edited book. If you can suffer through the constant changes in tense and spelling errors, get past the 1950's Leave it to Beaver life the author must have read up to this point and the word "compassion" being clubbed repeatedly into the reader's skull, you might get a little bit of the amazing character who was known to many as Capt. Tony.
Debbie Stanley
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome story! I dont think Ive ever read a book that has made me feel this good! I didnt want to read the last chapter because I didnt want the book to end. I only wish I could have met this amazing man - Captain Tony Tarrasino. ...more
Nic Schuck
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
It was cute. Wouldve liked it better as a biography. Too much about the writer that I wasnt very interested in. ...more
Cap'n Bobby
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Andrea Bastien
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
As an amateur book collector, I was irresistibly drawn to a book sold in a Key West tavern. It may be the only place Ive never bought a book from, and i was happy to spot and purchase this story. In many ways this was the perfect read for a vacation in the Keys. Reading about the life and stories of captain tony was like reading a history of Key West itself. That being said, the narrators particular style of telling and retelling, of intertwining his story with Captain Tonys was not my favorite. ...more
Dewayne Biddy
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Mickey Asteriou
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it

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.
Feb 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 . . .'
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a huge fan of Key West,this has become my all time favorite book. This book makes you look at yourself and your relationships with others. Captain Tony was a big proponent of compassion and his message is clear in this book.
Marty Hughes
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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".
Aug 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
"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.
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Debbie Burgess-Shaw
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
The author knew Captain Tony well. He created a human story about an island legend. Did not enjoy the writing as much as I loved the story.
Feb 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Good stories about a legend.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book about a Great man. Had the pleasure of meeting him twice.... Bad rep, but a wonderful and hopeful heart...
James Blackwell
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2014
Ron Ester
rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2015
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Sep 12, 2011
rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2013
Celeste Wilcox
rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2018
Kate Verrant
rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2017
rated it liked it
Apr 09, 2013
rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2016
Paula DiLaura
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2019
rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2012
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