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This is the second time I've read this magical novel and I like it even better this time than I did the first. A lot of what I love is just in the language Hughes uses - for example describing the ocean as a 'tissue of sensitive nerves' - you can feel the languid heat of the tropics, the wetness of everything, the riot of vegetation, the primitive danger of everything all around. This is a novel to just get lost in, to be held captive by like the main characters, so much so that I'm not particularly interested in analyzing the book to death.
I could talk at length about the theme of crumbling institutions (adulthood, piracy, plantations, the church, England), about childhoods that never end (John, through his 'martyrdom', and the pirates through negligence). I could compare it to Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' which is just as dreamlike, or to Peter Pan, or even Don Quixote.
However, I just don't want to pick this one to pieces. I'd rather play the role of Mathias and allow the book to surprise me, trick me, confound me with it's circus of near insanity, instead of turning it into a Margaret that's been violated by a bunch of dirty sailors (academics).
Some books I just want to enjoy and this is one of them.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
How did the narrator detract from the book?
I do not understand why the producers of this book believe that frequent interludes of music add anything. I suppose they believe that the words can't carry the story well enough, and so must insert guitars, dramatic scores, Johann Sebastian Bach. Also, unfortunately, the narrator has a way of reading in a very condescending manner, as if he were reading to children. He likes to drop the volume of his voice to emphasize passages, invariably requiring me to back up and increase the volume. It really detracts from the enjoyment of the story.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful