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Silver: My Own Tale As Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder    by Edward Chupack order for
by Edward Chupack
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2008 (2008)
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

If you've read Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (or if you've seen any of the movie versions of the famous novel), you probably already know something about the infamous Long John Silver.

But if you read Edward Chupack's roguishly entertaining Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder, then you're in for an audacious treat as you finally get the complete truth about one of the most famous criminals of the Seven Seas. Ostensibly written by the inimitable and amoral Silver himself while he defiantly sits in a prison cell awaiting his much-deserved punishment for certain crimes against the Crown, Silver, as a delightful tale of duplicity, greed, passion, and questionable loyalties, becomes something like a tell-all memoir covering most of Silver's flamboyant and felonious life.

With his childhood spent as a petty thief in Bristol, England, the adolescent Silver talks his way into a lowly position on board Captain Black John's ship, the Linda Maria. From such humble beginnings, Silver encounters all sorts of adventures in which treasure, treachery, savagery, and murder figure prominently. Along Silver's progress to successes and failures, he lives a rowdy life that is driven by hatred of Englishmen, Portuguese, and - most of all - Spaniards. And, most notably along the way, during his rise to infamy, Silver dispenses with Captain Black John, seizes control of the Linda Maria and her crew, finds himself distracted and outsmarted by a beautiful woman, pursues a wealthy Spaniard, and spends a goodly portion of his life unraveling a series of ciphers and clues within a Bible as he pursues a princely fortune: a previously plundered and now hidden portion of the Crown jewels.

As if written with tongue-in-cheek apologies to and corrections of Hollywood's celluloid versions of pirates (especially the fiendishly delightful Johnny Depp of recent films), Edward Chupack's Silver is a raucous, no-holds-barred tale of plundering, marauding, and murdering as readers join the sensational scoundrel Long John Silver, an equal-opportunity killer of all-the-scurvy-seadogs who dare to cross his path during his fast-paced, virtually non-stop bloody assaults upon brave men, cowards, patriots, and traitors. Exciting, savage, witty, and daring, Silver is a fun-filled treasure.

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