Monday, February 9, 2009

Captain Blood

Author : Rafael Sabatini
Published: 1922
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Nowadays I normally don't buy and read such books. But I got this in form of a free e-book which came bundled along with my PDA. I started reading this just to pass time during my one-and-half hour commute from my office to home in the evenings (I can't read a conventional dead-tree (paper) book in the dark, can I ?).
I was expecting a teenage adventure story about a blood thirsty pirate. But I was in for a pleasant surprise. Story about a pirate it was, but that of a noble and brave pirate who values fairness and justice. The story is set in 1680s when King James II was ruling England . Captain Blood, actually a doctor by profession is wrongly convicted of treason against the king and sold as a slave to serve in sugar plantations of Barbados. He escapes and since he cannot go back to England becomes a pirate under unavoidable circumstances. The rest of the book narrates his adventures as a pirate roaming the seas and fighting Spanish pirates. His tenure as a pirate ends when he is pardoned and made governor of Barbados after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when King James II is overthrown.
A good and entertaining book, especially when you don't have anything else to lay your hands on to read. By the way, I also came across in this book , incidents of mergers & acquisitions among pirates . Very similar to what happens in the present corporate world !
I had neither heard about this book earlier nor about its author Rafael Sabatini. But after reading it I came to know through google search that this book was a bestseller of its times (1920s). Several movies were made based on this book. The 1935 version had the super star of those days Errol Flynn essaying the role of Captain Blood. It was nominated for Academy award for the Best Picture Category. You can view it on the You Tube.
I saw the first 20 minutes and hope to catch up on it again , when I have more leisure and better internet connectivity.
Among the other bestsellers by the same author are - The Sea Hawk (1915) and Scaramouche (1921). Hope to read these too some time !

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