Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pirate Freedom-Gene Wolfe

Pirate Freedom
Gene Wolfe
Tor, Nov 2007, $24.95
ISBN: 9780765318787

In the twentieth-first century, Christopher, the son of an American mob boss who moved to post communist Havana to run a casino, is considering taking holy orders, but decides to delay his final pledge to God. Instead he leaves the post communist Cuban monastery only to end up in Cuba three centuries ago.

Although bewildered by what happened to him, he adapts as he considers himself a modern day wandering Jonah although he believes God will forgive his transgressions. Christopher obtains work on a ship so that he can survive as he lacks the skills of this century. He soon joins a pirate vessel and after plenty of hard knocks, he becomes a pirate captain.

Although the story line is filled with plenty of swashbuckling adventures that would tire Errol Flynn in his prime, the fascination in this superb time travel thriller is Captain Chris confessing his sins to Father Christopher. Thus the audience obtains a vivid look at an eighteenth century Caribbean and Atlantic ethos as seen by a twenty-first transplant in which the two superpowers (pirates and the military-industrial complex) contain their own respective ethics as they battle for High Seas supremacy.

Harriet Klausner

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