Book Review: Captain Blood

30 Sep
The epic story of Peter Blood, doctor and gentleman turned pirate on the caribbean seas.    Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini

“Captain Blood,” by Rafael Sabatini

Genre: classics; historical fiction; romance; adventure

Plot Summary: (from Barnes and  During the tumultuous reign of James II, Englishman Peter Blood, a gentleman-physician, barely escapes the gallows after his arrest for treating a wounded rebel. Sentenced to ten years of slavery on a Barbados plantation, Blood escapes from captivity and boldly embarks on a career as a pirate, never losing sight of his goals of clearing his name and returning to England.  A rollicking tale of piracy on a grand scale, accented with breathtaking maritime maneuvers, near misses, and broadside hits, Sabatini’s fast-paced novel is alive with color, romance, and excitement. A swashbuckling classic that brims with stolen treasure and adventure on the high seas, Captain Blood quickly became a best-seller after it was first published in 1922.

My Book Review: I’d been planning on reading this oldie classic for several years, but truth be told I was expecting a shallow dime novel type story.  I ended up being pleasantly surprised.

Rafael Sabatini was inspired to create his most famous literary hero from the story of a real-life person named Henry Pitman, but added a great deal more swashbuckling adventure to the tale.  It definitely felt like a fun historical fiction adventure novel, complete with all the melodrama of an early black and white movie.  I loved the sarcastic wit and humor of Peter Blood, M.D.  Just plain fun to read and has enough action and humor to keep you from getting bored!  The story is not without romance, and includes one of the cutest romances I’ve ever read that was written by a man.

The Man in the Iron Mask Richard ChamberlainI can’t really find anything to complain about.  Peter Blood does swear like a pirate (but that could just possibly be because he is one).  Nothing so modernly hair-raising!  I had a little trouble trying to picture how Blood should look, though. Finally about midway through the story, I settled on an image of Richard Chamberlain from the old 1977 “Man in the Iron Mask” movie– he’s the only one I know who can look good in a black periwig!

This really would make an excellent audiobook to listen to, so I encourage anyone to look it up.  [You can listen to “Captain Blood” for free here.]  Several movies have been based on this book.  “Captain Blood” is also the first of three Peter Blood books:”

1)  “Captain Blood: His Odyssey

2)  “Captain Blood Returns” or, “The Chronicles of Captain Blood”

3)  “The Fortunes of Captain Blood”

Apparently, the second two are not sequels, but are accounts of Blood’s adventures that chronologically occurred within the timeframe of the story in the first book.

If you’re in the mood for a good sea adventure full of pirates, here’s your passport for adventure!  The last chapter left me with a grin and a sigh, and as I closed the cover I said, “That was a good book!”

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Posted by on September 30, 2013 in Book Reviews


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