Jimmy Buffett, bestselling author of "A Pirate Looks at Fifty," and hero to parrotheads everywhere, gives readers a humorous adventure set in the Caribbean, involving a lighthouse, a mystery, a wild cast of characters, and more than a few bottles of tequila.
It's not on any chart, but the tropical island of Cayo Loco is the perfect place to run away from all your problems. Waking from a ganja buzz on the beach in Tulum, Tully can't believe his eyes when a 142-foot schooner emerges out of the ocean mist. At its helm is Cleopatra Highbourne, the eccentric 101-year-old sea captain who will take him to a lighthouse on a salty piece of land that will change his life forever.
From a lovely sunset sail in Punta Margarita to a wild spring-break foam party in San Pedro, Tully encounters an assortment of treasure hunters, rock stars, sailors, seaplane pilots, pirates, and even a ghost or two.
There's a Cond Nast Traveler article fighting to get out of bestseller Buffett's first new novel in a decade, a groovily laid-back, ramblingly anecdotal, sun-soaked bit of Caribbean escapism that his Parrothead fans will relish like another chorus of "Margaritaville." Tully Mars, a 40-ish ex-cowboy turned guide at the Lost Boys Fishing Lodge island resort, undertakes various sojourns around the Caribbean, to Mayan ruins, a jungle safari camp, a spring break bacchanal in Belize. Nothing much happens "That day, we spent the rest of the daylight hours on the shallow waters of Ascension Bay and the lagoon amid incredible natural beauty unlike anything I had ever seen before" is about as busy as it gets except that Tully meets a parade of colorful natives and expatriates, including a Mayan medicine man, a British commando and a 103-year-old woman who skippers a sailing schooner and wants to restore a historic lighthouse on Cayo Loco, the titular island. The characters are all hospitality entrepreneurs, and Buffett (A Pirate Looks at Fifty) also gives them shaggy-dog anecdotes, tidbits of Caribbean history and desultory life lessons to relate. There are glimmers of plot bounty hunters, loves lost and found but mostly Tully has little to do but savor the accommodations and atmospherics of tourist locales while the sea washes him with waves of love, happiness and maturity as infallibly as the tides. This book is as cheery and tropical as Buffet's music.