book reviews by Althea

Captain in Calico – George MacDonald Fraser ***

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Captain in Calico
Captain in Calico by George MacDonald Fraser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off: I have to admit, I haven’t yet read anything else by George MacDonald Fraser, so those hoping for me to compare this book with his larger body of work must remain disappointed – sorry!

When I picked this up, I wasn’t aware that this is actually Fraser’s first novel, which remained unpublished during his lifetime. I just knew that I’d heard the author’s name around for quite some time, and that it was a pirate story. (Pirates are always a selling point, with me.)

As one might guess from the title, this is a fictionalized account of the notorious Calico Jack Rackham and Anne Bonney. (it’s quite a different take from the one currently being broadcast in ‘Black Sails’ – but I’d still recommend it to fans.)

My verdict? Well, as a story of pirate adventure, it does the job. It doesn’t transcend the job, however. It’s not a great work of literature, it’s not full of great historical research or insights, and it does feel a little old-fashioned. It also ended a little abruptly, I thought. But if you’re looking for a quick, fun read – with pirates – this may buckle your swash.

I’ve still got to get one of George MacDonald Fraser’s more well-known and acclaimed works onto my reading list.

Many thanks to Mysterious Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own.

View all my reviews


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