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On Stranger Tides

On Stranger Tides - Tim Powers If you are as nerdy about movies as you clearly are about books if you are visiting this here book website, you probably recognize "On Stranger Tides" as the name of the fourth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Belabored Franchise Subtitle series. This is wholly appropriate. After all, you can't read the book these days without thinking of the movie trilogy extended cash grab saga:* Both are about pirates, natch. * Both are set in the south seas. * Both combine seafaring lore and zombies, one dull taste and one stale taste that somehow still taste great together.In fact, I'd wager POTC actually does quite a disservice to On Stranger Tides as a novel, since even though the book was published around 15 years before the writers of the movies appropriated all of its ideas named it as an "inspiration," Tim Powers' work can't help but feel a little uninspired these days. And it's a shame, because it was never a huge success, even though aside from being original, at the time, probably, it apes the film franchise in another significant way, which is that you really enjoy about the first third and then the plot starts getting really complicated and difficult to follow and by the end you're basically reading voodoo action sequences with only a vague idea of what is happening.Unfortunately, the book stars Captain Jack Shandy instead of Johnny Depp Captain Jack Sparrow. And while Movie-Jack is boozy and entertaining and carries the movie along even when you'd otherwise be super bored at lame Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly's skeleton (very realistic creature, that), Book-Jack is just boozy; not funny, not compelling, barely a character. In fact, all of On Stranger Tides would probably work a lot better if it was funnier. Because let's face it: pirates? Hilarious. Especially when you are listening to Bronson Pinchot narrate an audiobook like it's Talk Like a Pirate Day.So it's probably fortunate that On Stranger Tides was optioned for the fourth movie in the series, because Powers will finally get the payday he deserves for clearly inspiring the whole supernatural take on the genre in the first place, and the story will benefit from a dose of the films' tiresome trademarked humor. And it already doesn't make any sense, which saves the screenwriters a whole bunch of time.