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August 19, 2017

HOOK'S TALE (A Classic Re-telling)

Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself by [Pielmeier, John Leonard]


Being the Account of an Unjustly Villanized Pirate Written by Himself

About the Author

John Pielmeier is a three-time Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated playwright and screenwriter. His successful plays, television movies, and miniseries include Agnes of God, Gifted Hands, Choices of the Heart, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and successful screen adaption of Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. He has received the Humanitas Award (plus two nominations), five Writers’ Guild Award nominations, a Gemini nomination, an Edgar Award, the Camie Award, and a Christopher Award. He is married to writer Irene O’Garden and lives in upstate New York. Hook’s Tale is his first novel.

 A rollicking debut novel from award-winning playwright and screenwriter John Pielmeier reimagines the childhood of the much maligned Captain Hook: his quest for buried treasure, his friendship with Peter Pan, and the story behind the swashbuckling world of Neverland.

Long defamed as a vicious pirate, Captain James Cook (a.k.a Hook) was in fact a dazzling wordsmith who left behind a vibrant, wildly entertaining, and entirely truthful memoir. His chronicle offers a counter narrative to the works of J.M. Barrie, a “dour Scotsman” whose spurious accounts got it all wrong. Now, award-winning playwright John Pielmeier is proud to present this crucial historic artifact in its entirety for the first time.

Cook’s story begins in London, where he lives with his widowed mother. At thirteen, he runs away from home, but is kidnapped and pressed into naval service as an unlikely cabin boy. Soon he discovers a treasure map that leads to a mysterious archipelago called the “Never-Isles” from which there appears to be no escape. In the course of his adventures he meets the pirates Smee and Starkey, falls in love with the enchanting Tiger Lily, adopts an oddly affectionate crocodile, and befriends a charming boy named Peter—who teaches him to fly. He battles monsters, fights in mutinies, swims with mermaids, and eventually learns both the sad and terrible tale of his mother’s life and the true story of his father’s disappearance.

Like Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, Hook’s Tale offers a radical new version of a classic story, bringing readers into a much richer, darker, and enchanting version of Neverland than ever before. The characters that our hero meets—including the terrible Doctor Uriah Slinque and a little girl named Wendy—lead him to the most difficult decision of his life: whether to submit to the temptation of eternal youth, or to embrace the responsibilities of maturity and the inevitability of his own mortality. His choice, like his story, is not what you might expect.


“Life is no condition for Loving, James. More often than not it makes Loving more complicated. And vise- versa.”
“Are you afraid, Princess? Of Dying?"
"A little. I try to think of it as Curiosity more than Fear. I like Adventure too, and Death will be an awfully big one.”

This is written as Captain Hook by James Cook, edited by Pielmeier.

A different account of a classic.  The book from start to finish has many twists and turns, sort of like a spider's web with many fine fibers all connected.   If you love Peter Pan, the Wizard of Oz  than you'll love this twist on the classic.  What a debut novel! A coming of age story of a young boy who has to face the realities of life way too soon. A young James Hook appears to be a  loner, never quite living up to his family's expectations.   His friends really aren't friends.  But then something extraordinary happens..   He finds new friends with mermaids, fairies and a dear friend, a crocodile.  This young boy is thrown into growing up and all the events that make him a man..  James Hook will soon become Captain Hook who  all remember as being a different sort.  The story is written in a Victorian/Edwardian style and as you read, you will savor every moment.   As you turn the pages, you are in for a new surprise every time in the adventure into Neverland.  I enjoyed immensely the stories of the  pirates.  What humor and fun. I never thought about how the hook part came into play and was fascinated to learn how Captain Hook got the hook. Did we ever really know Hook?  Was he the villain we all thought or was there another layer to the infamous Captain Hook? Perhaps even a look at a hero of sorts? We always think of Peter Pan as being this sweet adorable boy, but was he really?  I would suggest for younger readers that there is just a bit of swearing and some violent moments. This was a fun, fast and entertaining book..  Fantasy and true, all in one but then  it's all in the mind! So if you have always loved the classics we grew up with but also like a different twist to them, then most of all, you have to pick this book up and read.   A  retelling that may never leave your mind or your book shelf.  

I received a copy of this book and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 4 STARS.

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