Tales From Margaritaville

Book Card  -  Volume 13  -  Book Review Number 5  -  Fri, Mar 23, 1990 11:03 PM

TITLE: Tales From Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions
AUTHOR: Jimmy Buffett
PUBLISHER: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

To the layman, a book from Jimmy Buffett is as unexpected as a book from, say, Vanna White - and a good deal less appealing. But to a Jimmy Buffett fan (the correct term is "Parrot-head") this book is long overdue.

Don't get me wrong; fine literature this ain't. Jimmy Buffett is nothing more or less than a story teller (a first-rate one, some would say), and this time around he's simply chosen to use a different medium to express his stories. Like his early albums, this book is unpolished but promising.

Deja deja deja vu

Tales From Margaritaville was written at the same time his last album, Off To See The Lizard, was recorded, and is meant as a companion to the album. Five of the stories in the book actually share titles and subject-matter with tracks from the album. This is an interesting concept; it's forcing me to re-examine what I thought was one of Jimmy's weakest albums.

Veja veja veja du

Structurally, the book is a collection of twelve short stories, the last four of which are presented as non-fiction. The earlier stories share a fictional location as their common thread. It's "the town of Heat Wave on Snake Bite Key in the state of Alabama in the U.S.A. on the planet Earth". The stories also make frequent use of more than twenty years of Jimmy Buffett songwriting lore. You may recognize the following from earlier albums:

  • Margaritaville
  • The weather is here, wish you were beautiful
  • Frank and Lola
  • Gypsies in the Palace
  • Freddy and the Fishsticks
There are many, many, other references in the book to Jimmy Buffett material from various albums.

Jimmy is working on his second book, a novel. Jimmy Buffett and his daughter Savannah Jane are currently working on their second children's book. And I can only hope that Jimmy and his band are working on his TWENTY-THIRD album. What follows is the book titles and a partial discography

  • The Jolly Mon (a children's book)
  • Tales from Margaritaville


  • Off To See The Lizard
  • Hot Water
  • Floridays
  • Songs You Know By Heart
  • Last Mango In Paris
  • Riddles In The Sand
  • One Particular Harbor
  • Somewhere Over China
  • Coconut Telegraph
  • Volcano
  • You Had To Be There
  • Son Of A Son Of A Sailor
  • Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitides
  • Havana Daydreamin'
  • A1A
  • Living And Dying In 3/4 Time
  • A White Sportcoat and A Pink Crustacean