Tales of the Seven Seas
Dennis M. Powers
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Buy *Tales of the Seven Seas: The Escapades of Captain Dynamite Johnny O'Brien* by Dennis M. Powers online

Tales of the Seven Seas: The Escapades of Captain Dynamite Johnny O'Brien
Dennis M. Powers
Taylor Trade Publishing
Hardcover
308 pages
March 2010
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Sailor stories are often beheld with a sense of adventure and intrigue. Much like the gunslingers of the Wild West or explorers of faraway lands, people are fascinated by the adventures of those who live their lives at sea. In his latest book, Tales of the Seven Seas: The Escapades of Captain Dynamite Johnny O'Brien, author Dennis M. Powers has researched the life of Captain O達rien to tell the story of a historic seafaring figure.

And tell the story Powers does, as adventures abound throughout the book with more thrills than most other historical writings. The life of Johnny O達rien is an interesting one, and Powers had researched it well. O達rien started sailing as a teenager in the latter half of the 1800痴. It begins with the struggles O達rien must face as a young lad, mistreated by his elders on his first sailing voyage. Much of these early experiences shape the man O達rien would become, and the hardships only add to the excitement and strength of his character.

Powers brings to life the history of this man as he finds his way all across the world, in places like Calcutta and San Francisco, Hong Kong and Alaska and many more across the Atlantic and Pacific. O達rien would make a career out of sailing; rising through the ranks until eventually he was given a captaincy and a vessel of his own. After this, he would go on to command several ships throughout his life, using his experience and instincts as a guiding force.

There seems to be no limit to the adventures of Captain Johnny O達rien. Each chapter follows his life chronologically, and while most people slow down as they get older, adventure seems drawn to this man like a magnet. Some of the excitement is archetypal of sailing stories. There are tales of encounters with sharks, harsh sea storms and fights among crew members. All of these make Tales of the Seven Seas exciting, just as they do when they are found in any historical recounts of lives at sea. This, combined with the unusual adventures this particular individual has, will make the reader completely enraptured by the entrancing figure of Captain Dynamite Johnny O達rien including how he got the nickname 船ynamite.

One particular chapter recounts the time that Captain O達rien took on bears and cattle for cargo. During a storm, some of them get loose and pose new dangers for the sailors. In another chapter, Powers tells of how, while sailing through the South Pacific, O達rien successfully wooed a Hawaiian princess and vividly describes the scene, romanticizing the exotic encounter by describing the setting of the tropical night, right down to the sounds of the beach and the movement of the palm trees in the wind.

One of the most intriguing topics, especially for fans of literature, is how Captain O達rien met and befriended American author Jack London. O達rien told him stories of one of his first mates, Robert O樽alley. This has led some to theorize (and Captain O達rien seemed convinced) that London based his character for The Sea Wolf on O達rien痴 stories of his first mate.

As interesting as 船ynamite Johnny O達rien was, there is no mistaking that - like all men - he was fallible. Powers writes that O達rien had a volatile temper, which while useful for enforcing his command, would often flare up and end in acts of violence and danger which would get the captain in trouble. Nor was O達rien an entirely wholesome role model. He skirted the law on several occasions because of his temper and for doing somewhat illegal things. But Powers also shows that Captain Johnny O達rien was a compassionate man who loved his family and cared about his ships and the people who sailed on them. Powers research shows that O達rien was an all-around fascinating and multi-faceted personality. This is a great accomplishment on Power痴 part, since his writing ability allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the life of a man who died before most of them were even born.

History can be a difficult subject for writers to make interesting, but there is nothing dry about this thrilling tale of seafaring life. It痴 true that the story of Johnny O達rien is naturally interesting on its own, but Powers shows how, with skilled writing, historical research can be woven into a fascinating narrative. Stories like this are what turn people into legends, and Powers does so here, escalating the life of Captain Dynamite Johnny O達rien to that status.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. ゥ Joshua Myers, 2010

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