Welcome! Tally ho!

Our B.V.I. Adventure is designed to give our family, friends and any other interested followers a look into the life of two expatriates making their way on the island of Tortola. Tortola is the largest island in the British Virgin Islands.

So, why did we move 2,000 miles away from our home in Knoxville, Tennessee? Michael accepted a position as the director of retail and international sales for a Caribbean clothing brand.



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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Don't Stop the Carnival

Since we moved to the BVI in December, so many people have recommended this book to us...have you heard of it?

Set in the 1950's, Don't Stop the Carnival is the tale of a Broadway publicist who buys a hotel on the fictitious isle of "Amerigo" in the not-so-fictitious West Indies, where we now live. 

The way in which the author, Herman Wouk, describes Norman Paperman's journey to the Caribbean and his first impressions of the culture, the land, the sea - well, let me put it this way: They might as well be our own words!  

Within the first two pages, Wouk describes the West Indian people and their affinity for change (or lack thereof) like this:  "...under all the parade of human effort and noise, today is like yesterday, and tomorrow will be like today...the idea is to take things easy and enjoy the passing time under the sun."  SO TRUE! 

There are 382 more pages, full of observations.  Wouk describes our thoughts about this place, as if he's a mindreader!

One of my favorite descriptions from the book is of Pitt Bay, but it might as well be Smuggler's Cove, as far as I'm concerned.  Let's see if you agree...

"The beach was a deserted wide sweep of snowy sand.  Palm trees line it all the way to its end, about half a mile away, in high rock. At the near end it trailed off in thickets of cactus.  There were no waves in Pitt Bay. Clear water sloshed up and back on the sand, not breaking.  Coral reefs made jagged patterns in the green shallows; farther out, the bay was blue."

If you're a Parrothead, maybe the title of the book sounds familiar.  Jimmy Buffett's album with the same name "Don't Stop the Carnival" was released in 1998.  It is a collection of 20 songs, with titles taken directly from the book.  I was afraid to download it before finishing the book, for fear the ending would be spoiled.

These songs can't necessarily be classified as "classic Buffett" because they were written for a "Don't Stop the Carnival" musical, so there is a bit of a narrative through out it, along with solos from characters from the book.

I started the book last Friday, on my birthday.  I just could not put it down, nor could I resist reciting passages it to Michael, just amazed by all of the similarities.  But with all the birthday festivities, I had no choice but to put it down.  I finally finished it first thing this morning and have been listening to the album while I work today.

If you're looking for some light summer reading, I highly recommend it, especially if you've visited us or spent time in the West Indies.

Now, I must turn the book over the Michael...it's his turn!


Lauren Kimzey said...

This might have to be my next read this summer!