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Summer Reading : Don’t Stop The Carnival

“Carn-nee-val is very sweet, Please don’t stop de Car-nee-Val”

If you’re looking for some great Summer reading, BVI Music highly recommends the Herman Wouk novel “Don’t  Stop The Carnival”.  Based on a true story, this exciting page-turner follows the exploits of New York public relations man Norman Paperman as he literally drops everything and heads to the Caribbean to follow his dreams of running a hotel. The Gull Reef Club, located in Amerigo ( a fictional island), could literally be Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, The Last Resort, Marina Cay… take your pick.

For individuals living in the Caribbean, Wouk’s tale will strike a deep chord in your souls – the characters from “Don’t Stop The Carnival”, will be people you know. The problems that Paperman encounters will be problems you’ve most likely become familiar with – a lack of water, people coming and going on short or no notice, labor issues, power outages, the food,  stopping in the middle of roads, endless drama… the list goes on and on.

Norman Paperman’s departure for the Caribbean sets off a fire storm with his friends in New York – jealousy takes control  and he becomes the envy of his friends and acquaintances. The former-life pals only see a man fulfilling his dream – he is declared to be a genius for the move.

Also remarkable about “Don’t Stop The Carnival”, is that Wouk collaborated with Jimmy Buffet to create a musical based on the novel – so when you finish the book, you can enjoy the songs, written and arranged by Jimmy Buffet in conjunction with Wouk. The musical was not exactly a smash Broadway hit – but it did break some records at The Coconut Grove Theatre in Miami. Of note also is that following the collaboration, Buffet actually purchased part ownership in a Caribbean hotel and helped to run it for 10 years until a fire closed it.

When you finish the book, you can check out the enhanced CD by Jimmy Buffet, here.

We can’t think of a more timely recommendation for reading with the Festival in swing… festival, carnival … it’s really quite the same thing. If you’re looking for a new book & new music with a definite Caribbean Flair, pick up “Don’t Stop the Carnival”, now.