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Pieces of Eight: A Story of Sex & Love, Trust & Betrayal Paperback – February 13, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Michael Reed McLaughlin grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, went to Newport Harbor High and then Del Norte High School, before attending film school from 1993-96 at BYU, where he shot several short films, including Student Emmy award-winning The Fourth Trimester, as well as a feature length version of that film. Believing that one learns more by doing than by study, he also wrote, directed, shot, edited, and sometimes acted in a scene on video every week as well as watched fifteen classic films outside of class each week. Just before graduating, he came back to Los Angeles and formed a production company to shoot an independent film. The company was MRM Productions; and the film was Of Love & Betrayal, a simple story he planned on shooting in 16 mm on his own sailboat with some friends from film school. The project snowballed into a 35 mm project shot on a 76' schooner on location in the Bahamas. Filming was quite an adventure. There were several tropical storms, two hurricanes, dealings with drug dealers, DEA agents, two murders, and the usual cast & crew love affairs along the way. What fun! Although he feels that his primary talent lies in directing film, he does a great deal of writing. He has penned several feature scripts in addition to Of Love & Betrayal, and has many more in development. He also writes genre fiction, including The Hero Sagas trilogy. You can learn more about all his books at: www.mrmproductions.com/books.
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I have never been a pirate fan, but I was somewhat intrigued with the history that was central to the adventure. I found Jack a likable person--although I grew tired of his bedroom capers. Thankfully, none of his bedroom antics were told in detail.
Portia and Sandy were fascinating characters. I could have done without the brief homosexual interlude, but I understand why that avenue was pursued. I felt it was woven into the framework of the story and made sense, but I am never a fan of those kinds of scenes.
I also did not enjoy the profanity scattered throughout the story. I am not saying it was absolutely horrific--I've read much worse. At least the author only had it in dialogue rather than nouns and verbs throughout the narrative. But I did feel some of it was not necessary. Again, just my opinino.
Lest you think I did not like the book, let me extol what I enjoyed about the story. The author has a very readable style. Even when I couldn't understand the nautical terms that were used (I still get confused between port and starboard--I identified with many of Portia's failings), it did not spoil the story for me. I found that I was able to escape to the world of the high seas and treasure-hunting through the author's words. The adventure never let up, and I was not sure what the ending would hold. It made we want to keep reading.
I also thought that the three main characters were developed extremely well. They were definitely three-dimensional characters, and I cannot tell you how much I enjoy that in a novel. The characters had to tackle real issues from drugs, to sex, to feelings of worthlessness. I think everyone would be able to identify with one of the characters ot a degree.
I have to say that I found the ending a bit of a let-down. I know I am a romantic, and I like happy ending, but I also am a realist. The ending seemed a little rushed, and too many loose ends were not tied up. But that's just me, More thank likely, the vast majority of people will find the end very satisfying.
I could honestly recommend this to lovers of pirate stories, adventure stories, and just for a change of pace. It is a fast read, for the most part, and as long as the issues which I have pointed out do not bother or offend you, I think you will findthis read worth while.
The author sent me a free copy of his book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.