Review: Pirates of the Oregon Coast

Rating: ★½☆☆☆
Pirates of the Oregon Coast
by Achilles Massahos, Brian Benson, Kathleen Seligman, Michael O’Shaughnessy, and the Unknown Mariner

What with Caribbean Pirates getting so much attention – followed closely in popularity by Barbary Corsairs and Madagascar renegades, west coast pirates seem largely forgotten. Personally, I can only name one pirate that frequented the Pacific Northwest, and that’s One-Eyed Willey from the Goonies (which may not have been entirely historically accurate, I fear.) As such, the chance to learn a little about this under-appreciated region was most welcome.

“Pirates of the Oregon Coast” follows the exploits of a small ship and crew as they deal with local indians, Spanish authorities, and shipboard politics. The elements are present for a truly compelling read, but unfortunately the authors (five of them) seemed unable to commit to a single focus. In some respects, this book is historically-based fiction, featuring real places and feasible scenarios that might have served to illustrate likely historical truths. But in other respects it’s sheer fantasy, with magical jewels and sooth-saying birds, mystical glimpses of near and distant futures, and out-of-body experiences. These two extremes are interwoven in such a way as to make it difficult – if not impossible – to seperate the fact from the fiction, thereby dilluting this book’s potential as an educational vehicle. Continue reading