In the process of working on my Italian language skills, I found this book by Emilio Salgari. Salgari was one of the best-selling Italian writers of all time. While almost unheard of in English-speaking countries, his style of adventure writing inspired numerous films, and some consider him the “Grandfather of the Spaghetti Western.”Emilio Salgari
[b:Il corsaro nero|78842|Il corsaro nero|Emilio Salgari|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1315788575s/78842.jpg|76128] (“The Black Corsair”) is an adventure novel published in 1898. It is probably aimed at the vocabulary and interests of an eleven year old boy (which seems about right for my Italian level and attention span). The story, set in the 1600s, follows the adventures of the Black Corsair, a dread pirate set on avenging the deaths of his brothers (the Red Corsair, the Green Corsair, and a non-pirate brother). The Pirates of the Caribbean owe a debt to Salgari’s stories
The Black Corsair’s brothers were executed by the cruel Governor of Maracaibo, Wan Guld. The surviving brother pursues his vendetta
against the Governor with a tenacity that borders on the unhinged, swearing an oath to kill the Governor and everyone related to him. In the process, he and his companions face off against just about every challenge imaginable on the sea and in the jungle - a torrential hurricane, poisonous snakes, a snake charmer, jaguars, vampire bats, quicksand, duels of honor, bloody raids (based on historical events) on Maracaibo and Gibraltar, Venezuela, and, of course, a beautiful Flemish duchess captured in a sea battle who just happens to have a mysterious background. (There’s no way that could go wrong). All in all, it’s good fun.