Love and Loss, Sex and Skullduggery . . .

calypso. . . conquests, failures, foibles – these are the elements of calypso, the stories in song that personify the islands of the West Indies.

Calypso: Stories of the Caribbean by Richard Daybell  Get a free download here

Calypso’s origins and rhythms are African, but somewhere along the way they were seduced by the innocence of the Caribbean. Originally a medium of communication among the poor, calypso stories were originally sung by the chantwell, a sort of town crier who provided information spiced with social commentary. Over the years, the commentary became the driving force, and the story-songs sought to entertain, amuse, and poke fun at everything from errant spouses to jaded northern tourists attempting to step out of their button-down world into the leisurely pace of the islands. The fifteen stories also seek to entertain, amuse, and poke fun, particularly at those of us who think we have a corner on reality.

Stone Cold Dead in de Market A naked body sits in the sunny marketplace while five American tourists sweat out the consequences on a balcony above.

Island in the Sun They told Santo his olive tree would never thrive in the islands but didn’t he prove them wrong.  Read it.

Will His Love Be Like His Rum? A new bride looks forward to her wedding night, but the groom has locked himself in a closet. Read it.

Sick in de Stomach A group of Albert’s friends rustle up a pot of his favorite turtle soup hoping to cure what ails him.

Coconut Woman Harriett was no fool; she didn’t believe in oceans rising or pirate treasure or any of that stuff.

All Day, All Night, Marianne A young man, with the help of his not-too-literary friend, hopes to woo his true love in the classic manner before a fat lady sings.

Mama Eu Quero Sixteen-year-old Delia is plucked from the American Midwest and whisked into a wild and wicked Oz called Havana during the early days of the Cuban Revolution.

Judy Drownded A young woman’s gone missing; a giant sea creature is suspected. What to do? Exploit it, of course.

Matilda Stealing a yacht is easy. That’s what Humberto and Odus thought, but they didn’t count on Matilda.

Yellow Bird Antoine’s bird is a sassy, egotistical fellow. Turns out he has good reason for his attitude.

Sweet Sugar Cane A cautionary tale about how a business transaction can go awry when it involves rum.

Man Smart Captain Petrullo is the commander of a 500-man army unit, but his military veneer goes AWOL when he sees the lovely Mireille.

Don’t Hurry, Worry Me Chicken Avery loves to tell stories, and the one about Clarence Henry and his traveling pants is a good one with a proper moral.

Angelique-o Audrey finds out the hard way that it isn’t wise to fly in the face of Christmas tradition – try finding figgy pudding on a Caribbean beach.

Everybody Loves Saturday Night It’s a lively weekend at Naughty Nora’s – a lively bar, lively jukebox and an armed invasion perhaps.

Calypso is also available in a print edition at  Amazon  and Barnes and Noble.  Or order it through you favorite book store.

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