Children: one son.
Lawyer and writer. Attorney at a Chicago, IL, law firm. Also lectures and serves on the boards of charity organizations.
(Editor) Lease Negotiation Handbook, International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (Frankfort, IL), 2003.
Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Edward Chupack is a lawyer who practices in Chicago. However, according to a biography written for SilverPirate.com, Chupack first wanted to be an author or a doctor. Showing only a modest aptitude for science and mathematics, the author eventually counted out medicine but still thought of writing. As a teenager, he wrote short stories and poetry that were published in literary magazines. While in college, he received an Illinois Arts Council Award for creative writing. A teacher at the University of Chicago's "Lab School" told Chupack's parents that their son's writing talents were prodigious and practically ordained Chupack to become a successful writer one day.
In spite of his talent for writing, Chupack became a lawyer, but he never lost his love for writing. He wrote his first novel, Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder, over a seventeen-year period while practicing law and raising a family. Presented as the autobiography of Long John Silver, the pirate in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the novel features Silver chronicling his own adventures and search for a lost treasure.
"What struck me when I read Treasure Island to my son years ago was how little Silver appears in the novel," the author told Allen Pierleoni in an interview for Sacbee.com. "It's really Jim Hawkins' story that Stevenson wrote ‘for laddies,’ to quote him." The author went on to comment: "So here's this great character whom we see only through others' eyes. I thought, wouldn't it be great to create a back story for him, to give him a past, a present and a future—which is my novel. He's such a great monster."
Stevenson did little to flesh out the character of the evil pirate in his book. However Tim Davis wrote in a review for the BookLoons Web site: "But if you read Edward Chupack's roguishly entertaining Silver, … then you're in for an audacious treat as you finally get the complete truth about one of the most famous criminals of the Seven Seas."
As the narrator, Silver tells his story while imprisoned and waiting for sentencing for high crimes against the Crown. He begins with his Bristol, England, childhood, where he survived by becoming a petty thief. Before long, he is having adventures on the high seas as he lands a job on the Linda Maria, captained by Black John. Silver does not hide his dislike of the Spanish, but he has little time for Englishmen or the Portuguese either. Eventually, Silver murders Black John and takes over as captain of the ship. Although he has numerous adventures, Silver is consumed by a bible that has come into his possession. He believes that the handwritten ciphers that it contains are clues to a vast treasure that includes part of the Crown Jewels. "Silver drops his decoded clues into his simmering narrative like berries into a pudding," noted Bryan Woolley in a review for GuideLive.com.
Several reviewers had high praise for Chupack's debut novel. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Sarah Hughes noted that novels featuring characters from classic tales abound. However, Hughes wrote that "these books, with their well-polished 21st-century prose, have little in common with Edward Chupack's Silver, a scabrous reimagining" of Silver's life. Hughes added: "Instead, this witty romp resembles nothing so much as George Macdonald Fraser's Flashman novels, with their deliberately antique 19th-century style." Hughes also commented that the protagonist is unapologetic and that the author "makes no belated attempts to find heroism in an antihero." Lynn Rashid, writing for the School Library Journal, commented that "the closing chapters capture the mystery and intrigue of the quest."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Colorado Lawyer, June, 2004, Bruce D. Dierking, review of Lease Negotiation Handbook, p. 64.
Entertainment Weekly, February 29, 2008, Ben Spier, review of Silver: My Own Tale as Written by Me with a Goodly Amount of Murder, p. 64.
New York Times Book Review, March 16, 2008, Sarah Hughes, review of Silver.
Publishers Weekly, December 3, 2007, review of Silver, p. 51.
School Library Journal, May, 2008, Lynn Rashid, review of Silver, p. 161.
Wisconsin Lawyer, April, 2004, Lee R. Ferderer, review of Lease Negotiation Handbook, p. 25.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (August 28, 2008), Tim Davis, review of Silver.
Alan Reads Web log,http://alanreads.blogspot.com/ (August 28, 2008), review of Silver.
GuideLive.com,http://www.guidelive.com/ (August 28, 2008), Bryan Wooley, "Silver by Edward Chupack: Pirate's Tale Is No Treasure Island."
Sacbee.com,http://www.sacbee.com/ (August 28, 2008), Allen Pierleoni, "A New Book Adds to the Pirate Legend of Long John Silver," review of Silver.
SilverPirate.com,http://www.silverpirate.com (August 28, 2008), author profile.