Title: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
Author: Gideon Defoe
Year of Publication: 2004
Length: 99 pages
First Line: “The best bit about being a pirate,” said the pirate with the gout, “is the looting.”
Summary: Not since “Moby-Dick”. No, not since “Treasure Island”. Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a sea saga to rival “The Pirates In an Adventure with Scientists,” featuring the greatest sea-faring hero of all time, the immortal Pirate Captain, who, although he lives for months at a time at sea, somehow manages to keep his beard silky and in good condition.
Worried that his pirates are growing bored with a life of winking at pretty native ladies and trying to stick enough jellyfish together to make a bouncy castle, the Pirate Captain decides it’s high time to spearhead an adventure.
While searching for some major pirate booty, he mistakenly attacks the young Charles Darwin’s Beagle and then leads his ragtag crew from the exotic Galapagos Islands to the fog-filled streets of Victorian London. There they encounter grisly murder, vanishing ladies, radioactive elephants, and the Holy Ghost himself. And that’s not even the half of it.
Review: This book is just a lot of fun. It’s so silly. I suppose it is supposed to take place in Victorian England but really to me it’s anachronism.
I sampled this on my kindle first before purchasing it. And this line, causing me to laugh out loud and read it to my husband, made me buy it:
“They also respected him because it was said he was wedded to the sea. A lot of pirates claimed that they were wedded to the sea, but usually, this was an excuse because they couldn’t get a girlfriend or they were gay pirates, but in the Pirate Captain’s case none of his crew doubted he was actually wedded to the sea for a minute.
The author has footnotes in each chapter. These footnotes are informative and humorous. You can tell by reading this book that the author did a fair amount of research into pirate life and historical figures. It’s refreshing to see.
None of the pirates actually have real names. It’s something rather unique about this series. Their names are a description about themselves. For example: the pirate dressed in green, the pirate with the nut allergy, the pirate who was prone to exaggeration, or the pirate with an accordion. But this way it’s very cool because with only that to go by you really can imagine what all the pirates look like. The only pirates who are kind of properly described are the Pirate Captain and the Pirate with the Scarf (and with the scarf wearing pirate the author mentions that he wears an eye-patch. That’s more detail than anyone else gets besides the Pirate Captain).
I thought the story was simple and straightforward, easy for anyone to follow. I suppose the humor and the pirate’s stupidity could make it a little confusing for some though.
This book could be read for all ages, I think. I can totally imagine myself reading this to my little ones when I have kids. If you read it to smaller children you might want to edit it a bit for some of the adult content.
Worst part: It’s silly but the worst bit about this book to me is when the pirates act like pirates. Yeah, I know. I’m reading a book about pirates and I am upset that they act like pirates. It was just a little upsetting to read that to make room for Darwin on board they decide to have some of their crew walk the plank. And even the kind-hearted Pirate with a scarf joins in and actually pushes one of the crew off the plank. But again, this is minor because pirates. It’s the kind of stuff pirates do, even the good ones.
Best part: That is was just so ridiculous, and light, and funny. And can cross age groups so well.
Recommend For: All ages!
Other Books by This Author: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists and The Pirates! in an Adventure with the Romantics