At the end of The Pirates! in an Adventure with Moby Dick, there are ten pages of other (pretend) titles by the same author, and I love this book so much that I would happily read every single one of them. I'm sure The Pirates! in an Adventure with Heavy Petting and The Pirates! in an Adventure with a Steep Hill would sell especially well.
Enough about the other books, let's look at this one :) In the interests of full disclosure, I haven't read Moby Dick (the proper book) yet, although I did buy it last week. You don't really need it to understand this book though, just as long as you know the very basic summary - Ahab is Captain obsessed with hunting a great white whale that once bit his leg off. Wow, that was hard, wasn't it?
The recent film actually encompasses this book as well, so the trailer suddenly makes a lot more sense. Here, the Pirate Captain suddenly realises that their ship is looking a bit decrepit, so they head off to Cutlass Liz to get a shiny new one, The Lovely Emma. Unfortunately they can't quite afford to pay her just yet so they take on a contract for Ahab to eliminate that famous white whale.
'He looked at his second-in-command seriously. "I'm making a list of when it's acceptable for a pirate to cry."
"That sounds very important, Captain," said the pirate with a scarf, fiddling axiously with his eye-patch.
"So far I've got: one - when holding a seagull covered in oil. Two - when singing a shanty that reminds him of orphans. Three - when confronted by the unremitting loneliness of the human condition. Four - chops. I've just written the word 'chops.' Not really sure where I was going with that one. Any ideas?"'
Just like the other books, ...with Moby Dick has an awesome sense of humour that mixes silly slapstick with subtle innuendo to produce one of the funniest books I've read all year. I also love the informative footnotes that provide fun facts, like the origination of the phrase 'cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey' or that it is suspected whales use the magnetic field of the Earth for navigation - that's why so many whales are beached at places where there is an anomaly in the Earth's magnetic field. I did run off to check the facts so I didn't look like a complete moron after this post went up, but thankfully they are all true!
These books are just good fun. They're tiny, but I could happily read them over and over and I doubt they'd ever get stale. I've just done a quick Google, and apparently Gideon Defoe is in talks with Aardman Animation to turn the last two books into a movie as well. I know, I'm raving and I'm sorry. I'll stop when you finally cave in and buy a copy :)