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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists Hardcover – 14 Sep 2006
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A grown-up comedy disguised as a kids' book, the third in Defoe's Pirates! trilogy is culty and very funny. Think Captain Pugwash for a generation that should know better - but doesn't. (ARENA (October 2006))
Enid Blyton might have written Pirates! afer a night in an opium den.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It's a hilarious, lively, tongue-in-cheek and completely addictive little book in which the Pirate Captain (Terror of the High Seas), his number two (the pirate with a scarf) and his motley band of rogues team up with Marx and Engels to find out who is attempting to discredit the communist movement across Europe. It's a real romp - but if you want to find out how statuesque blonde ladies, opera, French schoolchildren, waxworks, bears and a volcano fit into the story... well, you'll just have to read it for yourself!
The humour is sly, ridiculous and occasionally a little bit naughty, and with the genuinely informative but pithy footnotes scattered through the pages, I can see why previous reviewers have often drawn comparisons with Terry Pratchett. A set of these books would make a great gift idea I think, whether the recipient is a keen reader or not, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for the rest of the series for more chaos and chuckles in the near future!
Having said that my 9yr old (who is also reading the Disc World books) found the stories, the maps, the bizarre chapter headings, footnotes and the mix of modern/old very amusing. He has also rather amusingly started quoting philosophers and making up his own philosophical thoughts and we have learned a couple of things. He astounded his dad by being able to answer a crossword question about Carl Marx!
I may glance thru' '...in an adventure with Napolean' to make sure nothing too rude is going to come up before I read it, but otherwise we are looking forward to it.
On their way to London, to buy a new suit for the Captain, the whole crew seem to get into some sort of bother. The Pirate Captain is arrested for being Karl Marx, it is quite obvious that he isn't as his beard is far superior to that of Marx. But it leads to the possibility that these communists are caught up in some sort of plot and being blamed for everything.
The crew move to Paris, where the sample the delights that the city has to offer; splitting up they simlutaneoulsy experience the Mona Lisa
"It lacks a certain something", said the pirate with gout.
Some went to see Madame Tussauds;
"Do you suppose they have nipples?", the pirate with a peg-leg wondered out loud. trying to peer down Nell Gwyn's top.
The rest went to see the Folies Bergere;
"I heard that they don't wear any knickers when they do they cancan!" said the pirate with rickets.
In the meantime the Pirate Captain starts to help Marx so his name and that of the communists is not blackened. They all need a plan.
"...you see this is why it pays to think plans through past the very first bit. Really that's what distinguishes "a plan" from "running about in a flap"."
Somehow this motley crew of pirates and their Pirate Captain, live to fight another day.
These books are funny, they are wry and have a historical slant to them. Sometimes a bit near the mark if you are letting youngsters read them, but that said they would probably not get the references at all. Anything you may not be sure of, Gideon Defoe gives us footnotes. If you want something that is light and not demanding then this is the book for you. I am not a fan of comic novels, but these really hit the spot and I cannot wait to join the Captain Pirate for more adventures soon. And of course the final philosophical word should go to the Pirate Captain " Life is like a big shanty. Everything will be fine so long as everyone sings in harmony". How true that is and how it applies to so much.
The Pirate Books as a series are funny, well written with jokes that will appeal to adults as well as children and the perfect mixture of high-seas, ham and history and now with added Perkin's Pomade!