Friday, October 19, 2007

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists by Gideon Defoe

This is a really silly book. It sat on our kitchen table for several days while my son Miles and I took turns reading it over breakfast. We resisted the urge to give away the jokes to one another, though it was tempting. It’s also tempting to give away the jokes here, but I will try not to.

I found this on the new fiction shelves at the library. I had seen references to it, and to the two previous volumes in the series, and had always meant to pick one of them up. It doesn’t really matter if you start with the third one (which this one is) or either of the others. You catch on pretty quickly: There’s a pirate captain and a crew, and they get up to some adventures. In this book they go to Paris with Marx and Engels, and encounter Friedrich Nietzsche at the opera; Nietzsche spends most of the book encased in a tin robot costume. Marx is exceedingly vain about his beard, and Engels is a sycophant. The pirates lack names, and are known instead by descriptive monikers such as “the pirate with the scarf,” “the pirate with the nut allergy,” and “the pirate who used to be a mailman.” It’s funny, but it gets a little old after a while. (Note: Miles disagrees, and has instructed me to procure the other volumes ASAP.)

This book reminded me of the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket, only for grown-ups. And maybe not even for all grownups. I have to admit that whatever is funny about Nietzsche disguised as an evil robot went right over my head.

(Book 46, 2007)

2 comments:

Sassy Lucy said...

Sounds like something my boys and I would enjoy.
Thanks for tip and a great review. Linking you to my review blog.

heather (errantdreams) said...

I am tempted to find this one just to see if I'd enjoy it---the pirates, at least, sound entertaining!

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