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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab by…
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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab

by Gideon Defoe

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Read this book aloud on car trips to Jefferson and Andrew. I thought most of it was over Jefferson's head (well, a lot of the humor really was), but then when we finally finished the book, Jefferson kept asking about it. We started reading another book in this series, but misplaced it not long ago. Time to go on a hunt so we can see how it ends! ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
"'It's not going too well, is it, Pirate Captain?' said the scarf-wearing pirate, staring at the conspicuously whaleless sea. 'I'm worried that perhaps this whaling business is a little more difficult than we thought. Possibly that's why Ahab said he'd been chasing the whale for years.'"

This review really boils down to a very simple message. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ ONE OF THESE BOOKS YET JUST GET ON WITH IT ALREADY. Because they're funny and cheerful and warm and just a little bit naughty, and if you don't try one you'll never know if the humour clicks with yours or not. If nothing else, you'll learn something from the helpful trivia footnotes (for example, this time I learned the origins of the phrase "freezing the balls off a brass monkey"...). Soooo, go hit the library or something.

In this second installment of the series (I've read An Adventure with Scientists (1) and An Adventure with Communists (3) already), the pirates buy a beautiful new boat from Cutlass Liz (who is AWESOME by the way) and spend the rest of the book trying to work out how to pay her off before their time runs out and she kills them horribly. All your favourite elements are in there - the Pirate Captain's beard and pleasant, open face, the long-suffering pirate with a scarf, the Pirate Captain's charming nemesis Black Bellamy and some ship's biscuits (bourbons preferable). Throw in a chance encounter with grizzly old Ahab, a prize ham, a randy whale, a casino, a lesbian albatross, a sexy figurehead and a compelling yet moving one-man show and you've got... well, just another Pirates! adventure, really. The perfect way to while away an idle afternoon and put a mischievous grin on your face! Oh, and don't worry if you haven't read Moby Dick - I haven't either, but so long as you know the absolute basics (y'know, whale, sea captain, Pequod, long rambling discourses about whaling) you'll be just fine. :)

BONUS POINTS - for this: "I wanted to tell you one thing - Pirate Captain, you were always my favourite pupil. Certainly you were much better than the others in your class, whom I regarded merely as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal." ONE OF MY FAVOURITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME.

EXTRA BONUS POINTS - for the little extras Defoe always includes at the back of the book. This time there's some handy information about whale conservation, Nantucket and debt ("Like the Pirate Captain, more people than ever are getting into serious debt, with the accompanying risks of depression, worry and not being able to buy things that you want"). He rounds off the whole thing with an exhaustive list of non-existent (but they totally should!) Pirates! titles, including The Pirates! In an Adventure with Risk Management, The Pirates and the Edge of Reason, The Pirates! Learn German in Five Easy Lessons and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Shaft. ( )
  elliepotten | Sep 21, 2013 |
The pirates have an adventure involving Captain Ahab and the accursed white whale. It's [b:Moby-Dick or, The Whale|153747|Moby-Dick or, The Whale|Herman Melville|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1309376917s/153747.jpg|2409320] but shorter, sillier and with more ham and a detour via Las Vegas... ( )
  stevejwales | Apr 26, 2013 |
More of the same, with the added bonus of cross-dressing whales. Joy! ( )
  paperloverevolution | Mar 30, 2013 |
The pirate crew have just bought a fancy new ship to replace their current ailing vessel (it's really not normal for the mast to fall down three times a week), but they don't have ready cash to pay for it. What to do to avoid incurring the wrath of Cutlass Liz, pirate-ship dealer and the bloodthirstiest lass on the high seas? Apparently there's a fella named Ahab who's offering a sizeable reward for the capture of a certain white whale…

This is the second in "The Pirates" series by Gideon Defoe. I picked it up after seeing The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (the North American title is "The Pirates: Band of Misfits"), an Aardman Animations feature based on the first book in the series. I did actually request the first book as well, but this one arrived earlier. It may be more helpful for those completely new to the series to start with the first book, or perhaps see the movie (I did find that helped with visualizing the characters).

I whipped through this book in very short order -- it has only 152 pages and the book itself is quite small. I also spent pretty much the entire book grinning like an idiot. I did think I would spend more time laughing out loud than actually happened, but non-stop grinning is pretty good too. It's very, very silly, which can be just what the doctor ordered in some instances. And I really did almost laugh out loud on the bus when I caught this dig at Moby-Dick:

"just as one of the whalers would actually seem to be getting to the point of an anecdote, they were liable to wander off suddenly on long and rather dull tangents about whale anatomy or things like that."

Fortunately this book is not dull. Will you like it, you ask? Well, Eric Idle (he of Monty Python fame) endorsed the first book, so if you like Pythonesque humour you may like this as well. And if you like stories about mishaps on ships, there are plenty of those here for you to enjoy. I would probably not recommend reading all of the Pirates! books in one sitting though -- even while reading it I could tell that one at a time was enough. Save it for a day when you can really use some cheering up. ( )
  rabbitprincess | May 31, 2012 |
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To Sophie,

who still has a quarter of a million pounds
of which I have not seen a single penny,
even though this is the
second entire book
that I have dedicated to her.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375423850, Hardcover)

They’re back!!! The Pirate Captain and his irascible crew of scoundrels return in their soggiest saga yet.Fresh from their mishaps with Charles Darwin and the evil Bishop of Oxford, the Pirates set sail in a bouncy new vessel——purchased on credit. In order to repay his debts, the Pirate Captain is determined to capture the enigmatic White Whale, hunted by the notoriously moody Ahab, who has promised a reward.Chaos ensues, featuring the lascivious Cutlass Liz, the world’s most dangerous mosquito, an excerpt from the Pirate Captain’s novel in progress (a bodice ripper, of course), whale ventriloquism, practical lessons in whale painting, a shanty-singing contest in a Las Vegas casino, and a dra-matic climax in which the Pirate Captain’s prize ham saves the day!Move over, Herman Melville.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:10 -0400)

The Pirates return in a tale of killer mosquitoes, crippling debt, Las Vegas stageshows and an elusive white whale.

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