Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe.
This is the first book in The Pirates! series by Gideon Defoe. It follows a hapless crew of pirates led by their vain and incompetent captain, brilliantly called Pirate Captain.
His motley crew sail the seven seas, which the Pirate Captain proudly states that he can name, albeit towards the end of the book. He sits with his glossy and luxurious beard, his pride and joy, in his ship surrounded by posing portraits of himself and of course, his astrolabe, which he has because he thinks its pretty, but doesn’t know how to use. It is true that his beard is his pride and joy and he loves it dearly, but the Pirate Captain has a large place in his heart for…ham.
His devoted crew is made up a hapless band of pirates, who according to the Pirate Captain all look alike so they are referred to throughout as the ‘pirate in green’ or ‘the pirate in the scarf’ or ‘the pirate with gout’, depending, of course, on a pirates’ defining features.
The Pirate Captain and his crew are duped by the dastardly Black Bellamy who has tipped them off that a great store of treasure lays hidden in the ship the HMS Beagle. Instead of treasure, they find on board, the evolutionary scientist Charles Darwin and his man-paneze, Mister Bobo. Darwin, Mister Bobo and the pirates journey to London to have an adventure, eat lots of ham, find treasure and present Mister Bobo to doubting scientists and free Erasmus, Darwin’s brother from the clutches of an evil rival.
Pirates! is a fabulous read full of excitement, frivolity and a good deal of absurdity. It is full of witty humour and pirate clichés, where the pirates say ‘Arrrrg’ quite a lot. It is completely nonsensical. It is a farce. And I loved it!
I was attracted to this book quite by accident and I’m glad I picked it up. With all that is ever going on in the world, sometimes it is nice to just sit down and read a bit of silliness. Well done Defoe for writing this book which got me giggling and I will be happy to read again, and again, and again.