The Pirates! In an Adventure with Napoleon by Gideon Defoe

Cover of "The Pirates! In An Adventure Wi...
Cover via Amazon

Instead of repeating myself, allow me to quote from my earlier review of Gideon Defoe’s The Pirates! series:

Last week I described the Eddie Dickens Trilogy as “over-the-top farcical romps” for children; a mix of Dickens, Monty Python, and Lemony Snicket.  Gideon Defoe’s The Pirates! adventure series is in many ways an adult version without the Dickens and with pirates instead.

I stumbled upon The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists at Half Price books.  As I am always on the lookout for short, well packaged, and humorous reading material I picked it up.

It wasn’t very long before I was laughing out loud as I read it.  And when I laugh out loud while reading my wife always makes me read the passage out loud to her (she hates to be left out).  Soon I was practically reading the book to her.  Luckily, the book was short.

The plot is rather hard to describe, but it involves The Pirate Captain and his band of merry men sailing the high seas arguing about shanties and looking for adventure.

Not surprisingly then, when I heard a new The Pirates! adventure was out I knew I needed to read it.  Luckily, I had a coupon and I bought myself a birthday present.

And The Pirates! In an Adventure with Napoleon sparked the same kind of laugh out loud process described above.

This particular adventure involved the Pirate Captain giving up the life of a pirate!  That’s right.  Despondent after losing the Pirate of the Year contest yet again, the Pirate Captain decides to give up adventures on high seas for the quiet contemplative life of a bee keeper.  Luckily, his nemesis Black Bellamy feels sorry for him and sells him the perfect place for such a life: the island of St. Helena.

Those of you who did well in history in school will recall that St. Helena was the island where Napoleon was exiled.  And that it isn’t the tropical locale perfect for bee keeping nor was it Bellamy’s to sell.  Shockingly, it seems Black Bellamy has tricked the Pirate Captain again.

The Pirate Captain is intent on sticking to his new life, however, and soon finds himself in a battle of egos and wills with the famous general as both figures want to be the star of St, Helena.  The problem is the Pirate Captain lacks the tools to battle the man who nearly conquered all of Europe; except his luxuriant beard and stentorian nose.

As in previous adventures, this involves a lot of silliness and slapstick humor including a variety of semi-educational – but still silly – footnotes.  Or as Kirkus calls it: “Relentlessly, aggressively, inventively and often hilariously silly.”

Looking for some light hearted entertainment this summer? What could make better “beach reading” than a book whose exciting climax involves the Pirate Captain and Napoleon wrestling on the beach at St. Helena and in danger of getting swept out to sea?!

Be careful, however, it could lead to frequent laughing out loud.  So be prepared to share what was so funny …

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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