Pirates, Adventures, Scientists

September 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm (Book Commentary, Fun) (, , , , , , , , )

What’s the best thing about being a pirate?

Is it looting or doubloons or the grog or cutlasses or shanties or The Spanish Main?

This is the argument that opens this tiny, adventure-filled tome, aka book.

A novel about Pirates! and Charles Darwin. Funny, witty and blurbed by Eric Idle. The infamous Pirate Captain and his bored crew, tired of trying to build a bouncy castle out of Jellyfish attack the infamous Beagle and end up ferrying the young Mr. Darwin and his friend Captain FitzRoy to Victorian London. Where many adventures abound.

Victorian London differs from modern London in that…there was soot and orphans everywhere, and gaslit cobbled streets full of fog and sinister gentlemen out for a night of illicit murder (p. 55).

This is a novel with educational footnotes*, occasional pirate jokes, plank walking, bits of piratical history, cooking debates, a learned monkey and bloody death vignettes as well as P. T. Barnum and his circus of freaks. A tale ripe with science, mystery, religion and fashion. A jolly reading experience for lads and lassies.

You could finish off this book, it’s only 134 pages, while in line to plunder your own doubloons from your friendly, neighbourhood bank. Then take more doubloons out so that you can purchase the whole pirate series.

Don’t worry if you can’t understand the language, included at the end of the book is a list of words to know and just for fun, a Comprehension Exercise; every test should be this interesting.

Is the author himself a pirate (he claims to be a Londoner) or related to Daniel Defoe or kindred to  Robert Louis Stevenson of Treasure Island fame?

*You share about 98.6 per cent of your DNA with a common chimpanzee. And upwards of 99 per cent of your DNA with a pirate! (p. 35)

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The Pirates! In an adventure with Scientists

Gideon Defoe

N.Y.: Pantheon Books, 2004

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Don’t Forget ….
September 19th (every year) is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.                       

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