26 August 2008

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists
Daniel DeFoe 4/5 stars
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Pantheon (October 31, 2006)

In this, the Pirates! most recent escapade, they find themselves in London with the Pirate Captain mistaken for, and arrested in lieu of, Karl Marx--due to the beard of course. This horrible case of mistaken identity--Marx's beard is no where near as luxuriant as the Pirate Captain's beard!--leads to a strange adventure in which the Pirates attempt to clear the Communists of some extremely bad press (including claims of drowning kittens). Can-can girls, opera singers plus deranged genius equal excitement for these nameless pirates, but with such a spirited leader (and thankfully a second-in-command with his head on straight), the Pirates are sure to save the day.

As with the other Pirates! books, this is a lighthearted story with lots of laugh out loud bits and is just plain quirky fun. It's not, however, as fully enjoyable as, say, the first Pirates! book. At times, it felt a bit strained, and I went paragraphs without exploding in laughter, as I've come to expect from Defoe. It also lacks a strong conclusion and has a weaker plot that the first two. That's not to say it wasn't good, but it fell just short of great.

One of the best things about the Pirates! books is the funny little lines Defoe uses for title chapters. They a) have nothing to do with the chapter and b) are different between the table of contents and the chapter title. This gives an extra little dimension of fun to the reading.

If you like silly fun, give Defoe a try. I recommend the first book, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists.



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