Book Review: The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe


The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists (2004) by Gideon Defoe is a natural book for me to read.  I like pirates!  I like Charles Darwin!  I like humor!  This slim book brings them all together.

The gist of the story is that a ragtag bunch of pirates known only by their attributes (the Pirate Captain, the pirate with the scarf, the pirate with the accordion) join Charles Darwin in adventure to take on the Bishop of Oxford with his trained ape, the Man-Panzee.  And from their it gets rather absurd.  I enjoy the silly adventures and the even more ridiculous footnotes.  I suspect it very easily can be seen by someone with different tastes as stupid, but to each their own.

A lot of reviews compare The Pirates! with Monty Python and Douglas Adams.  That’s because Gideon Defoe is British and writes funny things.  I would say instead that this book is reminiscent of Tom Holt, who is yes, British and yes, writes funny things like The Portable Door.

Defoe, Gideon.
The pirates! : in an adventure with scientists / Gideon Defoe.
London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004.
135 p. : ill., maps ; 17 cm.

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