Books

Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists – Gideon Defoe

For some reason when you read this book, the stereotypical pirates voice comes into your mind and you cannot get it out! But this is a good thing, I promise….Oo-Arr Jim Lad….

This is the first in a series of books, by Gideon Defoe where the pirates are goodies as much as baddies. I have made an assumption that this book is aimed at children of around 9-12 years, it is certainly pitched as such in some well know book store. Whoever it is aimed at this is a book that warrants being read out loud to children and as an adult enjoyed just as much out loud or with no noise at all. The witty humour that Defoe puts in the book is as relevant for adults as it is educational for children.

The Pirate Captain and his ” rag-tag” crew are bored after adventures so when an arch rival changes his mind and advises them of a ship full of gold, they set sail on the high seas. They sight the ship they believe  to hold the treasure and mount an attack, only to find that there is no treasure to be had, in fact there is only scientific treasures on board. The budding new scientist, a young Charles Darwin embraces their enthusiasm after an initial scare when they arrive. They will help in his quest with the Man-panzee and to challenge those who think differently about evolution, whilst at the same time saving his brother.

Do not fret, this book is in no way into theorising about such things, everything is a given and anything you did not know, is helpfully explained by the author. Great for the kids, rather tongue in cheek for the adults.

The book is full of humour from the names of the pirates; the pirate with the scarf; the pirate who wears green; the albino pirate; the pirate with a nut allergy. Everyone is welcome in this pirate world. All of them have their place in the adventure and will they be able to use their Pirate skill to save the day?

Only one way to find out – go and buy the book.

A subtle sort of humour which will leave you with a wry smile. Read it yourself, read it with your children and read it again!

The reason for me choosing this book was because of the film – I had no idea that the film was based on any sort of book. With an interest piqued I did a bit of research on the internet, and with the beauty of being able to look at a bit of the book on Amazon, I knew that I wanted to read it. Could I wait until Amazon delivered it to me?

Well no not really, hence I took myself off to Waterstones and sought the book out, if the others were there as well, it would have been rude not to buy them.  But, all they had was the film tie in novel and not the lovely Bloomsbury one which features at the top of the review. So I bought it, because I wanted it, quite simple. I am not a fan of buying ‘tie-in’ editions, but more about that on another post perhaps. But I had made my mind up I wanted it and so there was no changing that. 

Interestingly there is a piece at the front of this particular edition by the author explaining about the liberties that have to be taken when adapting books into films which I thought was a rather nice way of saying, the book is best but do not criticise the film because it is not true to the original. The film is actually based on two of Gideon Defoe’s Pirate novels.

I thought I would share with you a little passage of the book, because this made me howl laughing!

‘…It would be a lot quicker than that if we could just sail straight there, but I was looking at the nautical charts, and it’s a good job I did, because it turns out there’s a dirty great sea-serpent right in the middle of the ocean!…SO I thought it best to sail around that.’

FitzRoy frowned. ‘I think they just draw those on maps to add a bit of decoration. It doesn’t actually mean there’s a sea-serpent there.’

The galley went rather quiet. 

…the Pirate Captain just narrowed his eyes thoughtfully.

‘That explains a lot,’ he said. ‘I suppose it’s also why we’ve never glimpsed that giant compass in the corner of the Atlantic. I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. ‘

I am certainly coveting the Bloomsbury edition and the other four, and so have added them to the ever growing list of books to buy.

  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists
  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with Moby Dick
  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with Communists
  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with Napoleon
  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with the Romantics (to be published in June 2012)
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3 thoughts on “Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists – Gideon Defoe

  1. This book sounds hilarious, maybe a little Douglas Adams esque but on the sea not in space! Really been missing a bit of silly humour in my reading will definitely be popping this down on to my tbr list 🙂

    1. Had a Tweet back from Gideon Defoe who informs me that the books are actually pitched at adults but he is more than happy if others think of them as children’s books!

  2. I love pirate related things so I’ll definitely be reading this one, it sounds like a good laugh!

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