After adventures with Charles Darwin, Captain Ahab, and Karl Marx, The Pirate Captain faces off against his toughest—though not his biggest—challenge yet: Napoleon Bonaparte. Bruised from a crushing disappointment at the Pirate of the Year Awards, the Pirate Captain decides that it’s time for a career change. Before long, his loyal crew, much to their dismay, find themselves en route to St. Helena, a bleak speck of an island a thousand miles from anywhere. But the Captain’s plan for a quiet life rearing bees is interrupted by the arrival of another visitor to the island—the recently deposed Napoleon Bonaparte. Is the island’s twenty-eight mile circumference big enough to contain two of history’s greatest egos? Has the Pirate Captain finally met his match? And who has the best hat? Once again, Gideon Defoe has given us an exciting, swashbuckling tale of lavish tea parties, planning regulations, and raw political ambition.
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So much fun. Not quite as strong as the previous three Pirates! books, but of course I still enjoyed it immensely. Gideon Defoe winds together intelligent satire with the silliest of humor to make yet another fun and far too quick read. In this adventure, the Pirate Captain is passed over at the Pirate of the Year awards and thus decides to give up beekeeping and, at his nemesis Black Bellamy's suggestion, retires to St. Helena, much to the regret of his crew. He enjoys being the island's most famous and interesting resident until none other than Napoleon Bonaparte shows up and ruins his fun. Whose ego will come out on top, and who has a better hat?more
The Pirates! series has a warm soft place in my heart, anytime I need cheering up I can pick up a tiny tale and be heartedly amused. The constant build up of jokes and silliness guarantees to bring a smirk and then a giggle. Of course liking the books solely rests on whether you a) like Pirates and b) enjoy rather silly over top humour, with running gags, odd footnotes, idiotic names ("Pirate who like sunsets & kittens" is my fav), tiny hand drawn maps and wild historical inaccuracy. The plot? Well after another disastrous Pirate of the year competition, the Pirate Captain decides to give up life at sea and become a bee keeper but then he hasn't reckoned with a retired attention seeking Napoleon..Personally I find it extremely hard to describe humour so I think I will just handover to a quote..."Unpack the boat, lads,' he roared, banging his cup of tea down on the mantelpiece, because banging things was always his favourite way of illustrating those moments when he made a particularly important decision. 'We're staying!'The pirates all seemed to deflate where they were sitting, like a row of pirate-shaped balloons.'Come on, don't all look so dour. And if it helps to get you to turn those frowns upside down,' he added, 'then try to think of this as a very long, uneventful adventure on an exotic island. You know, like in that Robinson Crusoe book. But with better hats, and less narrative thrust.'more
Gideon Defoe’s Pirate! adventure series could quite possibly be one of the most cleverly conceived treatises on existentialism yet conceived. Sure, each installment is anachronistic, brief, side-splittingly funny, or what the erudites term “humorous”, and given the fact that the whole series not-so-subtly gains its impetus from Defoe’s unrequited love, is besides the point. Doesn’t existentialism entail all of the above anyway?In any case, take Defoe’s latest exposition, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Napoleon, whereby our faithful and true Pirate Captain takes a brief respite to ponder his place in the pirate world, and whether perhaps beekeeping or even the unparalleled superciliousness of an exiled Napoleon can provide some meaning or contentment in this lifetime. For it is here that our fearless captain comes to a realization all Pirate Captains must eventually consider:The Pirate Captain sighed. ‘Well then, I suppose we’d better go and see what’s more interesting than me.’Beyond the philosophical reverberations of the work, we have the usual salty complement to offset the dueling shenanigans of the Pirate Captain and Napoleon; specifically, the pirate with a scarf, the pirate in green, and Jennifer the Victorian all lend a supporting hand. As this is a work of action and adventure, while reading of luxurious beards, ham and the highly democratic war over the St. Helena Residents’ association, take heed and consider your place in the pirate world.more
TPIAAWN is not the best piece of literature out there. However, it is a damn entertaining one. The fourth book in Defoe’s The Pirates! series sees the Pirate Captain growing tired of his pirating ways and after losing the Pirate of the Year contest, decides to give up his life at sea and devote his life to bee keeping. The Pirate Captain and his crew then retreat to St. Helena and quickly become to most popular residents on the island until Napoleon shows, thus sparking an epic battle. An epic battle of egos that is. The Pirate Captain and Napoleon constantly try and one-up the other and this is were the book starts to fail.There is very little seafaring, swashbuckling or jokes about ham. For the adventure doesn’t leave the island and fails to create an adventure-esque feeling. Fans of the Pirates! series will most likely enjoy this book because the humor is still there. Surprisingly no jokes about Napoleon being short. Weird. If you have never read one of Defoe’s classic novels, may I recommend you go read The Pirates!: An Adventure with Scientists first and work your way up to this one.more
The fourth in a series I have previously enjoyed, this entry wasn't nearly as humorous and entertaining as the prior books although it did still cause a few chuckles. The Pirate Captain and his crew are back but the Pirate Captain is not himself. He seems weary of pirating and when he is beaten out by some pompous little upstart for Pirate of the Year, he declares his intention to retire. The crew cannot dissuade him and they loyally follow their captain as he is bested by Black Bellamy again, buying land on St. Helena, soon to be home to the infamous Napoleon, and trying to become beekeepers. Many hijinx ensue as both the Pirate Captain and Napoleon vie to be the most famous, most important citizen on St. Helena. I don't know whether the swashbuckling is getting old (even the author admits tongue in cheek that he might be a bit of a one trick pony) or if I missed the references in the jokes but this fourth in the series didn't captivate me like the others did. As a continuation of a running joke, it was a decent enough entry but it wouldn't have inspired me to read further had it been my introduction to the pirates. All of the usual characters are here: the pirate with the red scarf, the pirate with gout, the albino pirate, etc. and they do their usual covering for the dim-witted, laughably egotistical Pirate Captain. But the caper with Napoleon is less madcap than previous capers and perhaps that explains my disappointment here. Well, that and the noticeable lack of ham. Still of interest to fans of the series I hope future books will hark back to the goofy, off-kilter humor and plots of the prior books.more
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