23 June 2009


Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a sucker for pirates--but it's not because of Johnny Depp. I'm a sucker for pirates because I like William Hope Hodgeson's maritime horror stories, and because you can't beat Raphael Sabatini's Captain Blood for seafaring action. Johnny Depp's on the list, somewhere, because the first Pirates of the Caribbean truly was a good time, but he's on there with Errol Flynn and plenty of others. I'm not enamored with Captain Jack Sparrow. Not at all. I'm not a newcomer to the pirate bandwagon either, and I've got countless childhood Halloween snapshots to prove it (I looked great with a penciled in beard, long before I had it in me to grow a real one [in fact, I'm still tempted to pencil in the scraggly growth I've got now]). Where am I going with this? I'm headed towards Gideon Defoe's The Pirates! and their many adventures, but in particular The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists! Now, this should theoretically appeal to me: I'm a socialist, and I like pirates. But really, I mean, Defoe's whole schtick is getting old. He's exploiting the Pirate Captain and the various pirate jokes, but he isn't doing anything with them. The fact that this book featured communists didn't make it significantly different from the others in this series (yes, I've read them all, and I'm kind of ashamed to admit it). Defoe's humor should change to take advantage of each different subject the series visits--but it doesn't. The same cheap pirates jokes, all the time, just aren't going to cut it. I'm sorry, Gideon, but this may be it. I mean, I bought the other books, but this one? Library check out. And a D.

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