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The Pirates! In An Adventure With Napoleon (The Pirates! #4)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  719 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Bruised from a crushing disappointment at the Pirate of the Year Awards, the Pirate Captain decides that perhaps it's time for a career change. Before long, his loyal crew, much to their dismay, find themselves en route to St Helena - and facing the recently deposed Napoleon Bonaparte. This is the fourth Pirates! book in a successful series.
Hardcover, 177 pages
Published 2008 by Weidenfeld & Nicholson
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Jun 29, 2016 Melki rated it really liked it
Despite his "fantastically glossy and luxuriant beard," AND, his unequalled swaggering skills, the Pirate Captain has lost the coveted Pirate of the Year Award again . . . that makes almost as many times as Susan Lucci lost out on the Daytime Emmy. Perhaps it's time to consider a career move. Let's see . . . maybe a degree from Trump University would help?

Luckily, the Captain's archnemesis, Black Bellamy, shows up with a deal our luxuriantly bearded hero can't refuse - ownership of the "lush, tr
Another brilliant addition to Defoe's Pirates! series. There's such a temptation to start quoting some of the hysterical lines in this book, but there are just too many, and a lot of them aren't as funny out of context. Which is a shame, because I really want to share the joy that is this book!

The fun starts in the dedication -- not sure what that's all about, but it made me laugh.

You'd be missing a lot of the humour if you skipped the stuff like the Contents, Chapter Headings, or the Index --
Mar 13, 2013 Tfitoby rated it it was ok
Shelves: funny
The Pirates! return in their fourth adventure, this time to a desert island to raise bees and argue with Napoleon. Only they seemed to forget to pack the humour in their suitcase for this trip.

Far from the gut busting, rib bruising hilarity of previous adventures this one barely raised a smirk, fatal to a series that relies on its humour to sustain interest through its meandering "plots" and absurd situations.

There was a four year gap between this and the fifth instalment, here's hoping Defoe re
Jan 17, 2016 Angel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminds me a bit of George MacDonald Fraser's style and i enjoyed it a lot. Definitely going to look around for the other books in the series:) Just fun and silly.
Jul 19, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, these books are pretty much the silliest things ever.

They’re satire, sure, but the satire is so silly, it’s lost most of its bite. And not that I’m complaining, mind you, because I laugh my ass off when I’m reading them. Every one of these books has the same basic structure: the Pirate Captain gets an idea or has a problem, the crew resists due to common sense, they run into one or two famous historical figures, have verrrry deeply silly adventures, and then everything is reset at the end.
Jun 27, 2010 Forrest rated it it was amazing
Beef comes from bees! That's why it's called beef!

It's not easy to keep a joke funny over the course of four books, even volumes as brief as Gideon Defoe's pocket-sized Pirates! series. But somehow, improbably, this fourth adventure of the Pirate Captain and his jolly crew is even more giggle-inducing than what came before. Not only has the plot reached new levels of absurdity - this time around the Pirate Captain makes a rash decision to give up the nautical life in favor of beekeeping - but th
May 17, 2011 Woodge rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure, silly
This is the fourth adventure featuring the Pirate Captain (he of luxuriant beard, an open face, a stentorian nose, and fickle whims) and his crew: the pirate with a scarf, the pirate in green, the pirate with a nut allergy, the pirate who likes kittens and sunsets, Jennifer, and more. In previous (mis)adventures they rubbed elbows with Charles Darwin, Captain Ahab, and communists. Here, the Pirate Captain finds himself in competition with Napoleon to become the next head of the St. Helena Reside ...more
Jun 30, 2009 David rated it really liked it
I love Gideon Defoe’s pirate books. Humor is such a tricky, subjective thing. I generally don’t go for things that get too cartoonish and outré, at least when this is combined with an attempt at making me care about the characters and invest in their progress. I have a hard time caring about cartoons. Human comedy and droll narration are more my style. Until a book goes so far beyond that pale that it goes totally round the bend. Then I’m back in, all the way. That’s what the Pirate books do. Th ...more
Jenny Maloney
So far, I think this is one of my favorites in Defoe's Pirates! series. Who would've thought that the Pirate Captain's true competition was the egotistical, not-as-short-as-you-think European dictator?

I wish I had more to add, other than "Really enjoyed it!" But that's pretty much how it goes down. I liked it. The story perked up an otherwise dull afternoon, and made me want to see the movie. My only really wish is for Defoe to hurry up and write more adventures, because I finished this one* an
Jul 24, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, epic
The gang is back as the Pirate Captain is fed up after he is passed over for Pirate of the Year award and decides to take up bee keeping on St. Helena's. There, he and Napoleon become the neighbors who try and one up each other and hilarity ensues. If you liked Gideon's others works, you'll feel the same about this. Easy light read, worth it for the laughs.
Billy Biggs
This series is a lot of fun! It's a great formula, and I'm not sick of it yet. I will still read the next book in the series. However, I was admittedly disappointed. Napoleon was pretty good, but not great. The setting got tired. Better luck next time.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
What seems like years ago now, probably because it was, I remember seeing a few of Gideon Defoe's Pirates! books at Half Price Books and thinking they looked rather fun. I promptly forgot about them because do you realize the number of books I look at on a daily basis? It's seriously staggering. But shortly thereafter Lauren Willig mentioned them in passing as being hilarious so this confluence of events led me to order the first two books, handily sold as one volume, and I put it on my bookshel ...more
Lucy Cokes
I'm afraid I didn't enjoy this one as much as the last one, but it's still funny and very, very silly.
Liza Gilbert
I'm putting this one down at page 68 (which is about halfway through this book). I'm not going to trash it, though.

There's a lot I like here. The size of the book, the size of the font, the short chapters, and the strange pirate humor all work. The fictitious index at the back of the book is an interesting oddity as well, and I appreciate the inside cover art.

Pirate Captain has lost a pirate of the year competition and decides to give up pirating in favor of becoming a beekeeper (that's the firs
Jun 20, 2009 Colin rated it really liked it
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 b ...more
John Defrog
The fourth and (so far) final pirate book from Gideon Defoe, in which the Pirate Captain decides to retire from pirating to raise bees on the grim island of St Helena. Exiled Napoleon arrives, and they end up feuding and engaging in an epic battle for head of the St Helena Residential Association. It’s funnier than I’m making it sound, but not by much. This is easily the weakest book of the series, in part because Defoe makes the Pirate Captain’s buffoonery a little too obvious to the other char ...more
Aug 31, 2008 Andrea rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dot Gumbi
Aug 28, 2012 Dot Gumbi rated it liked it
Like the previous adventures in Gideon Defoe’s Pirates serious, this is a very short enjoyable shot to the hippocampus. It’s playful and vocabulary building (I had previously not encountered the words gamine, or eldritch – sheltered life I lead). However, in comparison to the other books it feels fairly empty. Napoleon is played fairly straight, avoiding playing him as an outrageous Frenchman, he comes across as a mega-lo-maniac of no fixed abode (which perhaps he is, given that he is exiled at ...more
Sep 19, 2008 Robin rated it it was ok
The weakest of all the Pirates! books. I think it's fairly clear that Gideon Defoe has lost his enthusiasm for this project.
I mean, I'm glad I have the book, b/c it makes a nice little set with all the rest of them, but I basically finished it just to say I was done with it.

The spark and originality of the first two pirates books are just not in this one.

One of my girlfriends is stalking Gideon Defoe, and wants to inspire him to write The Pirates! In an Adventure with Roadies. Stay tuned for tha
Murf Reeves
Jan 27, 2014 Murf Reeves rated it liked it
A fun read I read on a Holiday vacation. Gideon Defoe's pirates are in another adventure led by the Pirate Captain. The leader of a somewhat intelligence challenged crew. With names like Pirate in Green, Pirate with a scarf, Jennifer, Gideon's dry sense of humor shines through on the various escapades, Bee collecting and finding the perfect island leading up to a meeting with recently exiled Napoleon Bonaparte. And the immediate competition between the Pirate Captain and Napoleon is quite humoro ...more
Nov 27, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pirates
The highlights of this episode:

The Pirate Captain is building a bee hive: "I'm nearly done...I'm just making my bees a little library. I don't really expect them to read much - it's more of a social thing, somewhere for them to network, pick up other bees, that kind of stuff."

This one included in the back a hilarious fake index. My favorite listing: "Pikachu: pirates catch, pg.23; pirates come to love, pg.55; pirates spit-roast, pg.88."
Sep 26, 2009 Keli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, humorous
While I was looking through my tags I realized I have no idea how to categorize this book. It's absurdist, droll and even has some grammer humor. I really appreciate a book that can pull off grammer humor. The footnotes were informative and hilarious.

However, as much as I enjoyed this book, I'm not sure I'm going to fall all over my self for the entire Pirates! series because I'm sure it's a lot of the same.
Barbara Ell
Jun 25, 2012 Barbara Ell rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
This was an interesting take on pirates. I mean it was hilarious!! Don't read this if you are expecting Blue Beard; however, if you want to read about pirates who go for a night on the town and are caught getting out of the carriage possibly flashing because they may not be wearing underclothes. Or if you wonder what happens to a crew if the captain decides to take up beekeeping, then this story is for you!
Nov 16, 2012 D.M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I forgot to review this book when I read it! I'll just say, then, that I utterly enjoyed this one, much more than their adventure with scientists. The whole beekeeping thing is comedic gold (hell, the flag alone makes this book a favourite in our house!), and Napoleon and Pirate Captain in a battle of egos is fun reading as well. If you want to read one of these books, I say start here.
Oct 10, 2012 Karin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I only had two disappointments with this book, both in the index. 1- there was no reference to ham cured with maple syrup. clearly the pirates need to go on a Canadian adventure to remedy this. and 2 - the author seems to think that girls aren't impressed by books about pirates.
Also, I wanted the chapter of letters to the editor to go on forever and it did not. So I guess there were three disappointments.
Patrick Kendall
Feb 11, 2011 Patrick Kendall rated it really liked it
Inside the first two chapters, I almost concluded that The Pirates! had lost their charm and run out of new jokes, but I think rather that I had just forgotten how to laugh (which happened to the Pirate Captain once in an adventure with mimes). By a quarter of the way through, Defoe recovers everything lovable and hilarious in the crew and creates a worthy new adventure that is sure to leave Napolean turning in his grave.
Dec 16, 2016 Brent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fiction
There was an awkward silence as the pirate crew all starred at each other, at a bit of a loss. Pirate feet were shuffled. The pirate in green looked like he was about to say something and then stopped himself. Somewhere a sea-lion barked.

Not quite as enjoyable as the other books in this series. Still not bad, though.
Stephanie Graves
Jun 23, 2009 Stephanie Graves rated it it was amazing
Ah, the Pirates. This book, a follow up to The Pirates! In an Adventure with the Scientists! is about as awesome as the title implies. Which is to say, extremely awesome. But maybe I'm just saying that because I have a crush on the Pirate Captain, especially when he is trying to become a beekeeper.
Mar 03, 2012 Fran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely the weakest of the Pirates! books, but still v. enjoyable. Shame that my copy was so riddled with inexcusable spacing errors, resulting in things like 'mints hips' (instead of 'mint ships').
Jonathan Hiskes
Feb 05, 2017 Jonathan Hiskes rated it liked it
Dumb but fun pirate story. Just the level of intellectual challenge I needed this weekend.
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Gideon Defoe never meant to become an author. When Defoe bumped into a woman he had pursued during his time studying archaeology and anthropology at Oxford, they began chatting about what they were up to. Realising that his job temping for Westminster council was not going to win him any romantic points, he told her that he was writing a novel. She asked to see it, at which point he found that he ...more
More about Gideon Defoe...

Other Books in the Series

The Pirates! (5 books)
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists
  • The Pirates! in an Adventure with the Romantics

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“It’s not really my fault. The problem is that my mouth just comes out with these things. And you can’t blame me for what my mouth does, can you? Curse this mouth. Do you think it might be possessed?'

The Pirate Captain looked in the mirror and made his mouth into a series of shapes he thought looked demonic.”
“The Captain was wearing his best blousey shirt, his beard was gleaming in the early morning light and he’d polished all his gold teeth. As he strode manfully towards the shore, the only thing that could have make him look even more heroic that he already did would have been the theme to Flash Gordon playing in the background, but it was a hundred and seventy years too early for that.” 0 likes
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