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The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Adventure with Scientists & An Adventure with Ahab (The Pirates! #1-2)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  622 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews

Adventure? Yes, more than one! Derring-do? Yes! Storms? Sea monsters? Rival pirates? Of course! Cameos by frequently anachronistic historical figures?  You betcha! All that and more.

Not since Moby-Dick. . . . No, not since Treasure Island. . . . Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a group of seafarers  to rival The Pirates!, and
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Vintage (first published June 20th 2006)
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Nov 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
I scan the column of 5-star reviews proclaiming the hilarity of this book and am forced to set myself all kinds of awkward questions. When did I stifle my inner child? Just when did the creeping tentacles of old fogeydom reach out to atrophy my critical faculties? How can I not love the pirates? What's wrong with me anyway? What kind of monster am I? Everyone loves pirates!

In my defense, I didn't hate the pirates. But it turns out apparently that a little whimsy goes a long way. This book has th
The movie The Pirates! Band of Misfits, is based loosely on the first book in this series, and in the UK, the film actually shares that title. I love Aardman Animations and this movie was no exception. The books are definitely aimed at an adult audience, so there are many changes in the film, but I think it stays true to the general feel of the books.

These books are just fun pirate farce, not a genre I can say I've read before, but one that I enjoyed. The general gist is that the Pirate Captain
Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, adultfic, booktalked
Pure cheese, and I like cheese. Laugh out loud funny. Nothing particularly fantastic about the subject or the writing, but it will put a grin on your face. Booktalk from library school below.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe.

The Pirate Captain is a lot like today’s youth. Well, maybe not that much. Or at all. You be the judge. Like many, The Pirate Captain has a motto. ‘I like ham.’ he sails a ship around, plundering the Spanish Main. Although he agrees that just about
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I picked up this book after seeing it pop up just about everywhere, and I should have re-calibrated my expectations after Megan said it was "okay." That being said, it was a quick read that was fun, but not fun enough to really engage me into finishing.

Here are some of the pros:
1) it's a book about pirates. how freaking awesome is that?
2) it's actually two books in one. holy crap. you turn it over and there's another book.
3) it's about darwin and ahab-- two people you'd like to see interact w
Amusing, clever, but pointless. This was a DNF. A group of pirates, under a vain but ineffective leader takes off on a voyage to Las Vegas to earn the money to pay for their ship. A voyage to Las Vegas? Yes, that was only one of the ridiculous aspects of this book. There was no character development, no setting development and no plot. The book consisted of the series of comic disasters that befell the pirates as they searched for ways to pay off their new pirate ship. There were footnotes throu ...more
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This version is two books in one - "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists" and "The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab." A ship of pirates with names such as "pirate with a scarf" and "albino pirate" led by the Pirate Captain have some adventures, in this case w/ Darwin and Ahab as leading characters. Very silly, very mindless read - this is candy for the mind. Entertainment Weekly provided a blurb for the cover, if that tells you anything. Fun, esp when read w/ the right expectations (so ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is so funny. A super easy read and silly as heck. The footnotes are priceless. They are entertaining and informative trivia, like what barnacles are made of, the fact that more people are killed each year by pigs than sharks, and why your fingertips shrivel up in the bath.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Not nearly as funny as I had hoped it would be....
John Fritzke
I would say this is the most stupid book I have ever read and the greatest waste of my time.
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
Scientists ★★★★
Ahab ★★★★★

After the main-mast falls over for the third time in a week the pirate with a scarf reluctantly and cautiously approaches the Pirate Captain about perhaps getting a new boat. After admitting to his number two that perhaps covering the holes in his quarters with dashing pictures of himself isn't the best way to keep a boat afloat, seeing as a stiff breeze could conceivably kill off half the pirate crew and the Pirate Captain himself has never bothered to learn to swim he
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book series of all time!

At the end of this book Mr. Defoe gives us a hundred or so titles for more Pirates! books and I would read all of them with gusto!
John E
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the first of the adventures of the Pirate Captain, this was my first introduction to the silliness. Fun and totally crazy.
If you're looking for a book like Pirates of the Carribean, don't read this. If you want cowardice, ignorance, and foolishness on a grand scale, and a laugh so hard your family can't sleep, buy this book. I bought it by accident, mostly to see if my students would like it, and laughed for days.
The premise is that there are pirates who can visit Las Vegas, Victorian London, Charles Darwin, and Ahab. It's all so well done that you wouldn't question anyway, but in case you lose your mind and DO qu
Rey Skywalker
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed the audio from having heard it was made into a movie. You’d think they’d be doomed from the start with the idiot pirate captain and his loyal crew that are of the same intelligence. For me it was when Black Bellamy conned them into thinking a ship named the Beagle was carrying treasure. It got me wondering how the ending would be, when the pirates found out there was no treasure. To my surprise that was where the real adventure begun, with them sinking the Beagle which w ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2013
I picked this book up for $5 at HPB. They were both pretty amusing stories and I did in fact laugh out loud at both of them. However, they're both REALLY short, only ~100 pages each, so not much really happens in them. Additionally, I had a hard time figuring out what the intended audience was. If you've seen the movie Pirates: Band of Misfits, these are the books the movie is (pretty loosely in the end) based on, and that movie I am about 85% sure was directed at kids/a young audience. But the ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
In this double feature, Gideon Defoe (No relation to the author of Robinson Crusoe) pens the rip roaring adventures of a crew of rather stupid and lazy Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Led by their vain and magnificently bearded Pirate Captain, the crew (including the pirate wearing a scarf, the sassy pirate and the pirate with gout) sails the Spanish Main meeting famous historical-ish figures and flirting with pretty girls. Despite dangers and drama along the way, the pirates manage to get throug ...more
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pirate lovers
So despite having been a follower of the author's blog for some time, I finally got around to reading the copy I bought of his most famous book (my opinion, not his or the publisher's). The first book pokes fun at scientists but Gideon really gets into his true form with the second book with Ahab and the white whale. The fact that it is inspiring me to read the actual THE whale book of all Whale Books is not saying much (since I'm sure it's far more dour to read Melville than Defoe, hah), but I ...more
Elizabeth Periale
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it

"Readers who like their humor along the lines of Monty Python will love these two short novels, which feature the intrepid Pirate Captain and his crew running up against historical figures in anachronistic adventures. In the first novel, after a false lead on some booty from rival pirate Black Bellamy, the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain attacks Charles Darwin on the Beagle and the pirates find themselves on a quest for loot and fame in Victorian London
May 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This is a silly book transformed into hilarity by the brilliant reading of John Lee. If I tried to read this oddity that looks like a kids book but most certainly isn't (nevertheless leaving the adult to be reading about silly pirates), I would likely have given up. But Lee's narration is such a triumph. None of the pirates have names (the pirate captain, the pirate with a scarf, the pirate in red etc) and the pirate captain is vain and silly valuing his beard and ham (!) above all else and does ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do not remember reading a book in the past few years that has made me giggle as much as Gideon Defoe's Pirates! books.

Defoe chronicles the life of the Pirate Captain, a deliciously entertaining character who has a strong affinity for Ham. Along with an assortment of aptly named cohorts, including the Pirate in Green, and the Pirate with a Scarf, the Pirate Captain travels the high seas (and Nantucket, and Las Vegas among others) for adventure.

He comes across great foes including Black Bellamy
Lloyd Dewolf
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book based on my friend Mo's thorough enjoyment of With Scientists. I read this omnibus edition because it is what is available on the kindle.

I note with interest that this edition has a slightly lower average stars than the individual books. I wonder if that relate to the size of the feast or a changing audience? Or if it is Math playing tricks on us.

The Pirates! is too grog soaked literature for me. The humor is too... absurd for my constructive mind.

With Ahab either tries to hard,
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
How people get away with publishing some of the rubbish in this world is beyond me. I certainly can't answer that question in regards to this book, though in its favor it was amusing. Utterly silly, it has no reason to be except to entertain. Surprisingly, that's quite all right with me.

My favorite bit: the pirate who, immediately upon coming to the rescue of his comrade and the requisite distressed damsel (literally and physically distressed: the evil-but-not-master mind was sucking out her yo
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
The Pirates! How very absurd and how very fun. Follow the Pirate Captain and his crew of no-name pirates as they adventure across the seven seas (now including Sea Number Four)! Start with the introduction of Charles Darwin in the Scientists and end with Cutlass Liz and the big white whale in Ahab. Glory in the Pirate Captain's beard! Revel with Jennifer, the lone lady addition! Enjoy the tasty tastiness of glorious HAM! And above all - don't forget to eat your fruit, lest you die from scurvy. S ...more
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this very silly story seven years ago. Tempus fugit! Basically a ham-loving Pirate Captain gets the mistaken impression that Charles Darwin's ship the Beagle is filled with gleaming booty. Later, at a pirate convention, the Pirate Captain runs into an old friend...

"Scurvy Jake!" said the Pirate Captain, evidently glad to see his former comrade. "I haven't seen you since that incident on Madagascar!"

"Aaarrr! I was sure they were girls!" said Scurvy Jake with an apologetic shrug.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first enjoyed The Pirates! On the the big screen and decided that I would give the books a shot. While the differences between the book and movie are vast and many, the nature was translated quite well. It is a funny story about The Pirate Captain, his pirate crew, and their adventures with Charles Darwin and Captain Ahab. Not exactly a children's books as the cover would suggest, but not extremely adult either. Although it lacks character development, overall it was a very good, quick, and hu ...more
Sabrina Spiher
Jul 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone.
"I recently devoured in two days Gideon Defoe's first two Pirates! novels. They were sold together, like back in the day when you were a kid, and one story was printed one way, and then you filled the book over, and there was a second story, and they met in the middle of the book, one of them appearing to be upside down. Awesome! ..."

Read the rest of my review at

The Pirates! In and Adventure with Scientists & The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab is a collection of two of Gideon Defoe's very funny stories starring the Pirate Captain and his band of merry pirates. This series was the basis for the Aardman film, Pirates! Band of Misfits. I actually like Defoe's book series better than the film. If you like British humor or satire, history and literature you'll like this series.

Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Very, very silly mashup of history, fairy tale, and a Saturday morning of Looney Tunes and gorging on sugar cereal. I enjoyed it and even (gasp!) laughed out loud at times. But I can easily imagine others not finding it funny (like my husband who looked puzzled when I tried to explain why I kept laughing). It's a short book and works best if you are familiar with pirate lore and the basics of Darwin's life and times.
Now I'm going to go check if the author has written anything else.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
In an Adventure with Scientists:

I laughed out loud at this book. I loved how the pirates didn't have names, but only descriptions of what kind of pirate they were (albino, with scarf, green). While completely and totally outside the realm of possibility (and the writing implies it was never to be taken as such), their adventure with Darwin and the evil Bishop of Oxford was a delightful, funny read.
Nuur Syahidah
The pirate and his excuses, haha..

When he said to the crew asking for opinions on his novel, he actually threaten them before voice any:

"When i say "honest opinion" I'd like you to bear two things in mind. One-I don't take criticism particularly well at all,even the constructive kind. And two-I'm the Captain of this boat and I have an extremely sharp cutlass."

baik takyah cakap kan...haha
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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 Napoleon
  • The Pirates! In an Adventure with the Romantics

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