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The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

(The Pirates! #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,700 ratings  ·  474 reviews
Not since Moby-Dick... No, not since Treasure Island... Actually, not since Jonah and the Whale has there been a sea saga to rival The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, featuring the greatest sea-faring hero of all time, the immortal Pirate Captain, who, although he lives for months at a time at sea, somehow manages to keep his beard silky and in good condition.

Worried that his pirates are
...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 19th 2004 by Pantheon Books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,700 ratings  ·  474 reviews


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Antonomasia
It may be a parody of a type of kids' adventure novel I never actually read, but that didn't stop it being one of the most hilarious things I've read this year (and unquestionably the funniest in book form). For anyone happening to notice this post later, yes, okay, it is only late February. Also made me feel like a kid again because I read it in two hours without its being any effort. (Unfortunately, style does make a tremendous difference to reading speed for me, and solemn little literary nov ...more
Toby
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny
Words To Consider Before Embarking on A Piratical Adventure With Scientists:

Lubber

Pirate

Ham

Starboard

Sloop

Galley


If you feel you are not yet ready to become entangled with these and other similar words you may want to spend a week in your local library's section on Pirates! for Dummies before picking this book up.

Aaarghh! That scurby knave, Gideon Defoe, is some sort of comedy genius, his debut novel reads like a
...more
Melki
'That's enough of that, my beauties!' he roared. 'Let's set a course' - at this point the Pirate Captain paused in what he hoped would be a dramatic and exciting fashion - 'for adventure!'

The crew just gave him a bit of a collective blank look. The Pirate Captain sighed.

'All right.' he said with a pout, 'south.'


Oh, but it IS adventure the pirates blunder into as they help Charles Darwin and his Man-panzee get accepted by Victorian high society and everything.

Here's the hil
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Michael
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists follows the story of the Pirate captain and his unorthodox crew. On their adventures they meet Charles Darwin and his highly trained and sophisticated “man-panzee” Mister Bobo. Darwin has been banished from London by a rival scientist and manages to convince the Pirate captain to help defeat his enemies.

While this book and the rest of the series is not aimed at children, it comes as a real surprise that the stop animation movie adaption wa
...more
Kurt
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Pirates! is a book for adults (mostly) written in the style of a middle-grade book with footnotes detailing recipes for a good mai-tai and descriptions of pirate shanties about mermaids that put out.

There is a little bit of a plot.

The remarkable (a talking monkey) is mundane.

The mundane (ham) is remarkable.

People die. Especially the pirates with names, like Marcus and Stan. It is gory.

Defoe's relentless silliness can be overbearing if taken in one sitting. This is an excellent chapter-o
...more
Martin
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing


"What's the best bit about being a pirate? It's the shanties!"

"The Bishop of Oxford is clearly alarmed that my Manpanzee might steal his Elephant Man's thunder. So he denounced my ideas as blasphemous—he even said there was a bit in the Bible about how it was a sin to dress a monkey up in a waistcoat, but when asked for the page reference he claimed to have forgotten."

"The Pirate Captain wasn't sure what a meteorologist did, but he suspected it was something boring."
...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
'and is that.... a treasure map tattooed on your belly?'
'no. it's the periodic table.'


for two days i've been trying to read a book. i've started two and not even got past 30 pages. i picked up a few other books and put them back down. hugely frustrating.

so i went for a pirate book. because of course that makes sense.

apparently it is supposed to be a very funny read. and maybe i just have a lame sense of humour, because i did not laugh once. but it's what i need ri
...more
Margie
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: pirates, science, humor, series
It is quite funny, and also rather sexist. The flyleaf mentions that Defoe wrote the book to try to win over a woman, who spurned him. A minor strain of bitter sexism runs through the book, which is otherwise a fun romp. I'm disappointed, as it would otherwise be a stellar recommendation.
Not for kids.
Monika
Nov 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anybody with any sort of sense of humor
The best part about this lovely little book about Pirates, and scientists, and nonsense, is that it does what so little humor books, or tv shows, or anything in pop culture dares to do; it is completely designed to make fun of itself.
The whole book reads like a beautiful, witty little joke, and yet; the characters are fun, the plot is followable, and the writing is wonderful. Defoe's book was "written for a girl" who was not successfully wooed by the pirate adventure. That bit of informati
...more
nicole
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun, silly read. I stumbled across this book by chance and was attracted to it by the title (being in grad school in science and all). After reading the back cover of the book I bought it.

It's complete nonsense and super fun (don't worry, there is a story...it's about pirates! in an adventure with scientists!). It is exactly my type of humor. It's pretty short so it's a nice weekend read (or even just a one-day read).
Eli
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, humor
Hrm. Well the story is cute and sometimes clever. But I kept stumbling over a lot of moments where a woman being murdered is a punchline, or women are treated only as dateable targets. Those jokes never seem to be clever or layered enough to be a critique of anything, and really just feel like a big thread of plain old misogyny throughout.
Kate
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a book about...PIRATES! Defoe is both creative and funny. Blame it on Disney but I pictured Johnny Depp as the captain. Simply a fun read.
Lorenzio Phillibuster Fireworks
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is such a delightfully fun adventure. The whimsy and wacky fun really recharged my reading batteries. It’s the kind of book that could appeal to almost all ages and everyone could find a little bit of something that they’d love about this book. There’s a lot of piratical adventures, jokes, various preparations of ham and, as the title suggests, a lot of stuff about science.

The Pirates have gone far too long without an adventure and are resorting to in fighting
...more
Charles
Nov 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: humor
I know it's supposed to be humor, and I'm a very hard sell for humor. It takes a lot to get me to laughing and this one didn't do it for me. Take my comments with a grain of salt, though. A lot of folks seemed to find it funny, but then I didn't care for Douglas Adams either.
Bonnie Morse
Can someone tell me who this book is for? From the title, quotes, and size, I went in expecting a fun elementary-to-middle grade pirate adventure story. Hopefully something I could pass on to all the pirate-crazy kids and teens I know. But it kept getting weirdly uncomfortable whenever a woman appeared, or was even mentioned, and kind of ended up being a mess that's not totally appropriate for anyone. (That I know, at least.)

All of the above features, plus some accurate footnotes on
...more
D.M.
Nov 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not ashamed to say I only read this book because I so enjoyed the movie. They are, however, two largely different stories. The movie follows Pirate Captain and his crew of nameless pirate mates on an adventure wherein Darwin is largely a bad guy and the principal villain is Queen Victoria, with a story revolving around a dodo named Polly; the book has Pirate Captain and an only occasionally similar crew of nameless pirate mates on an adventure helping Darwin find his missing brother, and the ...more
KB
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Pirates! offers a rich treasure trove of comic piratical adventures, as the wit of author Gideon Defoe gleams like the blade of a cutlass arcing through salty air beneath a brilliant Caribbean sun.

The reader will likely encounter difficulty in choosing a favorite character from among a cast that includes such luminaries as the Pirate Captain, the pirate with a scarf, the pirate with gout, the diffident pirate, the pirate dressed in green, the surly pirate who was dressed in red, the pira
...more
Ben Arzate
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quick, funny, and entertaining read.
Megan
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book is just a lot of fun. It's so silly. I suppose it is supposed to take place in Victorian England but really to me it's anachronism.

I sampled this on my kindle first before purchasing it. And this line, causing me to laugh out loud and read it to my husband, made me buy it: "They also respected him because it was said he was wedded to the sea. A lot of pirates claimed that they were wedded to the sea, but usually, this was an excuse because they couldn't get a girlfriend or they were g
...more
Sam Quixote
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Some Pirates set off on an adventure with Charles Darwin, to exhibit his new discovery - the Manpanzee, a chimp who understands basic etiquette and wears a suit - and save his brother Erasmus from the evil Bishop.

The book's comparisons to Blackadder are very generous, while the book is obviously written in a comical tone, it doesn't square up to the wit of Ben Elton and Richard Curtis' scripts.

It doesn't care about characters so much, none of the pirates have names and ar
...more
Colleen
Dec 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, humor
Relentlessly unfunny. I see a lot of people liked this book which is why I got it, and I had such high high hopes, because I see there's a bunch of them, but count me out. Dad jokes, dad jokes everywhere. This is typical for the humor:
"'So there's two pirate boats sailing towards each other,' said the short pirate with the thick black spectacles, 'and one of the boats is carrying all this blue paint. And the other pirate boat is carrying all this red paint. They crash, and you know what happene
...more
Alison
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun! This is such a fun book. It's enormously silly, which, coming from me, is a big compliment. It's not a kids' book, even though it has that sort of feel about it. I had a lot of fun reading this and I think it's one of those where people will either love it or hate it. It's wonderfully juvenile humour, but more grown-up in tone. I picked this up for fifty cents at an op shop because the title caught my eye; I read the first few pages and was laughing in the shop so I decided to take it home ...more
Kari Chapman
This book had a lot of style. I really enjoyed the writing style for about the first 5 pages. After that it was just too much style and not enough substance to the story. There was some nice comedy in there, but it was overshadowed by too much general silliness, like the way too long conversation about the proper way to cook ham.

This book just didn't work for me. Perhaps if the general silliness had been spaced out a bit more, the author gone a bit lighter with the style, and the plo
...more
Gail
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Silly, but funny. Aimed at older middle school kids who like goofy books, and adults like me. Think Monty Python meets Robert Louis Stevenson, with 90% Python. I enjoyed it and it took about 20 minutes to read. I spent most of the 20 minutes laughing at loud, or reading excerpts to my husband.

Now I know they didn't have Starburst candy in Victorian days, and if that sort of thing bothers you? Don't read it!
Denelle
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you have four and a half minutes, and you feel like a good chuckle because your doctor said it is good for you - which it is - then pick up this book. This is the book that inspired the kids movie, though the book is more for adults since it includes promiscuous mermaids and nudity from the locals on the nearby island. So utterly charming, I want to shove my wenchly bosom into the author's face and try to convince him to be my matey.
Jennifer
Jul 31, 2014 rated it did not like it
Oooooooh, the piratey-ness! The piratitude! The piratisms! The forced wackiness and hilarity and have-to-be-so-random it hurts. There's a Nefarious Device, of course, and a Damsel in Peril (a redhead named Jennifer! Let's not kill redheads named Jennifer, thanks) and so many pirates without names and ham and hahaha a monkey too.

No wonder the girl wasn't impressed.
Julie Renee
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I would rate this 10 stars if I could. Delightfully amusing with numerous laugh out loud moments.
'Pffft! I've made a few mistakes myself, like the time I let a cannibal join the crew. And the other time when I said, "well i don't see any hurricane." I'm not perfect'
Brilliant!!
Tiffany
Jun 18, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: slapstick sense of humor
UGH. This book is truly awful. Within the first 5 pages every single pirate cliche is tritely used and then continues to be used page after page. It seems like the author did no research and just used cliches to wash the story. Very disappointing.
Edward Swalwell
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Comical, entertaining and fun. Gideon Defoe manages to come across as a Lemony-Snicket-esq slightly sarcastic narrative voice coupled with a Prachettian wit and turn of phrase when describing things.

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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

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“I should say we’d reach England by Tuesday or thereabouts, with a decent wind behind us. It would be a lot quicker than that if we could just sail straight there, but I was looking at the nautical charts, and there’s a dirty great sea serpent right in the middle of the ocean! It has a horrible gaping maw and one of those scaly tails that looks like it could snap a boat clean in two. 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. A few of the pirate crew stared intently out of the portholes, embarrassed at their Captain’s mistake. But to everyone’s relief, instead of running somebody through, 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.”
23 likes
“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.” 20 likes
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