23 November 2006

Books of 2006, Part 15: The Pirates! in an Adventure with Communists


London, 1840: Wagner’s latest opera plays to packed houses while disgruntled workers gather in crowded pubs to eat ice cream and plan the downfall of the bourgeoisie. And the Pirate Captain––his disguise proving something of a letdown––finds himself incarcerated at Scotland Yard, in a case of mistaken identity.

Discovering that his doppelgänger is none other than Karl Marx, the Captain and his crew are unwittingly caught up in a sinister plot that involves a red-eyed monster, stolen waxworks, and a sack of pretend kittens.

From the gloomy streets of Soho to the leafy boulevards of Paris, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists is a story of intellectual giants, enormous beards, volcanoes and valkyries, doubloons and dancing girls, and a quest to discover whether ham might really be the opium of the people.

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Having mutilated Charles Darwin (The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists) and mauled Herman Melville (The Pirates! In an Adventure with Ahab {though called Whales in the UK}) , the Pirate Captain and his crew turn their attention to Karl Marx's plans for world domination and improved facial hair. The third volume of this wacky series remains true to the first two, with many anachronisms and a crew with no names, with the exception of Jennifer. This time, the Pirate Captain must discover the connections between Wagner’s opera and various other nonsensical things as he searches for a grand adventure, so at least, to keep his sponsors - who want multiple eviscerations and/or explosions - happy.

Due in a year or so, will be the next adventure, which seems to be with Napoleon.

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