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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


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THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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Defoe, Gideon: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

  Amazon  

5 stars

When they're not belting out a lusty sea shanty or arguing about the best way to prepare ham, there's nothing pirates like more than a rousing adventure. Happily, that's just what's in store for the Pirate Captain and his shipful of variously monikered pirates--the scarf-wearing pirate, the pirate with an accordion, the ill-fated balding archeologist pirate--when they bump into Charles Darwin and his trained monkey Mr. Bobo in the South Pacific. Together, Darwin and the pirates sail off to England to combat the Bishop of Oxford, an evil-mustachioed villain with a diabolical scheme involving the grisly murder of numerous circus-going women. The Pirate Captain may be an unusually gullible scofflaw, and--how to put this nicely--he's not the sharpest cutlass in the drawer, but his peculiar combination of hirsute manliness, keen introspection ("Damn my piratical nature!"), and roguish je ne sais quoi may be just the thing needed to defeat the Oxfordian knave.

Gideon Defoe's exuberant The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists purports to be an account set down some 150 years ago by the debonair Pirate Captain himself--so the Captain's note to readers (specifically, negligee-clad, nineteen-year-old readers) on the back of the book alleges. (Careful readers may doubt the account's historicity, though, given its frequent anachronisms--references to Murder, She Wrote, for example, and Cocoa Puffs. I'll leave it to readers to nitpick.) It comes complete with the occasional footnote, some of the entries very odd indeed: "Black looks best on persons who have black in their features (hair, eyes, brows, and lashes), although black can be worn by most people for very dramatic occasions." There is also a handful of helpful questions for discussion in the back of the book. (For example, number seven: "Scientifically speaking, who do you think the tallest pirate in the world is?")

If it's not clear enough by now, Defoe's Pirates is a hilarious read filled with some extremely clever writing. Not for nothing has Monty Python's Eric Idle blurbed it as "destined to become a classic of pirate comic fiction." You'll want to read this one.

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