The Pyrates

The PyratesGeorge McDonald Fraser

Rivaling Terry Pratchett for the king of humorous writing, George McDonald Fraser creates a fictional vision of the pirate life lifted directly from Treasure Island and Basil Rathbone movies with touches of slap-stick (if fruitcart then chase scene). Fraser’s pirates are walking, talking, larger-than-life pirate stereotypes. Every paragraph contains a delightfully snarky gem, play on words or downright silliness (“Her chest smoldered and her eyes heaved…just by way of a change”). And yet, there is plenty of plot rich with detail and intrigue. The book is crawling with square-jawed heroes, fainting ladies, swarthy pirates swearing (w’ a curse!), improbable battles,  chocolate-addled natives, cameos by Sir Samuel Pepys and a black mambo used as a yo-yo. Gut-laugh funny and a must read.