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Thread: The Pyrates

  1. #1

    Default The Pyrates

    Book Title:
    The Pyrates
    Author:
    George MacDonald Fraser
    ISBN:
    978 -0-7627-7431-9
    Category:
    Fiction
    Format:
    Paperback
    Summary:
    If you can imagine the Marx Brothers or Monty Python meets Pirates of the Caribbean then this is the book for you. Fraser is also the author of the Flashman series of novels and they seem a bit tame by comparison. I can honestly say I did not get through a single chapter without laughing out loud at least once. The book is literate silliness with a vengeance -- a swash buckling yarn of seventeenth century derring-do that sometimes derring-doesn't. Great duels, daring rescues, damsels in distress (and some pretty tough damsels that help themselves), fabulous treasures, and general historic mayhem ensues from the Indian Ocean to the New World. The book is filled with self-aware writing and the author breaks the fourth wall with impunity. But as with the Flashman novels, there is an accurate historic undertone to it all. Fraser lays blame for his fixation with the topic to youthful exposure to Rafael Sabatini, Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, and the music of Eric Korngold. As with Fraser's Flashman novels, one must occasionally look askance from humor that is not always politically correct in this day and age. If you do not have too delicate sensibilities, this novel is enormously enjoyable and just plain fun.
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    Last edited by Wentworth; 03-02-2021 at 16:57. Reason: add ISBN number

  2. #2
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    I read this book on Bill's recommendation, and concur with his appraisal. For those terry Pratchet aficionados amongst us, I also felt more than a smidgeon of his oddball humour it as well, especially in the way that an everyday idea or fact can be turned around on itself in a way that totally cracks one up when you spot the humour in it. Certainly a book for these Covid ridden days.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  3. #3
    Captain of the Fleet
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    Will look out for this one, need a bit of fun sometimes.
    I can also recommend Rafael Sabatiniís Captain Blood is you not read it, especially if you have seen Errol in the title role, well worth a read

  4. #4
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    I will try the Sabatini one then Chris.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  5. #5

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    Sabatini's The Sea Hawk is a good read too ! ( and also his Scaramouche )

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capn Duff View Post
    Will look out for this one, need a bit of fun sometimes.
    I can also recommend Rafael Sabatini’s Captain Blood is you not read it, especially if you have seen Errol in the title role, well worth a read
    Chris -- I grew up watching those classic cinematic duels between Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn -- the spectacular duel between them on the beach in Captain Blood and of course the definitive film duel between them in The Adventures of Robin Hood ("You've come to Nottingham Castle once too often"). Interestingly Rathbone had to take it easy on Flynn in those duel scenes, his having been two time British Army Fencing Champion. My guess is if it had been for real Rathbone would have skewered Flynn fairly quickly.

  7. #7
    Captain of the Fleet
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    Not read Sea Hawk, but have Seahawks and Capn Blood on dvd, been after the Grainger Scaramouche for a long while, but not found as yet

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the review, Bill. Will put it on the to read list.

    FYI - I always thought the essence of humour was to poke fun at the social conventions / political correctness of the time. Wasn't that the role of the court jester in Medieval courts? Maybe I've been listening to John Cleese - alas, for me, burn the witch.

  9. #9
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    Bill and I would point you to the Yeomen of th Guard Paul. The Jester in that opperetta has a song which just about mirrors your statement.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  10. #10
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    Just got the Sabatini's The Sea Hawk on Kindle for £4.99.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    Thanks for the review, Bill. Will put it on the to read list.

    FYI - I always thought the essence of humour was to poke fun at the social conventions / political correctness of the time. Wasn't that the role of the court jester in Medieval courts? Maybe I've been listening to John Cleese - alas, for me, burn the witch.


    I hope you have seen "The Court Jester", with Danny Kaye? It has Basil Rathbone in it too, and a fencing scene that is hard to beat.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Bill and I would point you to the Yeomen of th Guard Paul. The Jester in that opperetta has a song which just about mirrors your statement.

    Rob.
    Apropos of absolutely nothing (well except maybe tangents)...my Mother's family name is Yeomans -- coming down from medieval British times.
    Last edited by Wentworth; 03-02-2021 at 16:56. Reason: Twyping is divvicult

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Just got the Sabatini's The Sea Hawk on Kindle for £4.99.

    Rob.
    Its got Barbary Pirates in it....right up your alley !

  14. #14
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    Great Bill. I will get onto it as soon as I complete the one I'm on now.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I hope you have seen "The Court Jester", with Danny Kaye? It has Basil Rathbone in it too, and a fencing scene that is hard to beat.
    Yes, about 100 years ago - or so it seems.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    I hope you have seen "The Court Jester", with Danny Kaye? It has Basil Rathbone in it too, and a fencing scene that is hard to beat.
    I haven't seen The Court Jester . I'll have to track it down. I did see Danny Kaye in his last Broadway show "Two by Two" (which was also Richard Rogers last show). Kaye played Noah and it seemed like he improvised a good portion of his dialog.
    Last edited by Wentworth; 03-05-2021 at 06:18.

  17. #17
    Admiral of the Blue.
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    It is many moons since I saw it too. Maybe a revisit is in order.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowDragon View Post
    Thanks for the review, Bill. Will put it on the to read list.

    FYI - I always thought the essence of humour was to poke fun at the social conventions / political correctness of the time. Wasn't that the role of the court jester in Medieval courts? Maybe I've been listening to John Cleese - alas, for me, burn the witch.
    Paul -- have you seen the series Upstart Crow ? You don't often find a Shakespearean sitcom...

  19. #19
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    Funny thing about that burn the Witch is that we did not do it in England Paul. We drowned witches or hung them. However, we did not object to the French burning St Joan as a witch on our behalf, nor to the Scots burning them. Heretics were of course a very different matter. Queen Elizabeth's predecessor Bloody Mary Tudor burnt plenty of those. Gilbert and Sullivan were simply reinforcing the myth when the witch in Ruddigore was burnt at the stake Bill.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wentworth View Post
    Paul -- have you seen the series Upstart Crow ? You don't often find a Shakespearean sitcom...
    No, we're pretty ignorant of what's on TV these days. Currently, we're watching one show per week - a British mystery, with an occasional live streamed concert. For a good part of last year we hadn't turned our prior HD, but non-'smart' TV on for several months - even though we we're paying for cable TV. Finally discontinued the cable TV subscription and then upgraded to the latest equipment (e.g., OLED TV). We're looking for something other than a mystery series, so thanks for the tip.

  21. #21
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    If you can pick this short clip up Paul it gives you an idea of what the Crow is about.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03wqymf

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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