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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

We Are Pirates: A Novel

The title is just simply fantastic: We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler. 

It's a modern day piracy. A group of people are in the San Francisco Bay terrorizing the area. On that ship is Gwen, a teenager lost in her own youth who has pulled together a team of misfits just like her. Her father, Phil, a radio producer, must get her back home. Not, of course, before chaos ensues as he seeks to make what he hopes is the biggest show sale of his career. They are both lost in their own ways, and they both must find what satisfies that itch for adventure. 

Such an interesting novel. I'm not sure what I was expecting going in, but I ended up getting a witty, bright, and nuanced comedy that was at times completely absurd. My favorite character was the secretary, someone whom you couldn't quite tell if she was hitting on the boss or if she was getting the short end of the stick. The scene where she books her and her Phil's plane tickets on a super cheap airline was so absurd that I couldn't help guffawing out loud. We've all been there, where we feel like we are living in a farce at the airport. The scene just completely embodied everything that we've all felt while traveling. It was positively delightful.

The relationships throughout the book were so interesting. Gwen's with her alter ego was some parts hilarious but some parts completely and honestly relevant. Don't we all wish that we could be somebody better than ourselves? Even if it's only at certain times? We want to be bolder, we want to be stronger, we want to be cooler, we want to be… The opening scene involving petty theft was entertaining but still so raw. Going overboard was her way of dealing with the absurdity that is adolescence. 

Overall this was an entertaining novel, and it made my train rides this past week thoroughly enjoyable.

For purchase below.

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