So the reason I bought this at all is that this series of books is the basis for the next Aardman animated film due in the cinemas in March this year. In the end I bought The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Whaling in one bumper dual edition for under a fiver! Bargain and a useful purchase with some of the WHSmith voucher I got for Christmas from my mother-in-law.
So The Pirates! are a madcap crew headed The Pirate Captain and none of them have names other than things like The Pirate with the Scarve or The Albino Pirate except Jennifer who joins the crew during the first adventure.
The first adventure finds the crew capturing The Beagle and Charles Darwin when they think they'll capture a load of gold but only find Darwin and his clever monkey and they help him take on his arch nemesis The Bishop of Oxford back in London. The book is a light read with plenty of slapstick gags and loads of pirate puns etc.
The second book sees the crew trying to buy a new ship on credit which places them in considerable debt and The Pirate Captain has a brilliant idea to enter show business which sadly is foiled by his arch enemy Black Bellemy and they end up trying to catch the legendary White Whale to pay off their debts. The style is the same mapcap humour.
Never likely to stretch you much, I read each of these in a matter of a couple of days on the commute they are funny enough. I'm really looking forward to the Aardman treatment of them though ... *side shot of much concerned shaking of heads from my family who think I've never really grown up - they are right of course* :-)