We has some friends round for supper the other night and the topic turned around, as it so often does to what we’re reading. Various people proffered titles known and unknown – a Fifty Shades here, a biography there, some theology, some current affairs. What could I say about the book that has gripped me for the past few weeks? Well its a book about history – not quite although there is some history in it, OK its a book about economics and the emergence of forms at the stretching point of capitalism and the enclosure of various commons – yeesss, but its not an economics text either, its a book of theology, of philosophy, of cultural analysis – maybe but not really. So what is it? It’s a book about Pirates!
In this third book Kester brilliantly riffs and mashes across the literary genres, like some anarchic librarian – trying to see what Peter Pan, Star Wars, The Odyssey and the parable of the Prodigal Son look like on the same shelf. The answer is profound and one that, as soon as you have read it you want to go back to the beginning to make all the links that were present in the text but absent from the naive first pass. The second reading is like going back to the desert island with a map, albeit a tatty map composed by a rum sozzled liar.
I hestitate so say what the book is “about”, other than its about Pirates. One could say its about freedom, about the law, about death, about life, its about me and its about you.
One final nugget of buried treasure – the piratical reading of the parable of the prodigal son – is absolute dynamite (or at least gunpowder) – I was amazed to see such a fresh reading of such a familiar text.
Buy it. Read it, Rip it. Share it.