Monday, 30 May 2011
The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook, by Jason Heller – reviewed by Stephen Theaker
So here I am, reviewing it myself. Is it possible to give a fair hearing to a tie-in based on a series you don’t really like? I’ve no doubt that if this were a handbook to time travel in the Tardis or to space travel in the Enterprise I’d like it a lot. A good deal of effort has been put into this detailed guide to living the piratical life; it’s more than just a collection of pirate trivia with Captain Jack’s face on the front – examples are drawn from the four films wherever possible. The would-be pirate will find here a treasure chest of information; How to Become a Pirate, to begin with, How to Spin Your Own Myth, or How to Fight a Tavern Full of Angry Men – all essential for life on the high seas, and off them!
It has a slightly odd approach, in that it’s addressed to the present day reader, and acknowledges that the life of a modern day pirate is much grimmer than that of the romantic buccaneer of cinematic legend. With no means of putting it into practice, then, the advice is perhaps best taken as being addressed to those who take a method approach to fancy dress parties! It’s not a book to be taken seriously, it’s one to flick through, a perfect book for the smallest room. It’s not hilarious, but it’s solidly amusing, attentive to its source material, and the design (the book is resplendent in full colour), printing and illustrations are all top notch. I’d imagine that everyone who had a hook in producing it is as proud as a parrot. I’d sooner read it again than watch the first three films, and that’s a pirate fact!
The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook, by Jason Heller. Quirk Books, hb, 176pp. Amazon US. Amazon UK.