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Pirates of Pensacola Hardcover – March 10, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First Edition edition (March 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312334990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312334994
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Thomson mixes a hodgepodge of odd characters, varieties of pirate-speak, and a short history of buccaneers in the area of the Caribbean into an oddball story replete with humor, love, and lots of adventure. Morgan Cooke couldn't be more surprised when he finds his father, Isaac, lurking outside his house. Their hurried reunion is punctuated by Isaac quickly reciting a short history of his years of incarceration, and then moves rapidly into a discussion of his hidden pirate treasure. This being the 21st century, Morgan is more than skeptical. After hijacking both his son and the boat that belongs to Morgan's employer, Isaac introduces him to pirating in current times. At first, Morgan is aghast at the prospect, but he begins to warm to the cause, especially after Isaac's treasure proves to be real. As it turns out, the Cookes' arch rival is the boss of Vail & Co., which also makes him Morgan's boss–and one of a long family line of pirates who have feuded with the Cooke family for generations. There's lots of swashbuckling action; a romance; and a scene-stealing, rum-seeking parrot as father and son find the treasure and then lose it to various nefarious villains. A scene with a shark attack adds to the excitement. Fun, entertaining, and light, the story produces lots of smiles and more than a few laughs.–Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Lubbers beware, thar be a thrilling new comic voice asea. The wind at his back, Keith Thomson has created a powerfully funny novel. Stocked to the quarterdeck with characters at once hilariously inconceivable and sweetly heartwarming, Pirates of Pensacola simultaneously thrills and endears itself with every explosively charged page. A delight to set sail with."
- Richard Rushfield, author of On Spec

"Set in modern times, Pirates of Pensacola follows our poor, nebbishy accountant hero into a life of waterlogged crime on the high seas. Best emerging comic novelist for a good long while, with touches of classic Rafael Sabatini and the most imaginative Hiaasen."
- Jeff Danziger, political cartoonist and author of Rising Like the Tucson

"A swashbuckling parody, Pirates of Pensacola is a fine breezy read, filled with laugh-out-loud scenes and some high seas drama. Who wouldn't crave the pirate lifestyle? You get to rob, cheat, carouse, brawl, drink, chase wenches and then rob some more, carouse some more...what a life! How about cutting these rogues some slack instead of a noose? To this book, I give my favorite mock-pirate toast: 'Bottoms up, shot glasses and lasses!'"
- Richard Zacks, best-selling author of The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd

"With rum, eye patches, peg legs, and a wisecracking parrot in need of a twelve-step program, Pirates of Pensacola blends all the conventions of the pirate genre and creates a novel of comic genius and originality. Keith Thomson is a shrewd and funny writer with a big future ahead of him."
- bestselling author Linda Fairstein

More About the Author

Keith Thomson played semi-pro baseball in France and drew editorial cartoons for New York Newsday before becoming a writer. His novels include the New York Times Bestselling ONCE A SPY and SEVEN GRAMS OF LEAD. He lives in Alabama.

Customer Reviews

Perfect reality/fantasy combination.
Amazon Customer
I found this book to be lacking in plot, with too many characters with little to no character development.
Wynter Hope
The twists and turns made for interesting reading, and a fun story as well.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By MIke on March 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Pirates of Pensacola" by Keith Thomson is a classic, hilarious pirate story set in the present day. It is also a throwback to the golden era of adventure novels--think Carl Hiaasen collarborating with Jules Verne.

The hero is Morgan Baker, a Florida man in his mid-thirties whose existence consists of his dull accounting job, dinner alone every night at World of Tacos, and drinking by himself at a dive bar by the docks that looks like the inside of a tugboat in a way that is "neither intentional or in any way charming." Morgan has one unique skill though: he can throw darts like lightning bolts. He has pirate in his blood; he's just unaware of it.

One day Morgan's crusty, salty father Isaac shows up in Florida, freshly released from 20 years in jail. Father and son have long been estranged. Isaac claims that before being imprisoned (for the jewel heist in the prologue), he was a pirate in the Caribbean. Moreover, he and Morgan are part of a long, storied line of pirates, the Cookes. Also, he has gold worth $45 million buried on a tiny Caribbean island. He wants to take Morgan's company yacht to go get it. Morgan thinks the old man is nuts.

Morgan wakes up in the Caribbean a day later, having been drugged by Isaac. He quickly learns that Isaac was telling the truth about piracy's continued existence there, and that they are locked in a fierce competition with the Cookes' piratic arch-rivals of several centuries, the Hoods, for the gold. Morgan decides even a chance at his share of it would be better than returning to his lonely life in Florida.

Then the race is on, and it's dazzling. As a reader, you are heaved headlong into a secret world of modern-day pirates that are very much like their charismatic forebears.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Shaver on March 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book a lot. If you are a pirate afficionado you will love it! But even if you aren't a pirate lover you will love this tale, told in a light funny style.

I liken this story to the "Perils of Pauline" as it concentrates on the trials and tribulations of a father/son duo as they attempt to find a buried treasure.

But it is not just the story of the quest for the gold but the quest of a son and father to reconnect after many years apart.

But don't make the mistake to think this is a story with mawkish sentimentality. The writer writes with a slightly ironic view of life which seems quite natural to today's comtempary reader. There is lots of sly humor in this tale and numerous laugh out loud scenes. Each person will have their own favorites.

Interesting to note that there is not a lot of profuse prose to this tale, but despite that one is able to have a clear picture of the main actors in this story. Takes talent to do that.

This book is good enough that I will probably read it again. I liken it to seeing a movie you really like. You like it the first time but the seond time around you pick up further gems you missed on the first go round.

I highly recommend this book. And I hope the author has another one in the works soon.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John P. Felleman on May 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Pirates of Pensacola is a wonderful fusion of frenetic action and social satire. I found myself laughing out loud as I followed the Cooke's on their rollercoaster ride.

Thomson's gift is the ability to draw the reader into his world of contemporary piracy while at the same time winking at the absurdity of that world. Somewhere between the tantalizing historical exposition and the cannon-firing bunglers of the modern day there is a line between reality and fantasy. Thomson's craftsmanship is to hide that line so effectively that we give up and ignore it.

I particularly loved the melange of old traditions and tools with modern technology. Pirates with rusty cutlasses and fax machines are an idea too amusing to miss. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who sometimes finds the day-to-day grind of the landlubber a bit pedestrian.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dave T on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is as funny a novel as I've ever read. It's laugh-out-loud funny, your wife and kids staring at you as you chortle, wondering what's wrong with you funny. This is a funny, funny book.

It reads sort of like a cross between Robert Louis Stevenson and Douglas Adams. The story, about the most boring guy in the world discovering that he's really the scion of a family of famous buccaneers and going off on an adventure to capture the gold and discover his true inner pirate is amazing. The chase through the bordello, the explosive tavern brawl, and the pirate funeral are all top notch. Of course, there's the big showdown at the end between the novice pirate and his family's centuries old nemesis and it's no surprise who wins - but how he does is perfect.

Keith Thomson has written a gem. Here's hopign they'll make it into a movie, because it would be great!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ethee on January 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a great movie...I mean book. The way Mr. Thomson gave details, it was like "reading" a movie. A modern day book that is clean and very funny. But keep in mind, it is a pirate book. There is blood and death. Don't know how Mr. Thomson combined death and funny, but he managed to do just that.
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