Cover image for We are pirates : a novel
Title:
We are pirates : a novel
Author:
Handler, Daniel, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury, 2015.
Physical Description:
269 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"A boat has gone missing. Goods have been stolen. There is blood in the water. It is the twenty-first century and a crew of pirates is terrorizing the San Francisco Bay"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781608196883
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A boat has gone missing. Goods have been stolen. There is blood in the water. It is the twenty-first century and a crew of pirates is terrorizing the San Francisco Bay.

Phil is a husband, a father, a struggling radio producer, and the owner of a large condo with a view of the water. But he'd like to be a rebel and a fortune hunter.

Gwen is his daughter. She's fourteen. She's a student, a swimmer, and a best friend. But she'd like to be an adventurer and an outlaw.

Phil teams up with his young, attractive assistant. They head for the open road, attending a conference to seal a deal.

Gwen teams up with a new, fierce friend and some restless souls. They head for the open sea, stealing a boat to hunt for treasure.

We Are Pirates is a novel about our desperate searches for happiness and freedom, about our wild journeys beyond the boundaries of our ordinary lives.

Also, it's about a teenage girl who pulls together a ragtag crew to commit mayhem in the San Francisco Bay, while her hapless father tries to get her home.


Author Notes

Daniel Handler is the author of the novels The Basic Eight , Watch Your Mouth , Adverbs , and Why We Broke Up . As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for many books for children, including the thirteen-volume sequence A Series of Unfortunate Events and the four-book series All The Wrong Questions. He is married to the illustrator Lisa Brown, and lives with her and their son in San Francisco.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Handler (aka children's author Lemony Snicket) has never been known for writing precisely happy novels, and his latest certainly doesn't deviate. What could easily have been a slightly silly, fantastical romp becomes, instead, in Handler's capable hands, a macabre, darkly human portrayal of family dynamics and growing up in a world running low on adventure. Phil Needle, a semi-successful radio producer (also semi-successful as a father, spouse, and son), hires a new (young, attractive, outspoken) assistant and sets out to further his career. His daughter, Gwen (14, in trouble again), yearns for something more, makes a few new friends, and proceeds to literally steal a boat and attempt old-fashioned piracy in the modern San Francisco Bay, consequences be damned. Perspective switches between Phil, Gwen, and an unnamed first-person narrator, never staying with one individual too long; and, though peppered with black humor, this is a story that, like its characters, is ultimately sad, fragmented, and strange. With each twist, Handler changes the scope of his narrative, and the end result leaves one feeling as unstable and uncertain as the characters themselves. Readers, beware: here be monsters.YA/M: Handler's drawn a young adult crowd before, and the struggles of this high-school-age protagonist are sure to resonate with older teens. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Handler, as Lemony Snicket, has always been popular with adult readers as well as YAs, and that situation should prove true of this? new novel.--Reagan, Maggie Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Why do pirates appeal? Because, as 14-year-old Gwen Needle puts it, when you're a pirate, you can "go anyplace" and "do whatever you want." Compelling ideas to Gwen and her friend Amber, whose supervised lives-Gwen is not even allowed to take the bus alone-are the opposite of pirate freedom. The pirate lore comes from Amber's grandfather, Errol, who's just as trapped, in his case by Alzheimer's and an old-age home he loathes. While Gwen and Amber visit Errol and plot kidnap and ruin together, Gwen's father, Phil, tries to make it big in radio, which might be consolation for a wife who doesn't like him much, a house he can't afford, and a very angry daughter. Can a couple of teenagers, a befuddled old man, and a nursing home orderly really steal a boat and wreak havoc in San Francisco harbor? Sure, says Handler, crossing and mixing genres-dark and light, YA yarn and midlife doldrum-while making readers root for his 20th-century privateers. The book never quite decides how serious it wants to be, becoming dark when the adventure turns violent, then shirking some of the consequences of that darkness, but it does offer a jaunty and occasionally jolting, and honest take on the discomforts of youth, midlife, and old age, and how ineffective we are at dealing with them. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Readers expecting a grown-up version of a Lemony Snicket-style tale of dastardly, swashbuckling pirates will unfortunately be dismayed and distressed by Handler's latest novel (The Basic Eight; Watch Your Mouth) for adults. The author replaces clever snark, hyperbole, and action-packed plotlines with disjointed thoughts, one man's gloomy midlife crisis, and some really dark, grisly violence. Phil Needle is a middle-aged schlub who dreams of paying off his expensive San Francisco condo by producing a groundbreaking radio show about enigmatic jazz musician Belly Jefferson. Gwen is his disaffected 14-year-old daughter who suddenly loses interest in the synchronized swimming team and goes on the lam with her new friend Amber, determined to wreak havoc. They are joined by a cackling Alzheimer's patient who loves pirate novels, a Haitian orderly, and Cody Glasserman, the younger brother of Gwen's crush. VERDICT Handler has some stylish moments and seems to be trying to express something meaningful, but his point is obfuscated. Horrific violence can be alluring and effective, particularly if paired with humor as with Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers or Mary Horlock's The Book of Lies. Here it's just grim. [See Prepub Alert, 8/18/14.]-Christine Perkins, Whatcom Cty. Lib. Syst., Bellingham, WA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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