October means Halloween means—pirates! British paleontology student Gideon Defoe's attractively tiny debut (more properly, "pamphlet") is prose Prozac for the nautically inclined, from its quietly insane-making jacket art to the book-clubbable questions at the end. Defoe has an appealing hero in the confident, instinctually bluffing Pirate Captain, who frankly doesn't know the names of his rowdy, loyal crew (they're simply "the pirate with the gout," "the scarf-wearing pirate," et al.). The tone is gently satiric and genuinely funny, tweaking storytelling conventions ("it was always raining in the London of themadays") that nevertheless make this a seaworthy... More >>>