As a brand new Pirates of the Caribbean movie looms ever closer on the horizon, a colossal wave of related merchandise and tie-ins is also approaching the consumer shoreline, ready to inundate us with all variety of Disney swashbuckling gear and goodness. The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook has landed on my desk thanks to the good folks over at Quirk Books, and it has proven to be an entertaining and fun reintroduction to the Pirates of the Caribbean universe.
Let's start with the disclaimer:
Ahoy, all ye would-be pirates, take heed: This book is a work of entertainment. The publisher and author hereby disclaim any liability from injury that may result from the use, proper or improper, of the information contained in this book. We do not guarantee that this information is safe, complete, or wholly accurate, nor should it be considered a substitute for a reader's good judgement and common sense.
Right, then . . .
Tongues firmly planted in cheeks, let us proceed.
The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook consists of six chapters, covering such topics as Piracy 101, Maritime Skills, People Skills, Acquiring Booty, Cheating Death and Mysteries of the Deep, all presented from the point of view of the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow. As the book's introduction notes, the contents are not in fact gospel truth but rather, " . . . a fast and loose list of amenable suggestions," about making your own way in the world. Among the more specific and interesting topics: How to Use Words to Misdirect and Confound, How to spin Your Own Myth, Pirate Hygiene (or the Lack Thereof), How to Fight a Tavern Full of Angry Men, and The Fine Art of Being Somewhere Else.
The handbook references the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy and brings to bear the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In Piracy 101, we are given the background scoop on Blackbeard and Angelica, both prominently featured in the new film. Blackbeard commands a zombie crew and wields a mythical weapon known as the Sword of Triton.
The book is a handsomely packaged hardbound edition, replete with extensive illustrations and photographs from of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Author Jason Heller cleverly reengages the reader with the a movie canon we have not visited since 2007; it's an enjoyable return and a fun primer for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.