The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
I saw the movie before reading the book, and while there are differences between the book and the film, the basics are the same – a motley crew of pirates lead by a Captain with a luxurious beard are searching for treasure and most of all glory. Along the way they run into the Beagle, carrying Charles Darwin and his Manpanzee – throw in science fair and a murderous bishop and you have a ripping adventure.
The humour that runs through them is brilliant (if you don’t mind ‘dad-joke’s), and both the book and the film should make you laugh out loud (I sure did).
The book is small and will only take a couple of hours, and if you get through it and want more there are also adventures with Communists, Napoleon, Romantics and Moby.
For a look at the film adaptation here’s the trailer: