Book Review: The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook
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The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook
A Swashbuckler’s Guide from Pirates of the Caribbean
By Jason Heller
Quirk Books
Release date: May 3, 2011

Yo ho! yo ho! A pirate’s life for me…

If a pirate’s life is actually for you, then you might want to pick up The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook: A Swashbuckler’s Guide from Pirates of the Caribbean before you set out on the high seas in search of treasure and adventure.

In this new handbook from Quirk Books — publishers of other great guides such those for Batman, Superman, Indiana Jones, Worst-Case Scenarios, and more — author Jason Heller breaks down the pirate’s life into six categories pertaining to etiquette; maritime skills, myths and legends; booty acquisition; and most importantly, how to cheat death. Oh, and of course, how to talk like a pirate!

Heller’s instructions on how to loot, bury treasure, invoke parlay, and recruit a crew, amongst other things, are written in context of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which star Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, the center of this guide. Sparrow and company’s previous adventures are used as examples for the instructionals, which, seriously, unless you’re a bit touched, you probably shouldn’t attempt. While you probably won’t be going out to smuggle some gold and you definitely won’t be trying to fight a sea monster any time soon, this book is great fun and a must-read for Pirates fans. There’s photos from all the Pirates movies, including the recently released fourth installment On Stranger Tides, along with graphs and illustrations done by Eugene Smith on pirate clothing and weapons; applying tourniquets; and tattooing a treasure map on your back.

The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook reminds me a lot of The Indiana Jones Handbook, where most of the information is stuff you’ll never use, but there are a few gems here and there where you you never know when it will come in handy in the real world (you never know when you’ll have to disguise your gender!). But, if you’re interested in pirate lore and the like, you’ll learn a lot from this handbook.

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