Title: Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor
Publisher: Walker, London, U.K.
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: No Binding
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine
Edition: 1st Edition
First impression - the original in 1939. Book square, spine straight, pages tight, clean, uncreased and complete. Original pale blue cloth boards, not remaindered. Dust jacket unclipped, mild shelf wear. Neat p/o inscription to f.f.e.p. Prompt postage with free tracking within Australia. Bookseller Inventory # 005645
Synopsis: On a fantastic island populated by unusual animals, a pirate captain finds a trustworthy companion in the little "Yellow Creature."
Review: Back in the 1930s, a young man named Mervyn Peake fled the pressures of modern society for the Channel Islands in hopes of living a free, bohemian life with his wife and two sons. Each Sunday, he would draw pictures of pirates, comical animals, and shipboard scenarios for his family's amusement. Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor, first published in 1939, is a stunning collection of those marvelously detailed illustrations and a splendid, swashbuckling story to boot. As the salty sea captain's name might suggest, he is as bloodthirsty a pirate as they come. One day, blue-tattooed mate Charlie Choke spies a pink island on the horizon. "'Pink!' shouted the Captain, leaping to his feet. 'That's just the sort I like. Sail me there and hurry up or I'll chop you all up into mincemeat.'"
On the island, they capture the gentle Yellow Creature (much to its glee) and bring it back to their boat. The other island inhabitants, all purple, silently watch the Y.C. leave, except for the bottom-dwelling Plummet who "couldn't see that anything was happening, but he felt it was." Suffice it to say that this nonsensical Lewis Carrollific, Edward Learesque story is a pure delight. Peake's imaginative, R. Crumb-style illustrations of pirate life and fanciful creatures are rich with detail that children will love examining at length. To top it all off, he offers a story of unlikely friendship of a ferocious pirate who comes to wonder how he could have ever enjoyed battle so much and the Yellow Creature, who is an expert at lounging around and eating fruit. Eccentric, playful, and as utterly original as all of Mervyn Peake's work (The Ghormenghast trilogy), Captain Slaughterboard is a classic that well deserves this no-less-than-fantastic recasting. Yo-ho! (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson
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