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 Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended

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PostSubject: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:18 am



Our second book for this month is a pirate book, especially picked for Bittner since she has been yearning for a book about pirates. Next she's going to want ninjas... But as we have covered vampires, zombies and ghosts, I guess it's only fair to walk the plank for now.

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J.V. Hart (it's also illustrated by Brett Helquist who did the drawings for A Series of Unfortunate Events for my fellow book nerds out there in reader land.)

Here's a review from Amazon:



Quote :
Opening with young James's arrival at Eton and following him to the beginning of his life at sea, this is a disturbing and engaging portrait of a young villain. At school, he feuds with the young Arthur Darling and falls in love with the forbidden Sultana Ananova. After taking his revenge on Darling and pursuing Ananova, James and his friend Roger join the crew of the Sea Witch, a ragged ship with a cruel captain. When its identity as a slave ship is revealed, James sides with the slaves to earn his own name, Hook. Throughout the story, his dreams of finding a magical Neverland set the stage for his future role in Barrie's classic story. Hart, whose screenwriting credits include the movie Hook, has taken information from Barrie's Peter Pan, including his protagonist's attendance at Eton, his yellow blood, and his unusual appearance, and used it to create a character of his own. James's illegitimate status and its prominence in the story seems to be Hart's own invention, and while it provides ample motivation for James's actions, it takes away from the story's appeal to younger Peter Pan fans, who may also be confused by some aspects of British school life. This is a much darker Pan prequel than Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers (Hyperion, 2004). Helquist's illustrations add slightly to the text, but seem an attempt to appeal to Unfortunate Events fans. Overall, this is a detailed look both at Victorian life and what a young Hook may have been like.

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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Wed May 06, 2009 8:08 pm

Okay, I have still not received my book for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I did get a chance to read Captain Hook.

It took me a few chapters to really get into the book, as the whole Oppeiden thing was a bit confusing, but I ended up loving the book! Jas is a fantastic character (anyone else feel that Aunt Emily probably really is his mom?) and Jolly was adorable. I haven't read Peter Pan since I was a kid but I really need to go back and re-read that. The way that hook speaks is so lyrical and as the writer of the book also wrote the screenplay for Hook, it matched perfectly my most ingrained image of Hook. The yellow blood was a bit gross. The main part of the first half of the book (or more really) was Jas' fued with Darling... Wendy's grandfather perhaps? As much as I disliked the character of Darling, I also felt sorry for him, he could never really score against Jas, as the "mutant" was immune to everything Darling threw at him.

The romance was weird for me, as I was expecting that, although I enjoyed the action that followed. My big complaint is that I really think Jas and Jolly would have easily taken over the captainship of Jolly's dad's boat... I find it hard to believe that Jas failed in this one task, as he never failed anywhere else.

His departure from Eton was perfect! As much as I fear spiders, I have to admit that I would be happy to have a pet spider that could so easily poison my enemies and make me a snazzy impenetrable jacket. Darling totally deserved what he got, his pride was out of control and he would have done better to cultivate Jas' friendship rather than try to bend the unbendable.

Wasn't really shocked that Jas' dad was a slave trader, although I did think it was strange that Hook was so affected by it... But I guess my image is of an older Hook that treats his pirates badly and tries to kill little kids and kidnaps Indians...

There were just so many neat (that's right, I said neat) little tidbits in the book (the Sultana's home the second star on the right and Hook's description of the island). I was sad to see the book end, could have used a lot more. Okay, I am so tired that I am cutting this short. The end. XD (love that too!)

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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Fri May 22, 2009 8:04 pm

Okay, I'm back to the bookclub. The last semester of school was a little rough, don't take tax accounting unless you have to. But now I'm done, graduated, and off to Little Rock in July. I'm going to be an assistant buyer for Dillards by the time my training is done. Does anyone know anything about the town? The place I'm looking at staying for my 3 months there is very close to the Park Plaza mall. I'm trying to find info, but nothing good yet. Anyways, PP&Z was awesome, I've recommended it to lots of people. I know nothing of this one, but I'll see if I can get it from the library. I've been consumed with the Kim Harrison series. The detective is a witch, Rachel Morgan, and she is partners with a vampire and pixie. They solve crimes and get into magical shenanigans. I think I have a book and a half to go. But I'll definitely start on this one. As for the future, I'm intrigued by the list Stephen King wrote in the most recent entertainment weekly issue. I'll try to keep in touch better Smile

Oh, and as for ninjas, maybe check out The Ninja, by Eric Van Lustbader. The amazon reviews are good.
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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Wed May 27, 2009 11:40 am

Congrats on school and work and all that awesome stuff! I've only driving thru Arkansas, but it's a pretty, pretty state.

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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Wed May 27, 2009 11:58 pm

Don’t you hate it when you are going about your life, reading a fun children’s story about pirates, friendship, loyalty, absent fathers and then out of no where the story turns into a life lessons about freedom and African slaves? I do!
In all seriousness I really loved this book. I just had a hard time figuring out what age JV Hart was writing it for. I can’t imagine reading it to my children! I would think that by the time they were old enough to read a story like this one, they will be able to read it to themselves.
No I really did like this book. I thought the it was really funny and cleverly written.
I loved James. I mean he is sort of on the odd side. What with the yellow blood and blue skin, his love of spiders and the fact that he is a little crazy. I mean I probably wouldn’t go for him but I can see how some girls might fancy him.
My favorite was Jolly R though. He was such a good and loyal friend. He was so funny and had some really great one liners.
As far as the first part of the story goes, I liked seeing Captain Hook as a young boy in school. At first it bothered me when they mentioned his blood being yellow and then tried to explain it by being some genetic disorder. I would have rather it remained a mystery.
I think it is funny that the author included the rules on how to play “The Wall” game at the end of the book. If we were the type of book club that actually met at someone’s house to discuss our books every month. I would absolutely insist on our playing!
One the I didn’t like was that the author never explained the connection between Arthur Darling and George Darling. George Darling is Wendy’s father in Peter Pan. It can’t just be a coincidence that JV Hart gave Arthur the same last name, so I wish he would have answered that in this book. I am sure he goes on to explain that in one of the other books later on but I just wish he could have answered it in this one.
And why did the author make such a big deal out of having the big wall game played on St. Andrew’s Day? He mentioned it like a hundred times but when I looked it up all I could see was that the name Andrew means strength and manly. I thought maybe the author was trying to say something by picking that particular saint but St. Andrew is only recognized as the patron saint of Scotland and Russia, and fishermen.
As far as the last half of the book with them out at sea, I liked all the dueling and mutiny. I could have done with out the African slave trading part though.
I was rather surprised that Sultana Ananova didn’t die. Usually in this kind of story it is always something tragic that turns a guy who isn’t such a bad guy into an evil pirate. But again, maybe that is something JV Hart explains later.
My other thought about what turns Jas evil is his mother. When you read Peter Pan, JM Barrie puts a lot of emphases on the role of the mother. So I thought maybe Jas learns who his mom is (my guess is that it is the Queen) but before he can have a relationship something happens. Either she chooses not to have a relationship with him or she dies, something like that.
I really like the book. I wouldn’t mind reading the other books at some point or reading other books with pirates. I don’t know why but I like them. I do, I like pirate stories.

P.S. Again I apologize for it taking me so long to post this, that was very bad form on my part. Yes, very bad form indeed. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Thu May 28, 2009 1:18 am

I didn't think that aunt Emily was really Jas' mother. I do think that it adds another element of the Peter Pan story to Captain Hook's story to have him being raised by a woman that is not his mother. Peter Pan wasn't raised by his mom and neither were the lost boys. It always seemed to me that even though Wendy was young and only in Neverland for a short time, that she was the "mother" figure for them. She mended their clothes and taught them to wash before coming to the table, she put them to bed with stories. So I thought it fit that Captain Hook, like all the lost boys, was raised by a woman who he looked to as a mom, and yet he never knew his actual mom.
I thought the mom might have been the queen, simply because she told that one story to the Sultana about a lost love and so I thought that might have been the reason Hart added that in. However I need to go back and read the part after the Wall Game when the Queen runs into Jas' father. I think she mentions Jas to him but I don't remember how she refers to the boy. That moment my contradict my theory about the Queen but I think I am right about Emily.
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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Thu May 28, 2009 8:40 am

You know, when I was looking online a few weeks ago I came across a review for Capt. Hook and they made mention of the idea that the Queen is his mother, only they were certain of it. I have to admit that the thought had not crossed my mind when I read the book (perhaps because I had made up my mind fairly early that the mom was the woman who had raised him). I don't know if the Queen is his mom, but his blood disorder would be better explained by all the inbreeding of a royal family...

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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:14 am

I didn't like this book. I was especially tired of the "not today" phrase by the end of the book. I think Emily is his mother, why would she care for him since she hangs out with lots of artists? It's probable that the dad saw her acting or whatever she does and things happend from there. I don't think the Queen is his mom. Someone would have noticed if she were preggers. And why would the royal court allow his dad to stay in her service? But maybe it worked out like in that Kiera Knightly movie. It's nice that Jolly R is loyal, but I don't think he's a good decision maker. He could of had a comfortable life doing whatever he wanted, but he chooses to take orders from some charismatic, manipulative, and vindictive kid who thinks he's entitled to everything because he doesn't have a dad. Come on. Deal with it and stop thinking everyone is out to get you. Of course they will be if you give them reason to. James seems to think that he can just take whatever he wants regardless of anyone else or any rules/laws. Sorry, but you're like 12. Shut up and go cry somewhere else.

The Ananova thing was dumb and pure hormones. A case of "I can't have it so I want it more." Are we past the time of Queen Elizabeth in this book? Cuz she reportedly had some lovers but never married. This is what I thought of during her talk with the girl.

I didn't think the spider had died when Jolly R found her in his luggage. And that spider would freak me the crap out. It might be useful, but it would have to stay away from me.

Overall, didn't like it, fell asleep most times while reading, and don't want to read any more of the series. I don't mind action stories, but I don't like James' overall attitude of being entitled to everything he wants because he had a difficult childhood. He was still provided for and sent to a good school. If his health was poor he wouldn't have been able to grow his hair so long-like a girl. He exacerbated his problems with that one. Rant over. The end
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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:46 am

I don't really have much to add, I just wanted to say that I loved Mandy's review! I mean I liked the book but your review made me laugh and I loved that you hated it so thoroughly! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:08 pm

that's good, cuz i thought you guys would skewer me for it. i really want some chips right now. i'm on a salt and vinegar kick.
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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:19 am

I'm proud of you for sticking with it even when you didn't like it! Hopefully you'll like Outlander better because that is one long ass book... lol.

I started Lux the Poet yesterday and it is quirky goodness!

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PostSubject: Re: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth- Extended   Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:28 pm

I'm almost done with the book I'm reading now. I hope to start Outlander tomorrow. I was thinking of hearing it on the way to Little Rock this week, but after my friend read an excerpt of it, I decided the material would not be good for my mom to hear too. I hope I can finish it before it's due at the library.
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