Pussy, King of the Pirates

Overview

Loosely related to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island, Pussy, King of the Pirates is a grrrl pirate story that journeys from the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria through an unidentified, crumbling city that may or may not be sometime in the future, to Brighton Town, England, and, finally, to a ship headed toward Pirate Island, where the stories converge and the vision ends. Ransacking world history, literature, and language itself to speak to the current zeitgeist, Pussy, King of the Pirates is ...
See more details below
Paperback
$12.15
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$13.50 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $6.53   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Loosely related to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island, Pussy, King of the Pirates is a grrrl pirate story that journeys from the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria through an unidentified, crumbling city that may or may not be sometime in the future, to Brighton Town, England, and, finally, to a ship headed toward Pirate Island, where the stories converge and the vision ends. Ransacking world history, literature, and language itself to speak to the current zeitgeist, Pussy, King of the Pirates is the literary analogue to the wild girl energy that dominates our rock and roll culture in the 1990s. A daring and passionate litany of disparate narratives and voices, poetry and prose, words and images, Kathy Acker's newest novel is perhaps her most subversive to date. Her meditations on love, sex, death, and art have made her a writer like no one else working today.

A loose reworking of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island, Acker's radical interpretation is a masterfully directed, wild trek through real and imagined history, from the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria through an unidentified, crumbling city that may or may not be sometime in the future. "Acker pushes language to the tension point, explodes and reclaims it."-- Boston Sunday Herald

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

James Marcus
Over the course of nearly a dozen novels, Kathy Acker has refined her trademark madness into a kind of method, which consists of applying the wrecking ball to some literary classic, then raking through the debris for raw materials. In earlier books she drew upon Dickens, Cervantes, Rimbaud, and Pasolini. This time, Robert Louis Stevenson takes the hit. Pussy, King of the Pirates represents Acker's spin on Treasure Island, although the familiar adventure is buried under an avalanche of dream sequences and erotic interludes. The plot revolves around a cast of interchangeable female characters, who dart from one location to the next. Early on, they traipse through an Egyptian whorehouse, which occasions one of Acker's goofy epigrams: "Every whorehouse is childhood." Later, they inhabit a futuristic metropolis and a girls' boarding school. One woman has an abortion; another has a roll in the hay with Heathcliff, who wanders in from Wuthering Heights for a cameo appearance. Finally they reach Pirate Island itself, an icky little atoll where the air is "so odiferous that the clams who were lying in the mud-water below, shell-open, and the fish whose mouths were gaping even though they were dead, could see a wall of smell." By this point my mouth was gaping, too: why would anybody bother with this pretentious (not to mention odiferous) twaddle? Acker's politics are as muddled as her prose. And despite her constant yakking about victimization, the only victim in Pussy, King of the Pirates is poor, defenseless Stevenson--and, of course, the reader. -- Salon
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once again displaying her penchant-and talent-for scavenging extant texts, Acker (My Mother: Demonology) exploits Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Pauline Reage's The Story of O, among other sources, fusing the carnal, the cerebral and the surreal into a fantastical tale. The story spans centuries and continents as it chronicles the adventures of O and Ange, whores who retire from the trade and hire a band of girl-pirates to help them find buried treasure. Told mostly through dreams and dream states and with casual shifts in point of view, the novel divides roughly into three sections. The first, "O and Ange,'' recounts the two women's days of prostitution: in China, O begins whoring at the request of a boyfriend; she then makes a pilgrimage to "the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria,'' where she meets Ange, with whom she escapes and discovers a map of buried treasure. The second section, "The Pirate Girls,'' introduces "King'' Pussy, her youth, her two abortions and her sexual history. In the final section, "In the Days of the Pirates,'' O and Ange hire the pirate-girls and set sail for the treasure island. Acker writes a deliberately affectless, deadpan prose, rendering both the absurd and the disturbing (including several graphic sexual and physiological episodes) with a declarative nonchalance. Like Acker's other work, this campy and enigmatic novel is self-consciously provocative as she detonates her battery of literary and sexual references in order to illuminate themes of masochism and rebellion-but it's also often funny and invariably intelligent. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Ahoy ye maties! Are you ready for this ride through time zones and centuries, into subterranean worlds and onto the high seas to sail for treasure? As the story develops, a host of ribald, mangy characters (who speak in equally ribald language) trot off in search of a lost someone or something. Rarely do they find what they're searching for. However, they do frequently cross paths in whorehouses, in buildings without walls, or on crumbling sidewalks, where they have all sorts of liaisons. One of their other unmistakable, inescapable features is that, almost to a person, they emit acrid odors. Perhaps their outward appearance (and smells) stand as metaphors for the state of their souls. This book is a takeoff on Treasure Island but is far more than a neat little adventure tale. It is heavily influenced by pulp fiction, social satire, religious allegory, and picaresque novels. Acker (My Mother, LJ 7/93) gives readers a lot to chew on here-original sin, alienation, relations between men and women and between women and women, women's independence, and self-determination. As readers step into this cauldron of characters, the real adventure begins. Recommended for public libraries.-Lisa S. Nussbaum, Euclid P.L., Ohio
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802134844
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Series: Acker, Kathy Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 700,770
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)