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BOOK REVIEW: Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies by James Marshall

REVIEW SUMMARY: Surreal, demented, and hilarious.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Guy Boy Man, a spiritual leader/pirate, is determined to end human suffering. Apparently doing so requires copious amounts of bad language, violence, misogyny, and a Gothic castle (in America). His glorious mission becomes complicated when moderately attractive Baby Doll15 makes him a proposition he can hardly refuse…

PROS: I can almost guarantee you’ve never read a book like this. I was averaging at least one laugh a page (sometimes more) while marveling at Marshall’s audacity to continually push the bounds of absurdity (and common decency).
CONS: Are you the type of person to get easily offended? Can you watch a South Park marathon without forming a parental coalition to ban crass entertainment? If you answered “yes” to the first question and “no” to the second, please don’t even bother glancing at the cover.
BOTTOM LINE: If ever a book was meant to be burned, banned, or buried and booby trapped…Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies
delights in adolescent humor delivered with a mature comedic sense of timing. You’ll be so busy laughing (or screaming in outrage) that you’re bound to gloss over some of the excellent descriptions and biting philosophy.

Have you seen The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret? You know the intro to the first season where Todd is a defendant in the British court of law, with a ridiculous (and ridiculously long) list of charges being read against him? I can imagine that happening to James Marshall should Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies ever wind up in the wrong hands. And let’s face it – it’s bound to happen eventually. I mean, if The Catcher in the Rye drove Mark David Chapman to kill John Lennon I’d hate to see the depravity that could be unleashed reading the first book in the How to End Human Suffering series. James Marshall, I hope you have a good lawyer – at the very best you’re looking at organized book burnings, death threats, and a visit from the Westboro Baptist Church. At the very worst? As I understand it the NSA has taken a keen interest in digital media…Look folks, I know I posted a warning in the CONS section but please – if dead baby jokes offend you read no further. It’s for your own good.

“Violence is not the answer.”

I look down the hallway, steely eyed.

“Then I don’t like the question.”

Oh where to begin? What is Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies? An anarchist-comedian’s manifesto? A survival guide for the (completely absurd) end of the world? A philosophical text to rival history’s greatest minds? An unlikely romance destined to make even the fans of 50 Shades of Grey blanch with titillated embarrassment? It is all of these things and more. Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies reads like Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame. This should clue you into two things.

  • The humor is crass. The laughs are dark. My favorite gag of Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies is a painfully honest sexual encounter. It only gets more crude as the story progresses. I mentioned dead baby jokes (yes, they’re truly awful and disgusting) and you will find them within these hallowed pages. This has got to be the single least politically correct book I’ve ever read. I suspect it will make James quite a few enemies, and any friends he gains from it won’t be of the highest quality. (Just look at me.)

    “Life is an STD and I’ve already got it.”

  • It’s actually quite intelligent. The jokes are simple (deceptively so) but the delivery is spot-on. Marshall takes the absurdity to (well, absurd) levels and still manages to keep the novel in check. For a book that starts off with a three page run-on sentence you might expect the Grammar Nazis to be right on the heels of the Political Correctness Police in their pursuit of Marshall but the prose is anything but immature. The descriptions are often witty and the philosophical insight of Guy Boy Man leaves much to consider (should you avoid being distracted by his demons – Mike and York).

    “They said that’s ‘genocide.’ ‘Genocide is wrong,’ they said, ‘not because you’re killing a whole bunch of people, but because you’re discriminating against the people you’re killing.”

How’s the plot? It’s not incredibly important. Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies is teen romance that is absolutely not appropriate for teens. It’s the story of a revolutionary that hates vegetarians (hey – plants are animals too) and might just be worse than the evil overlords he seeks to usurp. Guy Boy Man fights and loves and weeps (masculinely) and teams up with a ninja and solves starvation in Africa (theoretically at least). It’s a book where unicorns are real, zombies live amongst us, babies grow on farms, and aircraft carriers are available for purchase to an insanely rich sixteen year old pirate (wearing the Pope’s hat and preaching a twisted pseudo-denomination of Christianity).

Will James Marshall be tarred, feathered, chased through the village square only to be hanged, drawn, and quartered? Only time will tell. Will I be reading the second book, Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos? Faster than a ninja can kill another ninja of equal-or-lesser value. If you’re an emotionally disturbed, mentally deranged, easily suggestible, troubled teen…go ahead and buy a copy of Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies. Place it on your bookshelf between The Anarchist Cookbook and The God Delusion, below the shelf sagging with the weight of Machiavelli’s The Prince, The Communist Manifesto, and Trey Parker’s Orgazmo. I wonder how many federal watch lists this review alone has landed me on…

About Nick Sharps (85 Articles)
Nick is the Social Media Coordinator and Commissioning Editor for Ragnarok Publications and its imprint, Angelic Knight Press. He is a book critic and aspiring author. He is the co-editor of Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters from Ragnarok Publications. He studies Advertising and Public Relations at Point Park University.
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