In The Pirate, Comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr continues his bleakly hysterical autobiographical writings about his early years as a redheaded enfant terrible cast adrift between the worlds of childhood and adolescence.
In this second book in the series, we follow Jón through his tormented time at high school and his brief forays into the job market. Adulthood is looming on the horizon but young Jón clings on to the innocence of childhood by any means necessary. Feeling unwelcome at home, with his parents at the end of their tether, he finds solace among the punk rockers of Hlemmur, the Reykjavík transit station— a legendary gathering place for “troubled” kids and other urban derelicts. There he falls in with his fellow outcasts and forges a new identity based on the music, styles and attitude of UK punk bands Crass and Discharge and the anarchist writings of Prince Kropotkin.
The narrative is riddled with teen-angst and adolescent self-loathing that is at times humorous but also comes as a reminder of the at-risk behaviour that teenagers may resort to in the hope of quelling their emotional pains and sense of rejection.