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Pirate Latitudes Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010
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“Offers unexpected turns and plenty of yo ho ho’s.” (Richard Eisenberg, People (3 out of 4 stars))
“It’s not an ironic pirate novel. It’s not a pirate novel with a secret gimmick. It’s simply an entertaining tale filled with crafty privateers, despicable villains, treasure hoards, double crosses and a sea monster. Go figure.” (Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle)
“A lusty, rollicking 17th century adventure…. History as entertainment…. Crichton has done his homework.” (Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today)
“The plot sucks you in like the giant kraken monster that nearly sinks our hero’s galleon.” (Benjamin Svetsky, Entertainment Weekly)
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
He sets the story in 17th century Port Royal, Jamaica, home to all the shady pirates and privateers of the Caribbean. A motley band of pirates head out to storm a Spanish fortress in the Caribbean and capture a ship of Spanish gold. Of course things go amiss and the resulting adventure is a sound one.
The characters are engaging and the plot is tight. This wasn't meant to be "deep" reading, instead it's a fun romp with enough period detail to make you feel as if you're right there with them....personally, I didn't put it down until I turned the last page. It was a fun read and makes me realize how much I'm going to miss this author.
This (relatively short) novel tells the story of pirate (he prefers "privateer") Charles Hunter and his crew of super-pirates as they embark on a quest for the ultimate prize-- a Spanish treasure galleon. I say "super-pirates" because each of his crew does one or two things extraordinarily well, creating a sort of "who's who" of pirate archetypes. You have the stealth assassin, Sanson, who kills entire ship crews without making a sound. Then there is Bassa, the giant Moor who seems inspired by Fezzik from "The Princess Bride" and who kills with his bare hands. There is Lazue, the quintessential female pirate, who goes about as a man unless it suits her to use her feminine attributes and whose eyes are capable of spotting even the most camouflaged of reefs. There is Enders, the dependable helmsman, who can sail even the bulkiest of ships through the eye of a needle. And finally Don Diego aka "The Jew", the crafty munitions expert, who does something with rat innards you will not believe.
Other pirate tale staples appear as well: cannibals, damsels in distress, storms at sea, and sea monsters. The inclusion of the sea monster surprised me, given Crichton's realistic account of 17th century pirate life up to that point. While my initial reaction was to scoff, I soon found myself going with the idea. Crichton was a man of science, and you get the impression that he is acknowledging the possibility that perhaps the strange stories of sea monsters told by the old seafarers of the past may have had some truth to them.Read more ›
It's not Crichton in peak form, that's for sure.
While the book is entertaining enough, it's missing what I love most about Crichton ... the research, the education, the intense build of excitement. It's a pirate story, and not a particularly original one ... It's got your storms, your cannibals, your sea monsters, and general pirate treachery. The first half of the book I felt it was unforgivable that they decided to publish this. But the second half was fun enough that I can see it, and of course Spielberg is already working on the movie.
I didn't love it, didn't hate it. I think, had Crichton been ready for publication it would have been better. Less flawed. But it was enjoyable enough, very fast paced and Amazon has a great deal on the hardcover so you almost can't go wrong.
The central plotline (such as it is) involves raiding a Spanish stronghold to capture a galleon filled with treasure. This is accomplished early on with very little detail or excitement. In another instance, the pirates are threatened by blood-thirsty savages... who make a half-hearted attempt to kill Captain Hunter and his crew and then apparently just give up and disapear! Also,one of the givens in most action-oriented thrillers is the villain who does something evil early on. You know that he/she is going to get his/her just desserts by the end of the story, and you look forward to it. In this tale, Hunter comes home to Port Royal after several disjointed (and disappointing) adventures and discovers something dastardly has happened while he was away. But, not to worry, the whole thing is sorted out in no time... and with little or no imagination.
I've been a fan of Michael Crichton's since reading The Andromeda Strain as a young boy. This just isn't in the same class as the rest of his works, although I will admit there was some fun to it. My advice: If you feel you must buy this book, wait 'til it comes out in the $7.99 paperback. Or, better yet, borrow it from the library or a friend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not up to Crichton's usual. Couldn't even finish it. Usually I have trouble putting his books down. A real disappointment.Published 9 hours ago by Carolyn Wohl
It was a bit grizzly, and I thought of putting the book down, but continued to the end. Leonard A. TriboliPublished 22 hours ago by Katherine L. Triboli
This is different from any of Michael Crichton's other books. Understand it was a manuscript they found among his effects after he died. Read morePublished 2 days ago by JoannG
It may have Crichton's name on it, but it's either the work of minions in his novel factory or his abilities have gone way down. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Boom Powell
I thought it was a good tale, kept my interest. I haven't read a bad Crichton book yet.Published 4 days ago by Alan R Hill
Enjoy the way this author writes and this story did not disappoint. Many interesting character and turn of events which holds your attention.Published 6 days ago by Janet Moylan
Read this for our book club. It was pretty good up to the Kraken. That part left me wondering why. The rest of the story was plausible and had that "could have happened"... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Bob Thompson