I've listened to this over and over. It is absolutely marvelous. Still rough, as it was no-doubt a second to the last draft, since it was found under his bed after his death, but absolutely riveting and worth numerous re-listens of some of the great action sections, like when the Privateers are attacked by a Giant Squid. There is a tremendous amount of historical information that is just as intriguing. I am a pirate enthusiast now! If you like story telling, this is for you!
This book could have been the screenplay for a 1940s B-pirate movie with paper-thin characters, plot, and silly sea monsters. It simply had no substance and was only mildly entertaining. The narrator just did not fit this book or its characters, in MHO. Please do not judge Michael Crichtons body of work on this third rate book.