The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English Crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate there's a living to be made, a living that can end swiftly by disease - or by dagger.
For Captain Charles Hunter, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking, and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it. Word in port is that the galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in a nearby harbor. Heavily fortified, the impregnable harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of the Spanish king himself. With backing from a powerful ally, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy outpost and commandeer El Trinidad, along with its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of island legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he even sets foot on foreign shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure...
Pirate Latitudes is Michael Crichton at his best: a rollicking adventure tale pulsing with relentless action, crackling atmosphere, and heart-pounding suspense.
©2009 Michael Crichton; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
Immeasurably more enjoyable than any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Not the best Chrichton novel, but certainly not the worst (see Next). Pure fun that will have you searching for more pirate novels.
After reading that this was found on his hard drive after his death, I went into it not expecting much, but was happily surprised. Like most of his novels, it was easily seen in my minds eye. Full of action and good twists, I was excited to see what would happen next and stayed in the car a few extra minutes to find out. Overall it was a good story and flowed well. It is not his best, but worth listening to. The reader also did a fine job to keep my interest. Would give it 3.5 stars. Will likely make a good action movie.
For the most part I enjoyed the book, but it constantly jumped from one unbelievable situation to the next. It's almost as if the stories were intended to be used in a serial and they all got shoved under one cover to get them published.
After finishing (and mostly enjoying) this novel, I realized that I don't think there is a single female character who is not raped or sold for sex in this book.
Pirate Latitudes is not Michael Crichton at his best, but it is an adventure tale with plenty of action, atmosphere, and suspense.I liked it and it was funny. It is a world when men ruled so not many chicks will like it.
I quit listening after about 1/3 of the book. It moves very slowly.
The Master and Commander series by Patrick O'Brian are much better books with similar themes.
Every single pirate movie, story or book of fiction has already done the deeds performed by our intrepid protagonist. Buzz kill: he is a Harvard man. Anyhow, if it really happened, then I see this guy as the prototype for the legend/stories of pirates. I would perfer Drake v. Panama first person fiction but fact based
in the style of George MacDonald Fraser.
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