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
There's been speculation that Crichton didn't write this book himself, since it was published posthumously. I think he did write the book, but perhaps it was an early work that he forgot about, or wanted to edit.
Overall, it's an enjoyable yarn. It's strictly entertainment. Crichton isn't known for character development, and that holds true in Pirate Latitudes. It's a good story though, and in true Crichton style moves quickly, with lots of twists and turns and much peril for the main characters.
The narrator does a yeoman like job, neither the best nor the worst I've ever heard. His skill is sufficient to distinguish the characters, and keep the story moving.
I generally like Crichton novels, but this one was disappointing to me. The characters were not engaging and you find yourself not caring about any of them. Also, while the idea of the plot is OK, it was written very poorly so that nothing was shocking or surprising for very long because he turns right around and explains everything right after it happens. I like novels where something exciting and unexpected happens and you are left to think about it for a while and try to figure it out. You wont get that here...
It also seemed to have parts in it that were added as an after thought...like certain oceanic beasts who appear out of the blue for a second, in the middle of another event happening. It just felt out of place.
The comments at the end also allude to some historicity of the characters...that would have been nice to preface and include at the beginning of the chapters...it might have made the characters more interesting to look them up on wikipedia while following the story...
i would not recommend this to anyone except maybe pirate novel lovers...
This is predictable, but fun. I wanted something light for a long car ride, and it fit the bill. It kept me awake and made me laugh. John Bedford Lloyd was a terrific reader.
This book was a decent listen with a good story line and some nice surprises in the end. However, it seemed obvious that it was a book in the works when the author died. There is a good portion of the book that seemed to be the ideas put quickly down in print with the intent of going back at a later date and expanding on those ideas. If you approach the book with that in mind I think you will enjoy it. The typical vast extent of research Crichton did for his books is evident, but not fully developed in this book. I did enjoy it and would recommend it. It is nice to have a great story to listen to that is not 30 hours long like some of the newer books these days.
You can tell this book wasn't quite finished. I thought there were some plot lines left underdeveloped and overall, the story just seemed to move too quickly. Still, there were interesting characters and a satisfying ending. I think there are a lot of better Crichton noves though.
There were no characters in this book that I cared about and the story didn't have any threads that pulled me forward. The narration was also flat. I was expecting a sweeping tale with a lead character that had panache and style - needless to say, my expectation wasn't met. I listened to the end only because I kept hoping against hope that the book would redeem itself. Don't waste your time, your money or your book credits.
and I'm not just talking 70's... this pirate story was right up my husband's alley, but... seriously? a few too many wenches and pistol duals for this kid :-)
This book was executed well, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if some grammatical forensic scientist comes out and says that this book really wasn't written by the man himself. I was suspicious before I bought it, but I didn't see anything else that really grabbed me, so I used a credit.
I'm not saying it was a bad book, whoever wrote it had some talent. However, it did not resemble anything else that Crichton had ever done in either style or content.
Maybe he was mulling over doing one of those ghost writing deals that are the only action you see out of Patterson. Most of those are simplistic and cookie cutter and I have decided to adopt the Nancy Reagan, "Just Say No!" slogan.
This book has good narration and pace and it is decently written from a plot perspective. If it does turn out to be ghosted, at least he was going to be choosing a talented one. Who knows, next they will probably find another book in a forgotten computer at a secret apartment he kept in Dallas.
Five stars! Sit back and enjoy! I absolutely loved the book, portraying life of privateers in 17th Century Caribbean. If you liked Timeline (the book,) I am very confident you will love this!
I bought the book because Crichton wrote it and normally I enjoy his work, but this book was horrendous. The dialogue was amatuerish, the characters were stereotypical. There were no redeeming qualities including the naration which was flat. Listening to Mr. Lloyd attempt to read the parts of the women was painful. I do not recommend this book for anyone.
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