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Pirate Hunters Audiobook

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling new adventure of danger and deep-sea diving, historic mystery and suspense, by the author of the New York Times best seller Shadow Divers.

Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men - John Chatterton and John Mattera - are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. While he was at large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the 17th century, Bannister's exploits would have been more notorious than Blackbeard's, more daring than Kidd's, but his story and his ship have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history - it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren't enough to track down Bannister's ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate's exploits, face down dangerous rivals, and battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it's only when they learn to think and act like pirates - like Bannister - that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before.

Fast paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unpauseable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

©2015 Robert Kurson (P)2015 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"A great thriller full of tough guys and long odds...and: It's all true." (Lee Child)

"Pirate Hunters is a fantastic book, an utterly engrossing and satisfying read. It tells the story of the hunt for the rare wreck of a pirate ship, which had been captained by one of the most remarkable pirates in history. This is a real-life Treasure Island, complete with swashbuckling, half-crazy treasure hunters and vivid Caribbean settings - a story for the ages." (Douglas Preston)

"Pirate Hunters is a gripping account of two courageous divers' quest to uncover the shipwrecked vessel of Joseph Bannister, one of history's most infamous pirates. Robert Kurson will keep you on the edge of your seat in this high-stakes journey around the globe that ultimately teaches these explorers about much more than an old ship." (Sen. John McCain)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Mel USA 06-24-15
    Mel USA 06-24-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Pure Gold"


    This is the kind of book that had I read it in my youth -- I'd be a treasure hunter now! A thrilling adventure that traces the search for the legendary pirate ship, The Golden Fleece, commanded by Joseph Bannister, a former merchant captain turned pirate extraordinaire. Not a name I'd heard before, but detailing Bannister's pirating career, Kurson gives us a hall of fame pirate captain that takes on two British frigates simultaneously, while his own ship was careening. [Careening was the practice of grounding a sailing vessel at high tide in order to expose one side of its hull for maintenance and repairs below the water line when the tide goes out.]

    Kurson writes a fantastic tale, weaving in extensive research and history as colorful chapters that enliven the story instead of bogging it down. From the "Golden Age of Pirates" to the Mafia years of the Gambino family, and the war in Viet Nam, Kurson traces the evolution of treasure hunters John Mattera and John Chatterton, and the grueling quest that would test their skills, patience, and dedication.

    You'll be transported to the Caribbean waters, searching for sunken ships and their treasures, and back through history to the age when pirates sailed the seas. A page turner that I wished would have been at least 3x as long. Exciting and riveting, fascinating history expertly written, and Porter is a flawless narrator. Loved every minute of it and highly recommend.

    47 of 52 people found this review helpful
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    Charles R Fisher 07-16-15 Member Since 2014
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    "What an Amazing Adventure"

    I found myself swept away in this story of pirates and divers separated by several hundred years, yet occupying the same body of water. Not only did I love the story, I loved the way this book was written. Suspenseful and breathtaking. This book made me feel like I just took an amazing adventure.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S MA 03-02-16
    John S MA 03-02-16 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

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    "If you like Clive Cussler novels you will enjoy"

    This is a fascinating read of as the title says, of pirate hunters. Although it is a nonfiction book, it reads like fiction, mostly like any of the Clive Cussler diving novels. Based on a true life hunt for a sunken pirate ship the characters are real life people with fascinating backgrounds. Besides being some of the best deep sea divers in the world, one grew up in New York City on the fringes of the Gambino Mafia family. That part, although nothing to do with pirates, was fascinating as well. Two of the men actually had a deep sea diving program on the history channel. I found some online and watched them. Quite interesting. This book is well worth the credit. The dive takes place in Samana in the Dominican Republic. I have been there. Although quite beautiful, quite sketchy. Just like the characters in the book, our driver kept a pistol in his belt at all times.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BR FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, United States 08-05-15
    BR FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, United States 08-05-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Get ready for adventure"

    This was a great listen. I couldn't turn it off as the partners dove on what they hoped would be the find of a lifetime. I felt like I knew the two main characters, which made the story so much more real. It was written in a way that brought history alive.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Unapologetic Colorado 07-29-15
    Unapologetic Colorado 07-29-15 Member Since 2014

    Man

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    "When your heart says "go" you must listen...."

    I absolutely enjoyed this book. As I get older myself, I find inspiration from Mattera and Chatterton regarding following ones heart. Pirate stories are always awesome and to combine that with diving adventure makes this account pure genius. In today's risk averse society, this book inspires to "DO" rather than stand by and live through some reality TV series.
    If Bowden was reading this, I'd urge him to understand that legends are bigger than business disputes. How would he want the world to remember him after he kicks the bucket? A stingy old stubborn dog who is stuck on the fine print of a business deal OR a true treasure hunter who cared about exploring regardless of the $$ signs.
    I would love to be on the Spanish Galleon trip!!
    Also, Porter deserves an Oscar for his narration, it was spot on.
    To Kurson, thank you for knocking this one straight out of the ballpark.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael May 06-22-15
    Michael May 06-22-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Total Emersion!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pirate Hunters to be better than the print version?

    They are both great


    What other book might you compare Pirate Hunters to and why?

    Kurson's attention to detail in Shadow Divers and Crashing Through is also the case in Pirate Hunters. I feel like I know the characters; I feel like I am with them.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was very surprised to hear about the life logistics and democracy of being a Pirate.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Everyone is an individual and that includes hunters and pirates.


    Any additional comments?

    I usually read spy and detective novels, not nonfiction. This true adventure had all the thrill and suspense of the fiction books. Pirate Hunters also gave me a sense of the world in the 1600s. I know a book is good when I can tell others about it over the dinner table and they ask questions rather than rolling their eyes. Pirates don't usually come up over dinner.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lacy 06-18-15
    Lacy 06-18-15 Member Since 2016
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    "My new favorite book!"

    I have listened to many audiobooks over the years, and this is the first review I have ever felt compelled to write. The story, the writing, and the narration of this book were all superb. I honestly could not stop listening, and could not sleep until I finished the book. The excitement, frustration, sacrifice, and reward these guys must have felt while searching for the Golden Fleece is unimaginable. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I really liked the way the author wove in the personal histories of Mattera and Chatterton as well. I read Shadow Divers a few years ago and it was an incredible book, but Pirate Hunters is now my favorite by far. I know it will be one of those audiobooks that I will listen to over and over again. I will probably also go out and buy a copy of the hardcover as well!

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 04-04-16
    AudioAddict 04-04-16

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

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    "Think like a pirate!"

    STORY (adventure) - Wow, I loved this story! It's a true account of how two men, John Chatterton and John Matera, risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, a pirate ship which sank in the Caribbean. The story of its captain, Joseph Barrister, is more fascinating and daring than any other pirate's yet he is not well-known. By the end of the story, you will learn why he turned pirate after years as a successful English ship captain and how he was able to disgrace the English navy by stealing a ship and later defeating two much larger English ships in a two-day battle. Sprinkled throughout the story you will hear about the early years of Chatterton and Matera. Usually I think of background stories as "filler fluff" and wish the author would get on with the main thrust of the book, but their stories are interesting and give insight as to why these two partners were able to accomplish a first...finding a real pirate ship.

    Everything about the story is exciting! Chatterton and Matera go to libraries with antiquated maps and documents, they visit with old fishermen and other wreck divers (including one who has like five million dollars of antique silver coins in his bathtub!!!). Bit by delicious bit they piece together the story of The Golden Fleece and, more importantly, Captain Barrister. You will learn how pirates lived, how they governed themselves at sea and how they conducted themselves in battle. In trying to find the exact location of the wreck, Chatterton and Matera spent personal fortunes and months in the Dominican Republic using expensive equipment and diving multiple locations. They raced against competitive treasure hunters and government regulation but, most of all, they had to think like the daring Captain Barrister himself to figure where he would have hidden his ship before his unprecedented battle and defeat of the English navy. Great stuff!

    PERFORMANCE - Good job.

    OVERALL - This book is fact which is as exciting as fiction. I'd highly recommend for anyone interested in the subject. There is no violence or sex and only a little bit of bad language. I'm going to look for more books on this subject or by this author. I'm hooked.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brad 06-29-15
    brad 06-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "AS FUN AS FUN GETS!"
    What did you love best about Pirate Hunters?

    Pirate Hunters is a fast paced, historical & yet modern day true story about the challenges of finding who you are and then living with that knowledge. It's what they found in the pirates of old and within themselves that made this a fun read. If ever there was a call to "follow your dreams", it's this book


    What other book might you compare Pirate Hunters to and why?

    I'm an avid reader and one of the reasons this book was so much fun was that it's comparable to few other non-fiction books I've read. It truly does read as a fiction novel.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    Ray Porter was an excellent selection to narrate this book. He's poised, easy to understand and I felt I came to know the characters better.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My extreme reaction was to binge read this book. It was hard to put down.


    Any additional comments?

    BUY THIS BOOK!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-15-16
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 04-15-16 Member Since 2008

    Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.

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    "Engrossing True Pirate Story!"

    I feel almost silly writing about pirates. It seems as if I am discussing a fantasy genre. But this book is no fantasy--it is all true.

    Robert Kurson did it again! He wrote two of my favorite audiobooks, "Shadow Divers" (the true bestselling story of the search for a German U-boat from WWII including the dramatic deaths of two divers, a father and son team) and more recently, "Crashing Through" (recently reviewed by me, the story of Michael May who regained his eyesight as an adult after losing it at age 3). As far as I am concerned, all three of these books are unforgettable and must-reads.

    Pirate Hunters is about the search for a pirate ship, the Golden Fleece, by two experienced shipwreck divers, John Chatterton and John Mattera. There is a great deal of information presented, so you really get to know the story behind the infamous pirate, Joseph Bannister (fascinating!) who stole and commanded the Golden Fleece, the two shipwreck divers, Chatterton and Mattera, in addition to the history of piracy. In no way could you ever describe Kurson's characters as cardboard or weak; they are always very well-developed, so you really feel like you know exactly who they are.

    Add to this a narration by Ray Porter and you KNOW you have a winner. I am so glad I finally got around to purchasing and listening to this book. You can, too!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Andrew
    7/29/16
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    "Entertaining but historically dubious
    "

    entertaining enough tale bit the author has a serious man crush on the treasure hunters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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