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 completely enjoyed this audiobook! While I agree that this isn't Crighton at his best, it's an absolutely fun story. Pirate Latitudes has everything you'd expect from a pirate tale: hurricanes, port governors, privateers, Spanish galleons, buried treasure, witchcraft, letters of marque, cannibals, daring escapes, sea monsters, sex, scandal, rum... and, of course, pirates. I could go on and on! Don't expect absolute fantasy like the Pirates of the Caribbean films - this one is more firmly rooted in reality. John Bedford Lloyd does a great job reading - I loved the accents and other characteristics he brings to the story.
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!
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.
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.
I am sorry this was Michale Crichton's last book. I could have read 10 more just like it. It is a wonderful pirate adventure and a love story between a man and the sea.
If you like pirates at all or just like adventure stories, this is a read for you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Thanks Michael!!!!!
I teach. I Listen. I trust your judgment as a fellow listener.
Poorly developed characters plague this pitiful pirate (privateer) tale, each possessing some super-human characteristic to compensate for their otherwise flat contributions to the story. The protagonist, a combination of James Bond and Spiderman, does the impossible so many times that the reader starts to wonder if the text is more science fiction fantasy than pirate story. Huge gaps during action sequences leave the listener saying, "Hey what about...?
The book quickly withers from the unbelievable to the ridiculous when a sea monster attacks the ship of misfit anti-heroes. This event is so silly that an otherwise passable book is ruined for the sake of a few readers who expect Crichton to instill weird critters in his stories.
Don't waste your credit...
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