Regular price: $41.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Captain Kidd has gone down in history as America's most ruthless buccaneer. However, Captain William Kidd was no career cut-throat; he was a tough, successful New York sea captain who was hired to chase pirates. His three year odyssey pitted him against arrogant Royal Navy commanders, jealous East India Company captains, storms, starvation, angry natives, and above all, flesh-and-blood pirates. Across the oceans of the world, the pirate hunter, Kidd, pursued the pirate, Culliford. One man would hang in the harbor; the other would walk away with the treasure. The Pirate Hunter is both a masterpiece of historical detective work and a page-turner.
©2002 Richard Zacks; (P)2003 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Entertaining, richly detailed, and authoritatively narrated, Zacks's account of the life of legendary seaman William Kidd delivers a first-rate story....Zacks' book is a treasure, indeed." (Publishers Weeekly)
"Zacks fills our minds with the sights, sounds, and even the smells of the seventeenth century, and he rescues William Kidd from eternal damnation. A lively, educational, thoroughly spellbinding trip back in time." (Booklist)
" and riotous." (Time)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Aaaargh Matey, Listen to this tale!

Well researched, deftly written and masterfully read this Audiobook is an interesting listen for lovers of fiction as well as non-fiction. It is no easy task to bring legend to life and harder still when the truth does not parallel that legend. The author manages to bring Captain Kidd's story, and the time period, alive in this fascinating look at piracy - and not all the pirates being sailors, some are politicians, businessmen and royalty. This was a fun listen and worth the purchase.

50 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brian
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 01-25-06

Arrrghhh!!! PIRATES!!!

This book is a lot of fun. If you like pirates, intrigue, sea battles, history and a gripping story, get this audio book. The narrators voice is good and very appropriate to the content. ARRRGGH!!! Pirates is a fun, easy listen. I reccomend it!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Valencia, CA, USA
  • 04-10-04

The Captain was robbed!

This book is an excellent telling of a little known story about Captain Kidd's life as a Privateer. Apparently there was a thin line between Pirate and Privateer distinguishable only to those with the power to benefit from a conclusion which was to their advantage. This story is well told and well read. It grabs you by the ?yard arm? and ?keel hauls? your interest. You will know why the American colonists decided to rebel against the English crown after listening to this wonderful tale of 17th and early 18th century commerce.

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Pirate Hunter

Excellent work. Well read and easy to follow. A must for maritime history buffs. The book captures the political, religious, legal and general atmosphere of the late 17th and early 18th century. The book captures the lifestyle's of seafaring merchants, sailors and pirates as well as the problems captians faced. It gives the listener a better insight into the life of a very well known figure in world history of which nobody knows much about. Fact based, well studied and to the point.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Allen
  • Larchmont, NY, USA
  • 02-04-06

Better Than Fiction & Great Narration

If you like the Captain & Commander novels this is the real thing and the tale is far more interesting. Michael Pritchards newsreel style of narration really works with this fascinating work.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An excellent nonfiction work

Very well read, and always engaging, this will appeal to anyone interested in the 16-17th centuries, sea travel, pirates, or just a good, fast-moving historical drama.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • 03-23-05

What a movie it would be!

A sweeping tale of two men on the high seas, spanning most of the known world in the late 1700's. One man - Kidd, a story of unspeakable tragedy much like the story of "The Man with the Iron Mask" but with an opposite ending. The other - Colorford the luckiest pirate that nobody knows about. The Story sweeps from Early New York, to the Indian Ocean, from then prisons in London to the islands of the Carribean. Somehow, when it is all over, the reader is not so much interested in where the treasure was buried, but simply grateful we do not live in a time such as these when the life of a man/ or woman / or slave meant so much less than money and gold. I could not stop listening to it, So much research, So much time spent to find the facts of a case woven together to create a picture of a time which has passed. Five Stars!

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great story, narration a little dry

Overall a great book.

Capt. Wm. Kidd is less notorious pirate than noble privateer with some REALLY bad luck at the close of the golden age of piracy. Kidd clashes with the Royal Navy, the East India Company, genuinely nasty pirates (some of whom are on his crew) and, eventually, the British legal system. Zacks also uncovers a good deal about Kidd's nemesis, Robt. Culliford, a largely unnoticed and genuinely foul pirate.

Zacks brings forth the sights, sounds and particularly the smells of life on ship (and elsewhere) in the 1690's to add flavor to the story. The book is meticulously researched with reprinted letters and court records from the late 17th Century, and Zack's writing style is light-hearted without being frivolous.

Several reviewers have compared this book to "Empire of Blue Water" by Stephan Tulty. The two books are complementary: Tulty's protaganist (Capt. Morgan in the Caribbean) is successful where Zacks' Kidd (in the Indian Ocean) isn't; Tulty's style is more serious biography while Zacks uses a lighter touch.

Michael Prichard's narration is generally good, although a bit dry (even for the lighter bits). There was something funny with the production, and he sounds very different between the end of one chapter and the start of the next. Minor distraction.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I Like history. I like pirate storys.

I started reading this book and had a little trouble really getting into it. (I always found a reason to read something else) so I decided to listen to it. What a good idea. I liked the book. I got the history lesson I wanted and I didn't fall asleep doing it.

The narrator was fine.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Truly better than fiction

This is a great adventure story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's even supposed to be true and well researched. The author gives such wonderful descriptions of the surroundings, that makes you feel you are there. Beware, there are some nasty places!! A must read that is very well narrated. Enjoy. I have listened to over 100 books this is in my top 10.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • mike
  • 03-13-11

The Pirate Hunter

Visit the world of the real pirates of the Caribbean (and beyond) and get a salty taste of seventeenth century society and grim aspects of justice. The real thing is even more fascinating and intriguing than the fiction.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sara
  • 01-10-11


This is one book where I wholeheartedly agree with the positive reviews listed in the 'Critics Reviews' section above. It is thoroughly entertaining and informative and reads like a fantastic novel for the sheer adventure, twists and turns, violence, double-crossing and breadth of interesting characters throughout it. It is excellently narrated and I found myself wanting more after the 18 and a half hours. Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful