The British offered Jean Lafitte a Captaincy in the British navy along with extensive lands, titles and $30,000 in gold if he agrees to join with them to fight against the United States. So why does Lafitte refuse their generous offer? In the approaching War of 1812 General Andrew Jackson hasn't any weapons, ammunition or money to fight the British with and no one to turn to for help but the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte. Jackson hates pirates, but he agrees to meet with Lafitte, and he forms an unlikely alliance with the dashing pirate. What changed Jackson's mind about attending the meeting? Before the war begins, Lafitte buries an unusual treasure, one that is sought in the 21st century by two men and a beautiful woman. Julianna Montaigne a direct descendent of Pierre Lafitte has found his diary in her grandfather's old sea man's trunk. The diary has a clue to the treasure. Eddie Calto a New York City firefighter has a second clue left to him by his great-great-grandfather, the two join forces in an attempt to find Lafitte's Treasure. But there are dangerous men who want the treasure for themselves and for 200 years they have waited patiently for anyone seeking Lafitte's Treasure.
What did you like best about Lafitte's Treasure? What did you like least?
The plot was interesting enough to keep me listening. The narration was horribly distracting.
What do you think your next listen will be?
Not sure; I may need to re-listen to Dan Brown or Steve Berry.
What didn’t you like about A. T. Al Benelli’s performance?
The narrator made the two protagonists sound like a couple of imbeciles. I kept expecting Eddie to say "Tell me 'bout the rabbits, George", and the female protagonist sounded like a really bad impersonation of a 7 year girl that's never left the house. The cadence was more suited for a first grade teacher reading Curious George to her class.
Did Lafitte's Treasure inspire you to do anything?
Yes, to never again buy Corso book.
Any additional comments?
The story was interesting enough; Dan Brown would've had a field day with this plot, but this story seemed rushed and almost insultingly simple. There are also blatant inconsistencies and highly improbable legal interpretations that make the story hard to swallow.
What made the experience of listening to Lafitte's Treasure the most enjoyable?
This story, for me, it has all the vital ingredients, action, adventure, murder, mystery, and romance. This author’s attention to detail has meant that he has also added a lot of fascinating history about New Orleans and the famous pirate Jean Lafitte. The icing on the cake was the brilliant narration of A. T. Al Benelli.
Have you listened to any of A. T. Al Benelli’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have now listened to three of A. T. Benelli's narrations and think he is very talented, he is one narrator who I will be looking out for in the future.
Any additional comments?
The legacies, left to Eddie, and Julianna, bond them as they embark on their exciting and dangerous adventure. Following clues left in the past, they travel to New Orleans on their quest to discover the lost treasure, however, they are not the only ones who know about it, other’s want it too, and will do anything to procure it.
This story, for me, it has all the vital ingredients, action, adventure, murder, mystery, and romance. This author’s attention to detail has meant that he has also added a lot of fascinating history about New Orleans and the famous pirate Jean Lafitte.
Right from the start you know you're in for a performance as the narrator brings out the accents. He covers a range in this book, and it really helps build the characters. He delivers the character dialog with the right emotion so you can hear how the character is feeling in the voice rather than just in the narration. I also really liked the audio touches he put in when a character was addressing a group and when characters are speaking over the phone. It brings you into the book that much further.
The premise of the plot is very exciting, and I like how the author roots his story in actual historical events (although don't mistake this for historical fiction; the vast majority of the book takes place in the present). I like the follow-the-clues treasure hunt with danger hounding the protagonists.
Unfortunately, the characters weren't very deep, especially Julianna. I feel like there was a real missed opportunity with her to create a more engaging relationship between her and Eddie.
It's likely that this just isn't my style of escapism, as I might have liked to see at least a little bit of exploration into the questionable morality of some of Eddie's decisions. Admittedly, that's probably deeper than this kind of pulp adventure story is meant to go.
In the end, if you're looking for a story where you can check your brain at the door and enjoy experiencing a world where Good and Evil are defined by the one performing the action rather than the merits the action itself, you may appreciate Lafitte's Treasure. It didn't do it for me.
Where does Lafitte's Treasure rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
In the top three... definitely! C'mon, it has pirates... hidden treasure... genuine American heroes both past and present... Voodoo cemeteries in New Orleans... Secret Masonic coded messages... the Priory of St. Charles church... private detectives... NYC firemen... beautiful women... murder... intrigue... You gotta love this story. It has everything in it. This would make a really cool movie or mini-series!
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
Yes, of course! Take all of the above ingredients and the historical basis for one of the greatest triumphs in American history... the War of 1812 and specifically the Battle of New Orleans. Joe Corso uses a foundation of factual events to "suggest" that John Lafitte, the notorious French pirate was in league with General Andrew Jackson because they were both Masons... and the vast treasure gathered by Lafitte to fund the battle against the British "still exists" in modern times. The unsuspecting descendants of the principals involved and of the man who was eventually hired to restore Lafitte's New Orleans' blacksmith shop, generations later, discover clues that could lead them to find it. But it's not just the "good guys" who have been waiting to get at Lafitte's Treasure... You gotta hear the whole story!
What does A. T. Al Benelli bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I've been following Al Benelli's work for some time. I'm a big fan. This is his best so far, I think. The characters come to life like a radio play. The accents are really good. The book opens with a meeting between John Lafitte and General Andrew Jackson... who is not very trusting of Lafitte. I played it over and over because it was just that good. There are many characters in the story and you don't have to put up with all those "He said - She said - Tom said - Bill said" stuff. You recognize the characters immediately from their voices. It sounds like a whole cast of characters... the way an audiobook should sound... pure entertainment.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Pirates and Masons and secrets and treasure... Oh my!
Any additional comments?
I've also listened to Starlight Club and visited Corsobooks.com. It looks like Joe Corso and Al Benelli are teaming up to do more stories and I, for one, am really glad about it. What's next?