Pirate Latitudes

Narrated by: John Bedford Lloyd
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2,796 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of the best-loved authors of all time comes an irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates in the New World, a classic story of treasure and betrayal.

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
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Cheesiest book of all time

I don't know if this book qualifies as the cheesiest book of all time, but it certainly is the cheesiest book written by a "best selling author". It seems I only review books I dislike, but this book really pissed me off (sorry). "Cheesy"says it all.

108 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unrealized Potential

Pirate Latitudes was, I believe, the first completed Crichton novel released posthumously after his passing. Coming from a true master of the techno-thriller genre, my expectations were indeed high. His uncanny ability to weave action / adventure with his extraordinary knowledge of science and mathematics was often something to behold. I expected Pirate Latitudes to be a meticulously researched and exciting homage to the swashbuckling genre. What I ended up with was a curiously detached novel that feels very rough around the edges. The characters are set up as very interesting and unique individuals, yet they are never fully realized and my interest in them was minimal. The premise of the action scenes and subplots are often inspired. Yet in execution they either don’t quite deliver or sometimes even fall flat. This is not a bad novel by any means, I had fun listening to it. The raw material is there but Crichton is never able to elevate it to a level in which I know he was more than capable. Pirate Latitudes feels almost like a rough draft of a much better novel. It is like buying a piece of unfinished furniture. The skill of the craftsman can be appreciated but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to go directly into a living room. I strongly suspect this novel was a late stage draft that Crichton was unable to properly finish. Pirate Latitudes was something he had been working on for a long time. Maybe if Crichton had the opportunity to fine tune it and work the kinks out, it might have been a real grand slam like Jurassic Park. But I still encourage a listen. Check your expectations at the door and go for it. This rough cut Crichton novel is still a nice bit of escapism and perfect for a summer beach read.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

What was that?

What would have made Pirate Latitudes better?

The story was disjointed and campy. My guess was an outline was created with maybe 12-15 points and everything else was fluff to get to the points - and then they were quickly and predictidly run through. This book should just not have been published.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I have a number of backlogged books. I will probably listen to The Periodic Table next.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was pretty disappointed with this book. To this point I have like Michael Crichton novels, but clearly this was completely out of his realm.

Any additional comments?

I would advise skipping this novel. It was just poorly written.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Don't bother.

A major disappointment on all sides. Especially the reader. Didn't even finish it. And I love Michael Crichton.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

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.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not Good

Just not very good. Very little character development. The detail is very thin especially on the sea-faring stuff. Any aficionado (e.g. Aubrey-Maturin reader) will hold their nose at the ship-board stuff. The action is a bit unbelievable as well. How many people can you kill in complete and utter silence? Why is every guard either drunk or asleep? I'm not a Crichton reader, so I don't know if this is usual for him. I just like the genre, so I tried it. I didn't hate it, but I was not satisfied at all.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Waste of time

I have enjoyed many of Michael's books, but I understand why this was left unpublished on a disk drive. This should have never been published using his name to sell this rag. What a joke of foolish situations and constant ridiculous happenings. I had to finish just to see how many more absurd things could happen. I wasn't dissapointed.. It kept getting worse.

Stay away.. the Kracken might get you.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

How the mighty have fallen

I find it difficult to imagine that Michael Crichton really wrote this book. The characters seem to have stepped from a comic book; the plot from a radio serial of the 50's and the narrator, while very fine in some of his work, should have stayed away from trying the "languid British aristocracy" style. Very few choices from Audible have disappointed me. This one joins the short list.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An adventure worthy of praise

I once checked this book out at my local library and enjoyed it immensely. So I got it on Audible and was not disappointed the performance by the reader is spectacular and I enjoyed listening as I took walks and related.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Insufferably inane

What would have made Pirate Latitudes better?

Three dimensional characters, a less inane plot, and a narrator that didn't leave a cavernous gap in between each sentence.

What could Michael Crichton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have written a book with characters in it that weren't merely the most base stereotypes out there. Honestly, the way it was written, he might as well have just made it ten pages long with large illustrated pictures. In crayon. I'm sure there's a 3 year old out there that might've enjoyed it. Minus the degrading R-rated portions, of course.

What didn’t you like about John Bedford Lloyd’s performance?

He paused so long in between each sentence that the book could have taken a third as long to get through as it did. Which would have been a mercy.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The narrator's accents were passable.

Any additional comments?

Don't waste money on it. I expected better from such a famous author.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dave
  • 08-14-19

great fun

listened to this in 3 days it's a really gripping story. will try more from this author

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jam
  • 05-14-19

When will this be a film?

Another brilliant example of my favourite type of storytelling. Fact, fiction and adventure skilfully interwoven . Thank you.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Isaac Williams
  • 01-26-19

A fine novel finely read

It was a good book though the ending feels somewhat rushed. I was in no way disappointed with the narration, it was everything and more. This said I do not feel like my breath was taken away. Great book, not excellent

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Cameron R Mair
  • 12-01-18

The least enjoyable of his books

I’m about an hour and a half into this and I’m pretty disappointed. No where near as good as his other works. Will struggle to finish it I think.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Rooney
  • 11-10-18

Brilliant story. Another Crichton masterpiece.

Excellent book. Loved the story had me gripped from start to finish. Not a dull moment throughout.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • skye
  • 11-08-18

Pirate fun.

Never having read Crichton before I can't say how it stands next to other work; although from the various reviews I understand it is not a popular book with fans. I found it fun, every character has an interesting perspective on morality which I think is needed in a tale of swashbuckling. Nothing worse than a pirate adventure with an overly virtuous protagonist. While it might not make my top ten I think it's worth reading/ listening to and would recommend to anyone who's looking for a pirate adventure.