• The Ultimate Pirate Collection

  • Blackbeard, Francis Drake, Captain Kidd, Captain Morgan, Grace O'Malley, Black Bart, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Henry Every and Howell Davis
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Rhett Samuel Price
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs, Historical
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

  • Examines the lives, legends and legacies of 11 of history's most famous pirates, including Blackbeard, Francis Drake, Captain Kidd, Captain Morgan, Grace O'Malley, Black Bart, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Henry Every and Howell Davis.
  • Explains how the myths and legends of pirates, like Blackbeard, created the instantly recognizable pirate stereotypes of today.
  • Includes contemporary accounts of the pirates written by Captain Charles Johnson.

The people who have lived outside the boundaries of normal societies and refused to play by the rules have long fascinated the world, and nowhere is this more evident than the continuing interest in the pirates of centuries past. As the subjects of books, movies, and even theme park rides, people continue to let their imaginations go when it comes to pirates, with buried treasure, parrots, and walking the plank all ingrained in pop culture's perception of them.

While there is no question that the myths and legends surrounding history's most famous pirates are colorful, in some instances their actual lives made for even better stories. Before the golden age of piracy, men and women like Sir Francis Drake and Grace O'Malley straddled the line between pirate and privateer, with Drake being knighted for fighting the Spanish and O'Malley representing many things to the Irish, including queen, legend, pirate, and folk hero.

While Captain Morgan's ruthless piracy has actually been forgotten due to his association with the spiced rum company using his name, Captain William Kidd insisted he wasn't a pirate at all, and his entire reputation is based on the most notorious trial in the history of piracy.

"The golden age of piracy" generally refers to the era when history's most famous pirates roamed the seas of the West Indies from 1670-1720.

©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors

What listeners say about The Ultimate Pirate Collection

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars

Kind of a ripoff

What would have made The Ultimate Pirate Collection better?

A little more effort by the writers, less silliness from the narrator.

What could Charles River Editors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Worked at it, instead of including ridiculously long block quotes to fill pages, and even reusing the EXACT SAME PASSAGES to described similar concepts, in different chapters.

Would you be willing to try another one of Rhett Samuel Price’s performances?

No. The cheesy accents whenever he quoted a British speaker were too much. It's not a children's story; you don't have to use different voices for all the characters.

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

Good stories, if the writers hadn't ruined them through sheer laziness.

Any additional comments?

The Charles River Editors threw this book together in a hurry to make a quick buck. It's riddled with the kind of lazy tricks I would use in high school to up the word count on my papers. I've gotten past that kind of behavior, and they should too.

4 people found this helpful

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Terrible performance

The performance was so bad it took me out of what could have been an enjoyable story! The narrator kept trying to speak in different accents for the characters. They were not well done and I couldn’t follow the story because the terrible accents! There are better pirate books out there. Do not waste your time or money on this one!

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not an original work

The book is a collection of stories about various pirates extensively padded with long quotes from letters, trial transcripts and old books. Notice that there is no particular author--only the "Charles River Editors".

There are actually several chapters that are simply readings of 17th century travel diaries of the pirates or their crew.

The reader insists on performing the book instead of reading it. I hate this style of audio book. For women you get a quiet falsetto with an Irish or English accent, for men you get a whiny tenor or a loud baritone depending on whether it's a scholar or pirate being quoted. Some of these accents are impossible to determine where they are supposed to represent. This made it impossible to listen at 1.5 or 2x speed which I find helpful with casual books like this.

Lastly, there is no attempt to provide insight or context for their actions. It reads like a Wikipedia entry despite the fact that there is tremendous moral ambiguity surrounding these peoples' actions.

There is essentially no original content here and the extensive inclusion of old, out of copyright material gives it the feel of a thrown together work.

7 people found this helpful

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my thirst for knowledge

I love the book my thirst for knowledge was sated could have used more voices though it's my only complaint

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Overacted

The content of this book was really interesting. I listened to it on a road trip to North Carolina where part of the story took place. The narrator was irritating as heck. It got to the point where as soon as he started in with one of his accents, I would tune him out. It was really distracting.

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Reader sounds like a computerized reader

I can't listen to this anymore. Poorly read. The reader changes his voice when quoting characters but its so bad, it is difficult to understand. Poorly done.

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Adventure and tyranny

So often these days television, not books, are what stirs the imagination and paints pictures of history. Seldom, in my experience, has literature brought television to life the way this authors work and narrators performance did for me. I had already watched Black Sails, but Mr. Prices performance was just as entertaining if not more so.

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The Reading

I think this would be a great PIRATE book with another person (Scott Brick) reading the book. Just couldn't get into the reader trying to change the pitch of his voice.

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the accents sometimes become very confusing

it was a good recounting, but sometimes when the reader would read historical documents he would adopt the accent and sex of the presumed authors, sometimes I could not understand what the hell he was saying. other than that it was great.

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very uninteresting

couldn't even start to like it, was not educational, books jumped all over the place. couldn't follow

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  • Lior Abel
  • 09-29-16

A great book ruined by a bad narrator. Shame.

And his accents are appalling!
Imagine, if you can, Omar Sharif as an Irishman.
I could not force myself to even finish the book.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles Palmer
  • 12-30-15

Terrible narrator, poor inaccurate history

The narrator is awful, his attempt at Irish, English and Scots accents is ridiculous. He sounds more like a Bangladeshi than an Irish man.

The author doesn't know his History, there is no such place as the 'English Isles'. Also the Tudors were never kings of Scotland and never ruled there so how they were able to introduce laws into Scotland that 'alienated the native clansmen' is a fact, obviously only known by the author whose grasp of history is almost as inept as his scholarship! Utter utter drivel, don't bother!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-18-15

Fascinating Tales Despite the Performance

Great subject matter struggles to survive bizarre attempts at character voices (accents?) by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-13-20

awful quality. unlistenable

recorded on a tin can in a public toilet with man awarded the most annoying American accent sin e Fran dresher

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Theo
  • 02-16-18

really bad accent voices.

a better read is. the general history of pyrates by daniel defoe written in 1700-1800

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  • Bradley
  • 12-01-15

Great story

Very interesting story of the history of pirates but the narrator was a bit flat.