• 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
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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The Ultimate Pirate Collection  By  cover art

The Ultimate Pirate Collection

By: Charles River Editors
Narrated by: Rhett Samuel Price
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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

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

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.

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10 people found this helpful

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

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6 people found this helpful

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

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!

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4 people found this helpful

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

difficult to engage.

narrators goofy accents and off-putting pronunciation was incredibly distracting. content was not revealing and very base level.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ky
  • 12-17-22

Great story but narrator strayed a bit

The info of this book is perfect for any pirate lover but the reader occasionally put on annoying, bad accents and mispronounced words.

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

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

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

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

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

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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