• Why We Love Pirates

  • The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever
  • By: Rebecca Simon PhD
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulligan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)

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Why We Love Pirates  By  cover art

Why We Love Pirates

By: Rebecca Simon PhD
Narrated by: Kate Mulligan
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Publisher's summary

During his life and even after his death, Captain William Kidd’s name was known around England and the American colonies. He was infamous for the very crime for which he was hanged, piracy. This book by Rebecca Simon dives into the details of the two-year manhunt for Captain Kidd and the events that ensued afterward. Captain Kidd was hanged in 1701, and from that sprung a massive hunt for all pirates led by the British during a period known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Ironically, public executions only led to pirates’ growth in popularity and interest. In addition, because the American colonies relied on pirates for smuggled goods such as spices, wines, and silks, they sought to protect pirates from being captured. 

The more pirates were hunted and executed, the more people became supportive of them. They felt for the “Robin Hoods of the Sea” - both because they saw the British’s treatment of them as an injustice and because they treasured the goods that pirates brought to them. These historical events were pivotal in creating the portrayal of pirates as we know them today. They grew into romantic antiheroes - which ultimately led to characters like the mischievous but lovable Captain Jack Sparrow. Simon has presented her research on the history of pirates around the world, and now she’s bringing the spectacular story of Captain Kidd to her listeners.

Learn more about:

  • One of the most famous pirates in history 
  • Real life pirates and the brutal executions they faced 
  • The origin of our romanticized view of pirates 
©2020 Rebecca Simon (P)2020 by Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Why We Love Pirates

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

aweful unless a 6th grade book report

this is one of the worst books I've listened to on audible.

the author is infatuated by Capt Kidd and Disney's plates of the Caribbean... it reads like a book assigned to a 6th grade English class.

hated it

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Repetitive

Gracious, I think the author describes how pirates are hung in detail at least three times. There is interesting information but the repetitiveness of the material is overwhelming. The author is obviously trying to reach a word count. This is the type book that could be reduced to a few chapters and you wouldn’t miss a thing.

Gracious, this book is very repetitive...

Gracious, the author is so repetitive I thought the recording was repeating the same chapter over and over...

Gracious...

Sorry, am I repeating myself? I wanted to make a lengthy comment.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • 12-31-20

The Perfect Pirate Primer

As the author of the pirate novel,"Black Hearts White Bones," I had to give Rebecca Simon's "Why We Love Pirates" a listen. Having spent countless hours researching the life and times of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, I wondered how her work would hold up to the breadth of knowledge I have acquired over the years. In short, I am greatly impressed and pleased. Impressed, because she has put more factual and relevant pirate history into one body of work than any other source I have come across. Pleased, because her research confirms the factual aspects of pirate history that are woven into my work of fiction.

Years ago, when I began writing BHWB, there were few credible sources to draw from. While factual information pertaining to Bonny and Read is still rare, Simon did an excellent job of cutting through the myths and legends and gives us the unvarnished facts...as she does with all the pirates covered in her nonfiction. And while my attention was focused on Bonny and Read -- understandably so -- Simon's body of work gives readers/listeners a tangible taste and feel for what it was like to be a pirate...any pirate, male or female. It is hard for me to estimate how much time I could have saved conducting research had "Why We Love Pirates" existed before I began writing my novel, but I know it would have been significant.

All of this is my way of saying that, everyone who loves the lore of pirates will want to make WWLP part of their library and an essential reference, not only regarding pirate history but for the pop culture associated with pirates today. Well done, Rebecca Simon (and Kate Mulligan for the excellent performance). If we ever meet, the first bottle of rum is on me!

Bill Furney

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pirates

Great book
Excellent narration
Learned a lot about famous pirates
Pirate Movies are very entertaining
“Why we love Pirates’ tells us the truth story.

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

Okay but not what I expected

This book was performed well but the story is not what I was expecting from the description. While there are several mentions of Captain Kidd and a short section dedicated to him I would not describe the book as having a focus on his manhunt. Several stories/biographies were referenced several times and sometimes seemed repetitive. While an okay listen I did consider stopping before the end and moving on to something more interesting.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Enjoyable Listen

I saw the author on "History's Greatest Mysteries", and found her very engaging, so I decided to try out the book. It was very well written, and I think it was an excellent survey of "The Golden Age" of piracy. It surprised me just how short a time period covered the careers of the most famous buccaneers, I thought the narration was excellent as well.

My only complaint is one I often have with Audible works of history - A lack of maps. I think it would help to have a PDF covering the North Carolina coast, the Bahamas and Jamaica at a minimum, given how they figure in the story. While I can certainly look things up myself, the PDF makes it easier as I listen on my phone more often than not.

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

good book

Captain Kidd had an interesting life. The book is a little long winded and tedious at times but interesting if you want to learn more about pirates.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!!! LOVED IT!!!

I have read and listened to many, many, pirate books and this book is by far the best. Factual, funny, great story teller, and compelling. I have listened to this book about 5 times and it never gets boring or old! I recommend this book to any pirate affectionate. You will not be disappointed... LOVED IT!

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

Horribly written pop history

You’ll learn far more with far less frivolous commentary by reading a few wiki pages.

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

Not So Jolly

The author has clearly done a great deal of research, but there are many gaps, multiple repetitions, and a few errors. Her tone is bizarrely perky for the realities of death, slavery, sex work, and other very serious matters under discussion. Neither she nor her editor paid attention to details like:
--Odysseus did NOT have wax stuffed in his ears (that's why he was tied to the mast) when he and his men (who DID have wax in their ears) sailed past the sirens.
--If you say in one chapter that the pirates shared their plunder equally, you can't say in another chapter that a captain got a share and half, officers got a share and a quarter, etc - which is it? (The second, I believe.)
--Daniel Defoe did not write the first English-language novel. Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood are at least two women who beat him to it.
--Phrases like "turn a blind eye" and "turn a deaf ear" are ableist and should be avoided.

The overall impression is one of giddy sloppiness. The author clearly loves (and sympathizes with) her subjects, which might have made her unable to recognize nuances and conflicts. I managed to finish the book, but overall I found it very disappointing. As another reviewer noted, the information provided is often repetitive, yet it is also skimpy. There are throwaway lines like "We'll never know!" or "It's a mystery!" Arguments are not developed, and she continually credits people of the late 16th through 18th centuries with emotions and attitudes without providing clear evidence or support. She seems to assume that pirate hangings were the only executions that drew a crowd, which is simply not true - she provides no historical context or discussion about what else was going on in the print explosion. The book is largely based on speculation and is really quite exasperating.

Also, a narrator of a seafaring book should know how to pronounce "quay" and "boatswain" correctly (hint: not phonetically).

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