Pirate Latitudes – Michael Crichton

Title: Pirate Latitudes
Author: Michael Crichton
ISBN: 9780061929373
Pages: 320
Release Date: November 24, 2009
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Pirate Latitudes is set in the year 1665 in the English colony of Port Royal in the Caribbean.  Piracy is not tolerated in Port Royal, but privateering (state-sponsored piracy in which the Governor of the colony gets a portion of the plunder) is encouraged.  Captain Charles Hunter, one of the most skilled privateers, hears of a Spanish ship that could hold a vast treasure.  The only problem is the fortress that is protecting it is unbeatable…

Review:

When I received a review copy of Pirate Latitudes, I was incredibly excited, yet so sad.  I absolutely love Michael Crichton – I’ve read almost all of his books, and I think he was an amazingly talented author.  Pirate Latitudes was found on Crichton’s computer after his death, along with another, unfinished manuscript that someone else will be completing.  Therefore, Pirate Latitudes is Michael Crichton’s last official book.

I’m thrilled to say that Pirate Latitudes doesn’t disappoint – it’s got all the action and adventure you’d expect from a Michael Crichton novel.  I was a little sad it wasn’t about science, but it’s much more reminiscent of The Great Train Robbery – it’s a bit of a caper book.

This book reminded me so much of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  The setting was similar (Port Royal) and they contained some of the same myths and legends.  Additionally, I could see a bit of Jack Sparrow in Captain Charles Hunter.  You’d think that would take away from the book, but it really doesn’t.  Instead, I think it adds to it.  It makes it much easier to visualize what’s going on in the book and makes it that much more fun to read.

I enjoyed Pirate Latitudes.  It wasn’t Crichton’s best novel, but it was definitely worth reading.  If you’re a Michael Crichton fan, you should pick this book up.

Comments

  1. I know how you feel. My whole family loves Michael Crichton’s work, so we were all sad when he passed away. I got this ARC too, and we’ve already bought a completed copy, so we won’t fight over the book. I’m glad to see it’s so good.

  2. I know how you feel. My whole family loves Michael Crichton’s work, so we were all sad when he passed away. I got this ARC too, and we’ve already bought a completed copy, so we won’t fight over the book. I’m glad to see it’s so good.

  3. I’m glad to read that you enjoyed this one. Luckily, I’ve still got quite a few of Chrichton’s books left to be read.

  4. I’m glad to read that you enjoyed this one. Luckily, I’ve still got quite a few of Chrichton’s books left to be read.

  5. I’m in the middle of this right now and I totally agree. Not his best book, but good. I haven’t read “The Great Train Robbery,” so it is a little strange for me, since it is *so* different than all the rest of his books I’ve read. TOTALLY reminding me of PotC, especially when he gathered his crew: a woman, a mute man…check, check.

  6. I’m in the middle of this right now and I totally agree. Not his best book, but good. I haven’t read “The Great Train Robbery,” so it is a little strange for me, since it is *so* different than all the rest of his books I’ve read. TOTALLY reminding me of PotC, especially when he gathered his crew: a woman, a mute man…check, check.

  7. I haven’t read any of his books, but i have heard that some of them are really good. Maybe I will start with one that is more science based.

  8. I haven’t read any of his books, but i have heard that some of them are really good. Maybe I will start with one that is more science based.

  9. I share your feelings. I loved his work…always exciting, and I always learned something too. The reviews on this book weren’t all that great, but I don’t think it is going to keep me from reading it.

  10. I share your feelings. I loved his work…always exciting, and I always learned something too. The reviews on this book weren’t all that great, but I don’t think it is going to keep me from reading it.

  11. I’m glad to hear you liked it! 🙂 Our local newspaper review was lukewarm, but I still want to read it.

  12. I’m glad to hear you liked it! 🙂 Our local newspaper review was lukewarm, but I still want to read it.

  13. So glad that you liked this one! I’ve hear some mixed reviews about it, but I want to read it nonetheless.

    Apparently there was one other manuscript found on his computer, and that book is coming out sometime next year. Not sure if it has a title yet.

  14. So glad that you liked this one! I’ve hear some mixed reviews about it, but I want to read it nonetheless.

    Apparently there was one other manuscript found on his computer, and that book is coming out sometime next year. Not sure if it has a title yet.

  15. Well I might be the only person who has not picked up his books; jeez! **hiding**

  16. Well I might be the only person who has not picked up his books; jeez! **hiding**

  17. I’m a huge Crichton fan and I agree, the release of this book is bittersweet: I’m happy to get the opportunity to read more of his work, but I’m also saddened to know that this is it. I’ve put off reading Pirate Latitudes for this very reason.

  18. I’m a huge Crichton fan and I agree, the release of this book is bittersweet: I’m happy to get the opportunity to read more of his work, but I’m also saddened to know that this is it. I’ve put off reading Pirate Latitudes for this very reason.

  19. I’m looking forward to reading it, but I know what you mean… There is supposed to be one more manuscript to be released.

  20. I’m looking forward to reading it, but I know what you mean… There is supposed to be one more manuscript to be released.

  21. Oh boy!!!! Can’t wait to read this one.

  22. Oh boy!!!! Can’t wait to read this one.

  23. I’m pleased that you enjoyed this one – hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

    Which do you think is his best book? I like the earlier ones best. I love the medical ones – especially Andromeda Strain. It is so sad that we aren’t going to get any more of his books.

  24. I’m pleased that you enjoyed this one – hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

    Which do you think is his best book? I like the earlier ones best. I love the medical ones – especially Andromeda Strain. It is so sad that we aren’t going to get any more of his books.

  25. Michael Crichton’s autobiography Travels contains a chapter titled “Jamaica” in which he tells of a Christmas vacation in 1982 with a woman named Terry. Most of the chapter is about their relationship breaking up, but on pp. 268-269 Crichton writes:

    “Before we left Jamaica, I wanted to go to Spanish Town in the south, where I had learned there was a new museum of early Jamaican artifacts. For many years I had been working on a book about seventeenth-century Jamaica, and now I wanted to visit this museum.”

    Now I think it’s very probable that the book Crichton mentioned was a novel, as nearly all Crichton’s books have been novels. And from what I know of the history of Jamaica and the Caribbean, it is unlikely that the book would not involve pirates given their significance and centrality to Jamaica in the 1600s. This could be evidence that Pirate Latitudes was in the works at least 30 years ago.

    And from what I know of pirate history, I would say that the character of Charles Hunter is based on pirate/privateer Henry Morgan. And Lazue is based on the female pirate Mary Read.

  26. Michael Crichton’s autobiography Travels contains a chapter titled “Jamaica” in which he tells of a Christmas vacation in 1982 with a woman named Terry. Most of the chapter is about their relationship breaking up, but on pp. 268-269 Crichton writes:

    “Before we left Jamaica, I wanted to go to Spanish Town in the south, where I had learned there was a new museum of early Jamaican artifacts. For many years I had been working on a book about seventeenth-century Jamaica, and now I wanted to visit this museum.”

    Now I think it’s very probable that the book Crichton mentioned was a novel, as nearly all Crichton’s books have been novels. And from what I know of the history of Jamaica and the Caribbean, it is unlikely that the book would not involve pirates given their significance and centrality to Jamaica in the 1600s. This could be evidence that Pirate Latitudes was in the works at least 30 years ago.

    And from what I know of pirate history, I would say that the character of Charles Hunter is based on pirate/privateer Henry Morgan. And Lazue is based on the female pirate Mary Read.

  27. I’m a big fan of Michael Crichton. I received Pirate Latitudes as a gift from my wife at Christmas, then I finished it in 3 days. Although I thought I had read all his books, I discovered that I had not read Sphere, so I’m now reading Sphere, and like his other books, can’t put it down. 🙂

  28. I’m a big fan of Michael Crichton. I received Pirate Latitudes as a gift from my wife at Christmas, then I finished it in 3 days. Although I thought I had read all his books, I discovered that I had not read Sphere, so I’m now reading Sphere, and like his other books, can’t put it down. 🙂

  29. While I was reading Pirate Latitudes, my thoughts kept returning to the name “Matanceros”, the Spanish fortress that Captain Hunter and his forces attack. I had the feeling I had seen that name before in connection with Michael Crichton. It took awhile, but I finally figured it out.

    In Crichton’s novel The Lost World, Ian Malcolm, speaking about where they are going, describes:

    Five islands “strung out in an arc, all about ten miles offshore from the bay of Puerto Cortés…Local people call them the Five Deaths.”

    “The Five Deaths are ancient volcanic islands…Matanceros, Muerte, Tacaño, Sorna, Pena…All names of death and destruction…” (paperback edition, pp. 87-88)

  30. While I was reading Pirate Latitudes, my thoughts kept returning to the name “Matanceros”, the Spanish fortress that Captain Hunter and his forces attack. I had the feeling I had seen that name before in connection with Michael Crichton. It took awhile, but I finally figured it out.

    In Crichton’s novel The Lost World, Ian Malcolm, speaking about where they are going, describes:

    Five islands “strung out in an arc, all about ten miles offshore from the bay of Puerto Cortés…Local people call them the Five Deaths.”

    “The Five Deaths are ancient volcanic islands…Matanceros, Muerte, Tacaño, Sorna, Pena…All names of death and destruction…” (paperback edition, pp. 87-88)

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->