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“A lusty, rollicking seventeenth-century adventure. . . .History as entertainment.”—USA Today

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.

Pirate Latitudes is Michael Crichton at his best: a rollicking adventure tale pulsing with relentless action, crackling atmosphere, and heart-pounding suspense.

“Crichton’s great talent was writing books that were virtually impossible to put down. . . . Pirate Latitudes is no exception.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Crichton’s ultimate adventure.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Topics: Pirates, Maritime, Treasure Hunting, Betrayal, Adventurous, Suspenseful, Jamaica, Caribbean, and Colonial Period

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061938740
List price: $9.99
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This is a book that I decided to read even though it had many bad reviews. And, I'm glad I did. Crichton never disappoints, even with genres he never writes about. I have never read books about pirates. Nor do they interest me. But, Crichton has ignited a new interest about pirates that I have grown to like. Contrary to what many said, this book does not have a Pirates of the Caribbean feel to it. Nor, did it feel like a Disney film. In fact, it had a realistic, almost historic feel to it unlike the fake and unrealistic scenes often found in Pirates of the Caribbean, which I didn't like. I really grew to like Captain Hunter. And, even though he and his motley crew of pirateers were the unruly and lawless bad guys, I actually rooted for them throughout their whole adventure all the way to the end. They grew on me. So, if you like history, adventure, and want to read about the other side of history you rarely hear about, then this book is for you.more
Apparently an unpolished manuscript found after Crichton's death. It shows. My husband and I listened to this novel as an audiobook and loved it at first, but then it kept going and going and going. As soon as the group of "privateers" get out of one impossible scrape, they are into another, each more ridiculous than the last. I read somewhere that Crichton had this more in mind for a movie than a book, and I can see that working better. Pass unless you are a really big Crichton fan and want to read his entire canon.more
Why do all pirate stories have to flirt with the supernatural? Whatever happened to good old looting and pillaging?more
This was a very fast read and it kept you interested until the very end.There was a lot of high adventure. The only sad thing is that this will be Crichton's last book due to his death in 2008. He was one of my favorite authors.more
While Michael Chricton is better known for his medical and science based thrillers,Pirate Latitudes is an excellent period fiction piece. Set in the Caribbean of the mid to late 17th Century, mostly in the vicinity of Jamaica, Chricton uses his writing style to good advantage. I hesitate to call this work historical fiction because the main characters have little or no historical basis, despite notes in the Epilog. I am equally sure a lot of liberty was taken with the historical accuracy of the characters’ conduct, but I am not dissuaded in the least by this.What the novel is is a great adventure story. Not anywhere on the scale of Neal Stephenson’s epic Quicksilver, but still very engaging. The pacing of the story will make for a quick read and there are no deep meanings to probe. Everything is exactly as it appears to be: a pirate adventure about acquiring a huge treasure, losing it to treachery and betrayal by a trusted shipmate and seeking revenge for the treachery.Overall, a solid four stars. If you’re after a nice yarn that does not require arcane knowledge, this will be just your thing.more
A quick and fun read that provided some entertainment from reading a lot of biographies over the past few months. We're told that this completed manuscript was found in Crichton's files after his death. I wonder if the manuscript was really completed or met Crichton's satisfaction, that's why it hadn't been published prior to his passing. Not one of his better works and it was pretty predictable coming from the fiction of pirates in the Caribbean.more
A story of Caribbean pirates, Port Royal and the Spanish Main. This story follows an English "privateer" captain and his crew as they pursue treasure from Spain. I didn't realize until I was finished that it was published posthumously. Which perhaps explains a lot. It was lacking in purpose, or it didn't connect with me, or perhaps I'm simply tired of pirates? Anyway, the story itself was certainly action-packed, the characters going from one pirate catastrophe to another, really, it seemed that they were only there to illustrate the life of pirates in the 17th century. I think perhaps there is a reason Mr. Crichton hadn't submitted it for publication. The story was finished, but the spirit was lacking.The reader, whose name I don't remember, was OK, a bit monotone, but at least his accents didn't sound like Dracula.more
Once again I was impressed and delighted with Crichton's work. With so many pirate movies out now, this was excellent to read. The introduction to each of the pirates before their voyage really helped me to start feeling for each of them and cheer for them during their voyage. The writing is fantastic, and the plot behind the story is, as always, intricate and well thought out. The story moves very quickly and drew me in completely. It was never ending excitement. I highly recommend this book for any pirate story fans, and definitely for any Crichton fans!more
I enjoyed the book for the most part. But I honestly could tell that the ending was not by Michael Crichton. It left a lot to be desired. I have never been disappointed at the end of any of his books. But this one I was. I will truly miss the incredible mind of this man.more
A lively adventure set in 17th century Jamaica.more
Published after the author's death and was found in its finished form on Crichton's computer. A good solid pirate adventure with some great historical details. Not sure Crichton broke any new ground here, but honestly, not sure there are too many "untold" piratical tales out there. Curse of the Black Pearl was the last truly "Original" pirate story (subsequent films were trying too hard to recapture what made the first one so good and failed miserably). So it was nice to get back to good "old fashioned" pirating. Perhaps the fact that it was a "standard" tale is why Crichton left it on his hard-drive in the first place. That didn't stop me from enjoying it.more
Facile and worth a reading but hardly among the author's best work or among the better pirate books. It walks the edges of pop history, fiction and magic realism without ever quite doing the job any of the three ways. I bought I used PB and it was about worth the Amazon Marketplace knockdown price.more
This is a departure for Crichton. I can't help but think that if he were alive during the publication, things may have been different. The novel is truly a straight forward Pirate adventure. Coming from Crichton, I expected some kind of interesting twist on the genre. What I got instead were the kind of lewd jokes and predictable plot that one would expect from a great B movie. Despite this, I devoured the novel in an afternoon. I guess this is a great B novel from a usually A author.more
Great for a quickly read novel. Ending was sort of abrupt, but was complete.more
Nice quick read. It feels like it is missing something, but you'll be entertained for a few hours.more
wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. I wanted a big, rousing, pirate tale. Pirate Latitudes just didn’t hit the mark. I think part of it was a mental block. As someone who has written a few unpublished novels, I have to wonder if the late Michael Crichton really wanted this story to see the light of day. For those unfamiliar, it was found on his computer after he passed away. I’m not sure I would love it very much if my un-edited, un-polished manuscripts saw the light of day without my consent. That’s not to say the story was un-polished. It was well written, obviously edited, and really was a complete story. It just didn’t quite do what I wanted it to, which was to sweep me into the Caribbean and immerse me in a story. This novel is fine as a pirate story but it wasn’t more than that. It was just a story. It didn’t stick with me. It didn’t make me want to revisit the pirates again. That’s what I wanted. I’m glad I read this novel. I enjoyed parts of it very much and once the large cast of characters came together, the story had a nice flow. But then it was over and I put the book away. It’s worth a read and would be fun to read while cruising the Caribbean!more
This is an intriguing book title from this author known for his gripping thrillers couched in science and technology. We can’t judge from the title whether the novel will be a modern exposition as in Airframe or if it will be more prehistoric as in Eaters of the Dead ormore
Starts off intriguing, but devolves into silliness fairly quickly. It's as if Crichton had a checklist (steal treasure = check; win naval battle at last possible instant by use of unconventional tactics = check; rescue damsel = check; hurricane = check; cannibals = check ....) and he worked his way down it, with little regard for narrative fluency, plot, or (to be frank) common sense. He doesn't even bother to transition between the plot elements, just leaps from one to the next. It was a quick read, but only because the plot was so predictable it was possible to skip huge chunks of text. Not the first time I've questioned the dubious practice of publishing unpublished novels after an author's death. If the author doesn't consider a work worthy of being published, we probably ought to respect that. I'm sure Crichton wouldn't want to be remembered for this sloppy piece of fluff.Having said that, willing to call this an acceptable beach read because the swashing and buckling is mildly entertaining, and because you can put it down to go chase after your children with no fear of missing anything. At all.more
One of the few books I've ever stopped without finishing. Crichton may be my favorite author, but this was awful. He's probably rolling over in his grave that someone published it!more
Audiobook.......Relatively engaging tale of piracy, politics, and treasure. Not bad, not great.more
Well, its a good read, The plot is a bit slow to start then picks up speed.It somehow doesn't have that crichton touch to it.more
Fast read. Character development was okay. Held my interest enough to finish the book.more
A good adventure that is somewhat different to other Michael Crichton books, but well executed. At least feels authentic to the period.more
An average pirate/privateer story which I had expected more from. It wasn't bad, although I was annoyed by the kraken interlude, but I never really felt drawn in. The end was also somewhat underwhelming. This book was found in Crichton's computer after he died. Either he hadn't finished working on it or he left it there for a reason. If you enjoy pirate stories it's probably worth reading, otherwise probably not.more
I absolutely loved this whimsy adventure. Really has a pirate feel and the adventure is fast and to the point. Lot of fun to read.more
Michael Crichton's posthumously published 2006 novel "Pirate Latitudes" is a light and engaging book. Had he the chance to revisit this book before publication, it might have ranked with some of his best work. Sadly, it's apparent Crichton didn't get around to polishing the novel prior to his passing, and the book has a makeshift feel. Some of the characters are flat, others are merely stereotypical of the swashbuckler genre. Only a few of them have sufficient meat on their bones to hold the reader's attention and care. The plot sails quickly, but it's burdened with a bit too much prosaic piratical ballast that Crichton likely would have refined, if not deleted entirely, upon rewrite. Nonetheless, Crichton was a great storyteller and a skilled writer, and particularly for his admirers, the book's worth reading. I recommend doing so while reclining on a sunny shore, with warm sand trickling between your toes, and a vast expanse of deep blue sea stretching before you to a distant, cloudless horizon. "Pirate Latitudes" is a good beach read, but no more memorable than that.more
This manuscript was discovered and published posthumously. I suspect Michael Chrichton didn't consider it equal to his other works. It isn't. But it's better than most of what we csn find, especially in this genre. Hunter, a privateer from Port Royal, recruits a crew to capture a once-in-a-lifetime treasure. They survive a dangerous trip on land and sea and fight greater forces. But the biggest obstacle is the politics of the crown government. I enjoyed the historical speculation created by Chrichton's usual talent.more
Read all 95 reviews

Reviews

This is a book that I decided to read even though it had many bad reviews. And, I'm glad I did. Crichton never disappoints, even with genres he never writes about. I have never read books about pirates. Nor do they interest me. But, Crichton has ignited a new interest about pirates that I have grown to like. Contrary to what many said, this book does not have a Pirates of the Caribbean feel to it. Nor, did it feel like a Disney film. In fact, it had a realistic, almost historic feel to it unlike the fake and unrealistic scenes often found in Pirates of the Caribbean, which I didn't like. I really grew to like Captain Hunter. And, even though he and his motley crew of pirateers were the unruly and lawless bad guys, I actually rooted for them throughout their whole adventure all the way to the end. They grew on me. So, if you like history, adventure, and want to read about the other side of history you rarely hear about, then this book is for you.more
Apparently an unpolished manuscript found after Crichton's death. It shows. My husband and I listened to this novel as an audiobook and loved it at first, but then it kept going and going and going. As soon as the group of "privateers" get out of one impossible scrape, they are into another, each more ridiculous than the last. I read somewhere that Crichton had this more in mind for a movie than a book, and I can see that working better. Pass unless you are a really big Crichton fan and want to read his entire canon.more
Why do all pirate stories have to flirt with the supernatural? Whatever happened to good old looting and pillaging?more
This was a very fast read and it kept you interested until the very end.There was a lot of high adventure. The only sad thing is that this will be Crichton's last book due to his death in 2008. He was one of my favorite authors.more
While Michael Chricton is better known for his medical and science based thrillers,Pirate Latitudes is an excellent period fiction piece. Set in the Caribbean of the mid to late 17th Century, mostly in the vicinity of Jamaica, Chricton uses his writing style to good advantage. I hesitate to call this work historical fiction because the main characters have little or no historical basis, despite notes in the Epilog. I am equally sure a lot of liberty was taken with the historical accuracy of the characters’ conduct, but I am not dissuaded in the least by this.What the novel is is a great adventure story. Not anywhere on the scale of Neal Stephenson’s epic Quicksilver, but still very engaging. The pacing of the story will make for a quick read and there are no deep meanings to probe. Everything is exactly as it appears to be: a pirate adventure about acquiring a huge treasure, losing it to treachery and betrayal by a trusted shipmate and seeking revenge for the treachery.Overall, a solid four stars. If you’re after a nice yarn that does not require arcane knowledge, this will be just your thing.more
A quick and fun read that provided some entertainment from reading a lot of biographies over the past few months. We're told that this completed manuscript was found in Crichton's files after his death. I wonder if the manuscript was really completed or met Crichton's satisfaction, that's why it hadn't been published prior to his passing. Not one of his better works and it was pretty predictable coming from the fiction of pirates in the Caribbean.more
A story of Caribbean pirates, Port Royal and the Spanish Main. This story follows an English "privateer" captain and his crew as they pursue treasure from Spain. I didn't realize until I was finished that it was published posthumously. Which perhaps explains a lot. It was lacking in purpose, or it didn't connect with me, or perhaps I'm simply tired of pirates? Anyway, the story itself was certainly action-packed, the characters going from one pirate catastrophe to another, really, it seemed that they were only there to illustrate the life of pirates in the 17th century. I think perhaps there is a reason Mr. Crichton hadn't submitted it for publication. The story was finished, but the spirit was lacking.The reader, whose name I don't remember, was OK, a bit monotone, but at least his accents didn't sound like Dracula.more
Once again I was impressed and delighted with Crichton's work. With so many pirate movies out now, this was excellent to read. The introduction to each of the pirates before their voyage really helped me to start feeling for each of them and cheer for them during their voyage. The writing is fantastic, and the plot behind the story is, as always, intricate and well thought out. The story moves very quickly and drew me in completely. It was never ending excitement. I highly recommend this book for any pirate story fans, and definitely for any Crichton fans!more
I enjoyed the book for the most part. But I honestly could tell that the ending was not by Michael Crichton. It left a lot to be desired. I have never been disappointed at the end of any of his books. But this one I was. I will truly miss the incredible mind of this man.more
A lively adventure set in 17th century Jamaica.more
Published after the author's death and was found in its finished form on Crichton's computer. A good solid pirate adventure with some great historical details. Not sure Crichton broke any new ground here, but honestly, not sure there are too many "untold" piratical tales out there. Curse of the Black Pearl was the last truly "Original" pirate story (subsequent films were trying too hard to recapture what made the first one so good and failed miserably). So it was nice to get back to good "old fashioned" pirating. Perhaps the fact that it was a "standard" tale is why Crichton left it on his hard-drive in the first place. That didn't stop me from enjoying it.more
Facile and worth a reading but hardly among the author's best work or among the better pirate books. It walks the edges of pop history, fiction and magic realism without ever quite doing the job any of the three ways. I bought I used PB and it was about worth the Amazon Marketplace knockdown price.more
This is a departure for Crichton. I can't help but think that if he were alive during the publication, things may have been different. The novel is truly a straight forward Pirate adventure. Coming from Crichton, I expected some kind of interesting twist on the genre. What I got instead were the kind of lewd jokes and predictable plot that one would expect from a great B movie. Despite this, I devoured the novel in an afternoon. I guess this is a great B novel from a usually A author.more
Great for a quickly read novel. Ending was sort of abrupt, but was complete.more
Nice quick read. It feels like it is missing something, but you'll be entertained for a few hours.more
wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. I wanted a big, rousing, pirate tale. Pirate Latitudes just didn’t hit the mark. I think part of it was a mental block. As someone who has written a few unpublished novels, I have to wonder if the late Michael Crichton really wanted this story to see the light of day. For those unfamiliar, it was found on his computer after he passed away. I’m not sure I would love it very much if my un-edited, un-polished manuscripts saw the light of day without my consent. That’s not to say the story was un-polished. It was well written, obviously edited, and really was a complete story. It just didn’t quite do what I wanted it to, which was to sweep me into the Caribbean and immerse me in a story. This novel is fine as a pirate story but it wasn’t more than that. It was just a story. It didn’t stick with me. It didn’t make me want to revisit the pirates again. That’s what I wanted. I’m glad I read this novel. I enjoyed parts of it very much and once the large cast of characters came together, the story had a nice flow. But then it was over and I put the book away. It’s worth a read and would be fun to read while cruising the Caribbean!more
This is an intriguing book title from this author known for his gripping thrillers couched in science and technology. We can’t judge from the title whether the novel will be a modern exposition as in Airframe or if it will be more prehistoric as in Eaters of the Dead ormore
Starts off intriguing, but devolves into silliness fairly quickly. It's as if Crichton had a checklist (steal treasure = check; win naval battle at last possible instant by use of unconventional tactics = check; rescue damsel = check; hurricane = check; cannibals = check ....) and he worked his way down it, with little regard for narrative fluency, plot, or (to be frank) common sense. He doesn't even bother to transition between the plot elements, just leaps from one to the next. It was a quick read, but only because the plot was so predictable it was possible to skip huge chunks of text. Not the first time I've questioned the dubious practice of publishing unpublished novels after an author's death. If the author doesn't consider a work worthy of being published, we probably ought to respect that. I'm sure Crichton wouldn't want to be remembered for this sloppy piece of fluff.Having said that, willing to call this an acceptable beach read because the swashing and buckling is mildly entertaining, and because you can put it down to go chase after your children with no fear of missing anything. At all.more
One of the few books I've ever stopped without finishing. Crichton may be my favorite author, but this was awful. He's probably rolling over in his grave that someone published it!more
Audiobook.......Relatively engaging tale of piracy, politics, and treasure. Not bad, not great.more
Well, its a good read, The plot is a bit slow to start then picks up speed.It somehow doesn't have that crichton touch to it.more
Fast read. Character development was okay. Held my interest enough to finish the book.more
A good adventure that is somewhat different to other Michael Crichton books, but well executed. At least feels authentic to the period.more
An average pirate/privateer story which I had expected more from. It wasn't bad, although I was annoyed by the kraken interlude, but I never really felt drawn in. The end was also somewhat underwhelming. This book was found in Crichton's computer after he died. Either he hadn't finished working on it or he left it there for a reason. If you enjoy pirate stories it's probably worth reading, otherwise probably not.more
I absolutely loved this whimsy adventure. Really has a pirate feel and the adventure is fast and to the point. Lot of fun to read.more
Michael Crichton's posthumously published 2006 novel "Pirate Latitudes" is a light and engaging book. Had he the chance to revisit this book before publication, it might have ranked with some of his best work. Sadly, it's apparent Crichton didn't get around to polishing the novel prior to his passing, and the book has a makeshift feel. Some of the characters are flat, others are merely stereotypical of the swashbuckler genre. Only a few of them have sufficient meat on their bones to hold the reader's attention and care. The plot sails quickly, but it's burdened with a bit too much prosaic piratical ballast that Crichton likely would have refined, if not deleted entirely, upon rewrite. Nonetheless, Crichton was a great storyteller and a skilled writer, and particularly for his admirers, the book's worth reading. I recommend doing so while reclining on a sunny shore, with warm sand trickling between your toes, and a vast expanse of deep blue sea stretching before you to a distant, cloudless horizon. "Pirate Latitudes" is a good beach read, but no more memorable than that.more
This manuscript was discovered and published posthumously. I suspect Michael Chrichton didn't consider it equal to his other works. It isn't. But it's better than most of what we csn find, especially in this genre. Hunter, a privateer from Port Royal, recruits a crew to capture a once-in-a-lifetime treasure. They survive a dangerous trip on land and sea and fight greater forces. But the biggest obstacle is the politics of the crown government. I enjoyed the historical speculation created by Chrichton's usual talent.more
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