murph's Reviews > Pirate Latitudes

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
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's review
Feb 18, 2010

did not like it
Read in December, 2009

"If only I'd have encrypted my hard drive...."

You have to think Michael Crichton's ghost is mouthing those words.

Written in 2006 and published only after being digitally pried from the late author's cold, dead computer - Pirate Latitudes comes across as a vanity project never intended to see the light of day.

I'm sure it was great fun to write, but Crichton's attempt to inject research into worn out pirate clichés falls far short of a good story. Several parts of the story read as if they were first drafts - the prefunctory description of the sword battle between the hero and his nemesis - or the bland recitation of Cpt. Hunter collecting on his debts near the finale.

A lot is thrown into the mix: Privateers! Galleons! Cannibals! Saucy wenches! Even a pointless encounter with a sea monster! But forcing your readers to eat everything on the pirate buffet doesn't make for a good meal. I suspect Mr. Crichton knew this book was due for a major rewrite - but his publishers knew the Crichton name would only sell for a short time longer.

Pity. I was hungry for a good pirate yarn. This wasn't it.
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02/07 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11)

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Merrin "But forcing your readers to eat everything on the pirate buffet doesn't make for a good meal."

So incredibly true!

Wendybird wish I'd read your review before purchasing this. incredible that his family allowed this to be published.

message 9: by Joe (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joe Moley Haha, I read this review after writing my own. Hope you don't think I plagiarized your work since my opinions seem to mirror yours...

Nice opening quote. :) funny stuff

Scotto It's a fun romp none the less. Great summer reading and was very enjoyable to me. Normally I don't like Crichton that much (I'll never forgive him for inflicting ER and Jurrasic Park on us), but this book goes a little way in making up for it.

It was almost worth paying for. Who wants to pay $12.99 for an ebook when I can get it from BT Airlines for free?

Lynn Pribus Like Joe, I read your review after writing mine. I thought the same thing. He'd have been mortified this was published. Unless his estate was in dire straits.

Stutley Constable I agree with you and I herby acknowledge you to be more eloquent than I was in my own review of this book.

Sylvia Stallings I agree. What was the point of even the first sea monster, to say nothing of the giant squid? I was able to suspend my disbelief up to that point. His publishers should have trusted Mr Crichton's choice to not offer this for publication.

Reuben James Cecilio I totally agree! I'm a big Crichton fan and his writing style. This book lacks that Crichton-ish prose that drives my curiousity.

Nathanielle Crawford Do we know for a fact that it was written in 2006? I know it was discovered among his things, but is it possible it was a much earlier work that he just never got around to revisiting?

Lynn Pribus Five years since I read it and I don't know where the 2006 date came from, but it was probably something in the book itself. I wouldn't have just pulled the year out of thin air.

Nathanielle Crawford Lynn wrote: I wouldn't have just pulled the year out of thin air."

Forgive me if you interpreted my comment as offensive or critical, but you did say in your review that it was "written" in 2006. If you don't know for certain, then that would be an inaccurate statement based on the possibly inaccurate source of information that you cited.

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