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Pirate Latitudes

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  42,367 ratings  ·  4,306 reviews
Jamaica in 1665 is a rough outpost of the English crown, a minor colony holding out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, Jamaica′s capital, a cut-throat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses, is devoid of London′s luxuries; life here can end swiftly with dysentery or a dagger in your back. But for Captain Charles Hunter it is a life that ca ...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by Harper
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Marilyn It was a fiction based on history. We do have to give the author literary license.
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Dec 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
"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 f
I have seen many reviews critical of this book, but I thought it was a great adventure with interesting characters and twists. Perhaps people are critical of the fact that this is unlike Crichton's other titles, but much like Eaters of the Dead and The Great Train Robbery; it is great, well researched historical fiction. (Note: between Latitudes, Eaters, and Train Robbery, I liked this one the best) ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Welcome to a brand new episode of 'Late night show with Books'. Our guest for today is.......... Pirate Latitudes!!!!!

PL: Hrrrrrrrr

S: PL, how do you feel about being out here in the world? Most of the people believe you were not supposed to see light at all.

PL: Gods blood! Who are these rats? but...Well, Sreyas, there is some truth in it. I have been working with Mr.Crichton for more than three decades on this story. Alas, We were nowhere near a serviceable tale. And with Crichton's death, a
Jason Koivu
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: pirate fans who don't mind shit
Shelves: fiction
Pirates! Huzzah! What could possibly ruin a rollicking, randy, riotous pirate adventure?...Plenty.

Crichton died before this was published and in all likelihood he wasn't finished with it. I would like to think that if he'd lived he would have worked on this more, rounded out the characters, twisted up the plot a bit, and run it through the edit mill a few times before handing it off to the publisher. I mean there are some passages towards the end that are on the very edge of not making any sens
P. Lundburg
Scanning the reviews of this fantastic pirate novel, I'm a bit stunned at how many low ratings there are. Two important things for those reviewers to bear in mind: 1) this is way outside Crichton's normal 'genre,' and so readers will look askance at this venture into uncharted waters (couldn't resist the pun!), and 2) the book was found on Crichton's computer after he died, so it may well be that he wasn't finished with it.

On that last point, I agree with some reviewers that the book lapses into
Dec 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Noir and pirate-fiction fans
Since I greatly enjoyed Crichton's Timeline and Jurassic Park (though I have yet to review the latter), I hoped to find a work of similar quality in this posthumous novel, though I knew that its ratings here on Goodreads varied widely. As usual, my reaction is my own; and as is sometimes the case, it falls somewhere between the extremes.

Crichton, of course, was best known for his science fiction. Here, he branches out into historical fiction, in a tale that doesn't really have any SF elements at
This is not the way for a talented writer to go out. If Chrichton had lived and had the time to revise, edit, etc., I'm sure this would have been much better. ...more
Dec 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I was so happy to hear they were publishing this book. Crichton's death was so sudden and unexpected I literally mourned the untold stories we lost with his passing.

Told as something of a more "realistic", less "Disney" Pirates of the Caribbean, Crichton weaves the tale of Captain Charles Hunter's greatest raid of a Spanish treasure ship. From the first chapter, we are placed in the adventure and it ends up being a quick, fun ride.

The story was pure Chrichton, well told, detailed, obviously well
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-said
Welcome to the good ship Cassandra! She will take you on exhilarating adventure on the high seas of the Carribean, looking for unknown treasures on a Spanish war ship. You will meet her Captain and come to know his ways and why he finds himself surrounded by a crew of unforgetable characters that you are going to love getting to know. And know them you will. This is great stuff that just keeps happening page after page.
I guess in the end, it is what is missing from this story that I just cannot
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
Avast ye scurvy dogs! Drop anchor and show a leg! They say dead men tell no tales but crush me barnacles if Crichton ain't smartly delivered a rollickin' adventure tale o' privateerin' on th' high Caribbean seas...well, fer a landlubber, that be. Aye, th' plot be careenin' about like a drunken tailed imp at times but it ain't enough t' scuttle th' ship, me lads. Don ye eyepatches and hooks, swill yer grog, 'n make way fer salty seadogs 'n shiny dubloons! All together now: ARRRRR! ...more
First off, I have to say this is only my second Crichton novel. I read Jurassic Park back when the movie came out but haven't felt like reading anything else by him since. That being said, I enjoyed Pirate Latitudes. The novel does have its shortcomings but you have to wonder if this is because it wasn't truly finished. It's hard to say. This book was found on Crichton's computer after his death so it's possible that this wasn't the intended finished product. I liked it though and I'm curious to ...more
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
First, did you know that Michael Crichton is dead?!? This is the first of two books published posthumously, the second being Micro.

I've read a little Michael Crichton in the past - Sphere was wondeful, Prey was OK, Timeline was intriguing but ultimately corny. I have no idea what lead me to pick up Pirate Lattitudes, but it was fun. It is a strong entry in the Pirates versus Ninjas debate, and lends a much needed blow for the Pirates.

Set in the Carribean (primarily Jamaica) in the mid 1600's,
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a thrilling adventure!! Arrgh, mateys: Pirates, booty (and booty calls!), monsters (both human and animal), non-stop action and intrigue. Thank you, thank you, to my Goodreads friend Matthew for encouraging me to read this. I loved it! Now my husband is reading and enjoying the adventure too.
Nov 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Not good, not bad, just meh.
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
I had been looking forward to Pirate Latitudes ever since I'd learned of its existence. Michael Crichton knows (or knew, I suppose) how to craft an exciting novel. Crichton however peaked with Timeline, one of his best books, grounded in an historical setting. That's what I had been expeting to get with Pirate Latitudes. Unfortunately I was mistaken.

Pirate Latitudes is the story of Charles Hunter, privateer, and his crew of misfits as they attempt to take the Spanish galleon El Trinidad. The pre
Chris Dietzel
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was much different than the rest of Crichton's fiction that I've read. Those rely on theoretical science and well researched plots. This was entirely an adventure without any of the science fiction that the author is known for. It took me a while to become invested in the story, and after the first third I was still disappointed. But the longer the story went on the more I enjoyed it. This isn't as good as Crichton's best science fiction but by the end of the story I found myself ranking it ...more
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it

One thing I don't like is overly happy endings. If you got a story where the main characters go through what can only be described as a shitstorm, don't make them come out as heroes in every way possible. It is not practical and I hate it. Not saying this book was exactly like that but some points can be taken from my claim above.

This is one of those books that is hard to judge. On one hand you got a pirate story written by Crichton that was at times slow moving, but eventually it turned int
Asghar Abbas
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Black Sails and Pirates of the Caribbean-esque type story, familiar themes. The Manuscript of the book was found among his things after Crichton's death. I don't know, maybe he actually wrote it. But it's a nice way to cap off a distinguished career of a genremaker.
A pleasant enough sendoff as he sails into Valhalla.
Jesse A
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
So as a Crichton fan even I will admit that this book is somewhat overstuffed. A Kraken?!! Really?!! Because it's a short book stuffed with so much peril some of the more dangerous elements were perhaps too easy to overcome. Still I was entertained. ...more
Rohit Enghakat
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Generally, you associate Michael Crichton with a well-researched fictionalised account of a series of events in the thriller genre. Here is a pretty straight forward adventure of an English pirate in West
Indies. A fun, breezy and fast-paced action-packed thriller of Captain Hunter going out to raid a Spanish galleon and its riches ably assisted by his band of seamen. The book is an account of the adventures at sea with innumerable, interesting twists and turns.

Nice easy read keeping you hooked t
Rick Spilman
Apr 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Pirate Latitudes by Micheal Crichton, published a year after his death, is a romp. It is full of swashbuckling action and completely familiar characters. There is a bold captain, who is either a privateer or a pirate; several fair and comely maidens of high birth and low; and a band of adventurers each with special skills and powers.

The rough and tumble hero, Captain Charles Hunter, sets off to capture a Spanish galleon laden with treasure, at anchor under the guns of an impregnable fortress.

Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Particularly since The Great Train Robbery, I often thought that Michael Crichton plotted his books deliberately so the movie scripts "fell out" of them. That is, his early work seems more literary, more novelistic, less structured like a three-act screenplay. Without any particular evidence except the usual Hollywood paranoia, I blamed his agents at CAA for insisting that he craft his novels with movie sales in mind. Obviously, given the path his career took, he succeeded spectacularly, at leas ...more
Jonathan Maas
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A last testament to a brilliant author

They found this book on his hard drive, and lo and behold - it happens to be the best pirate book I've read. I had previously given that award to the incredible Pirates of the Caribbean: The Price of Freedom, but this has that Crichton-ness to it that just pushes it over the edge.

Brimming with authority, fun, going from one incredible scene to the next - I couldn't put this book down, and hung on every word.

Was Crichton a pirate author? No. But he put his ha
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it

It's impossible to know whether Crichton intended this book to be published, or if he wrote it for fun. Considering it was written in 2006, and discovered on his hard drive after his death, it feels like maybe he wasn't rushing it off to his agent for publication.

It's not Crichton in peak form, that's for sure.

While the book is entertaining enough, it's missing what I love most about Crichton ... the research, the education, the intense build of excitement. It's a pirate story, and not a particu
Joseph Finley
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
At barely 300 pages, Pirate Latitudes is a quick read that will remind Michael Crichton fans of The Great Train Robbery – except with pirates instead of Victorian-era thieves.

Set in 1665, Pirate Latitudes involves a team of privateers, each with unique talents, who are hired to capture a treasure-laden galleon from an island fortress ruled by a brutal Spanish commander. The novel’s protagonist is Captain Charles Hunter, a Harvard educated privateer from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but it’s hi
I quite liked this book, or at least the outline of the book that was published. You can definitely tell that this was an outline of a book, instead of an actual book. Although there are a couple of interesting characters, they are not really expanded on at all, and the story consists of one major action piece after another, without the usual level of detail devoted to each that you would expect. Also, there is a major plot development when the main character returns to Port Royal that is unexpe ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
"Lost manuscript?" My rear end. It's likelier that I wrote this.

If you're a fan of Michael Crichton and appreciate how he takes complicated science and makes it accessible and presented as an enthralling narrative, you'll avoid this book. It's transparently a shameless cash grab, designed to capitalize on his name and unique expertise and features none of the hallmarks of a classic Crichton story: pacing, detail, context, character development. Zilch.

Which is what I would have given this for a
Adam Ross
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I've always been a Crichton fan, and just couldn't pass up the opportunity to read his take on pirates. This, Crichton's final book, was discovered among his affects after his untimely death in 2008, and HarperCollins published it essentially as they found it.

When a Spanish treasure galleon, separated from its convoy near Jamaica, is sighted taking refuge in the bay of the impenetrable Spanish fortress of Monteceros, the Governor of Port Royal commissions a ship of pirates to assault the fortres
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Published posthumously, Pirate Latitudes was discovered as a complete manuscript on Crichton's computer after his death. For years Crichton had alluded to a project about Jamaica and the Caribbean, and from all indications, Pirate Latitudes is that project. Over the years I have developed a great interest in pirates, particularly the pirates of the Spanish Main---the old Caribbean of the 17th century. Pirate Latitudesis a rousing pirate tale based on a composite of historical characters Crichton ...more
Austin George
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel is set in 17th century Jamaica, when it was a British colony, and nearby Matanceros island, a Spanish colony. The story is about a British ship captain Charles Hunter and his crew's foray into Matanceros, which is heavily fortified and impregnable, to plunder a Spanish ship carrying treasure docked at it's port for repair. Will the British Captain and his crew succeed in their daring quest or the Spanish under the leadership of Cazalla thwart their well set out plans? Read to find out. ...more
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Michael Crichton (1942-2008) was one of the most successful novelists of his generation, admired for his meticulous scientific research and fast-paced narrative. He graduated summa cum laude and earned his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1969. His first novel, Odds On (1966), was written under the pseudonym John Lange and was followed by seven more Lange novels. He also wrote as Michael Doug ...more

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