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Pirate Latitudes
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message 1: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Sarah and I are going to read Pirate Latitudes for the September Group Read. If anyone wants to join us, feel free. We'll start right away. Please mark spoilers.

I started the book last night. I only read the first few pages because it was late when I went to bed and I was tired.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments I'm gonna try to jump in on this got to see if I have anything else I was planning to start first


Esther (nyctale) | 4221 comments I have an alphabet challenge out form the library, so I am going to read it first, I will stop at the library ad grab it, but I do not expect to start it before the end of this week.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments This looks like a short read definitely won't interfere with my alphabet so started it. This is the first time I have ever heard of tooth powder and tooth cloth. I never thought people brushed their teeth back then


message 5: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments I'd say it is a quick read Travis. I started it yesterday afternoon and I'm already up to page 109. That said, all the spoilers I have marked below occur before page 51.

I'm reading this book as my P read in the alphabet and I will also count it for Jamaica in my around the world challenge.

This is the first book I've read by Michael Crichton which isn't a science fiction book. So before I started it, I wasn't sure what it would be like but I'm really enjoying it.

I have not heard of tooth cloth either Travis although I have heard of tooth powders. I know bicarbonate of soda (which is still a main ingredient in many of today's toothpastes) as well as ground up chalk was used along with dried herbs such as rosemary - the abrasiveness of the powder helped to clean the teeth while the herbs helped with freshening the breath (bicarb is also good at eating odours!) I really liked reading about Sir James' morning ritual of getting ready - It's amazing the lengths we go to maintain youth and beauty (view spoiler)

I am enjoying finding out about Jamaica and how the English and Spanish were involved in it's history - it is an area of the world that I know little about. I know it's a fiction book so I won't take everything as fact - off to checkout google in a bit!

I'm not sure whether I've read a book before in which (view spoiler)

I had to google the term Privateer as I wasn't sure about it especially because what they did sounded a lot like being a Pirate ((view spoiler)) It would seem that Privateer's are hired by the Government to attack (and/or raid) an enemy ship in wartime. Pirates act on their own but the work of the Pirate and the Privateer is pretty much identical.


message 6: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Sep 01, 2013 07:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments I've started, but not that far in. I had heard about the use of tooth powder but in the late 1800's. I had also heard that people used various implements to "scrape" their teeth.

The use of lead in makeup has thankfully been stopped now that we know it causes health problems. It had been used as far back as in Cleopatra's time. It makes me wonder what products we use now that people will shudder at in years to come.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments I think it was in the brothers Karamazov they made mention of an aspestis purse. I have no idea if I spelled that right.


message 8: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Do you mean asbestos? As in the stuff they used to use for home insulation?


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments Yes asbestos I took it to be the same stuff although I probably should have googled it maybe I will sometime


message 10: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Sep 01, 2013 08:01PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Look what I found!

http://www.benfranklin300.org/frankli...

Be sure to click on the description tab.


message 11: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments Thanks for the link Janice. Crazy!


message 12: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments This is the first book with pirates (and possibly boats) in that I have read and I'm really enjoying it although I have had to look up a few terms relating to the parts of the ship as I wasn't sure what they were.

I've read quite a bit now - I've been making notes as I go so that I know at what page things happened so I can discus it (without revealing anything I shouldn't) once you guys get a bit further.


message 13: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments I've not come across any "pirate talk" as such though which is a little disappointing ;-) although it does mean it's easier to read!


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments I'll have to check that link out later at a computer.

As for the book I have about 50 pages left. I'm not sure my feelings so far. I have enjoyed it but there have been some disappointments. I thought a lot of the action scenes could have been done better. More intense fighting. It seems to have been written a bit hastily I feel. Certain parts were rushed just a little more than I would of liked and now that I'm toward the end some very curious even odd events take place to which I haven't made up my mind what to think of them yet. All in all it has been a good read these are just a few things that if do e different would of made it a great read in my opinion.

Yes Sarah it is expected to have some pirate talk and swashbuckling when dealing with pirates which this book has stayed away from probably because they are "privateers "


message 15: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments I have 100 pages to go.

I see what you're saying Travis about some parts lacking detail. Part of me liked that as it made it a little more fast-paced and I didn't feel bogged down by unnecessary detail. Despite the lack of detail in areas, I thought it was well written and I was still able to get a good impression of what it was like at sea, what was going on during the ship battles, and what the characters were like.

This book was found on Crichton's computer after he died in 2008 - while it was a complete manuscript, you don't know how happy he was with it and whether perhaps if he had had more time, he would have bulked it out more?!?! We will never know!


message 16: by Roz (new) - rated it 2 stars

Roz | 3553 comments I've read a few of his books in the past and liked them, especially Micro, Timeline, and Prey. He seemed to have decided to take a different direction this time, away from science fiction and moving into historical fiction instead. Not quite sure it works. I agree with you, Travis. The writing did seem rushed and, to me, a little bland. I do recall that the manuscript was found after he died so we don't know how happy he was with it or how may rewrites he would have done. Maybe it was sitting in the computer for a long time and he never had any intention of publishing it all.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments Timeline is the only book by Crichton I have read prior which I loved . I have others I plan to read but have not enough experience to really rate Crichton as an author but I'm going to assume if he felt this book was 100% he would have had it published orin the process.


message 18: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments I've only read the first half dozen chapters or so. I keep crawling in to bed late and then can't stay awake.

I had read that the complete manuscript was found posthumously as well. Perhaps he was still in the edit/rewrite stage.

Is it really historical fiction (a fictionalized account of an historical event or historical person), or is it just a pirate story? I don't think I would classify it as HF, but then I haven't finished the book to make that observation.


message 19: by Sarah, Moderator (last edited Sep 03, 2013 02:03AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments I've read Prey, Next, State of Fear, all of which I really enjoyed. They were all well researched (and his research was documented in the back of the book with research paper citations) - they were hard sci-fi I'd say. I particularly enjoyed Prey. I also have
Timeline and Micro (another posthumously published) on my bookshelf to read.

Interesting question Janice about whether it's Historical Fiction. I usually shelve books as HF if it gives me a good feel of the time period in addition to the criteria you mentioned (account of historical event/person). While not an actual historical event or person being depicted, it does detail some of what happened back in that time period with the Spanish and English invading the Caribbean islands and getting caught up with pirates. I have shelved it as HF for want of a better place to put it. Later in the book, (view spoiler)


message 20: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments Part 2 (view spoiler)

One word that came up a few times was Popish and I had to go check it out - it seems it refers to Roman Catholics, so Popish gold would be gold belonging to the Roman Catholics and presumably that meant the Spanish?!? It is also a derogatory term.

Part 3 (view spoiler)

Part 4 (view spoiler)


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments If you enjoyed this story I would recommend a more old school pirate tale Captain Blood. Just classic swashbuckling pirate business in this one.


message 22: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments I'll check it out Travis. Thanks!

I've just finished the book. I will write up my other observations for the last two parts later. I did enjoy the read and gave it 4 stars.


message 23: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments I'm about half way into the book now. I woke just before 4:00 this morning. When I couldn't get back to sleep, I grabbed the book and read for a couple of hours.

I will come back and read your spoilers when I have it done, Sarah.

I probably won't shelve it as historical fiction. While it does give you a feel of life in the Caribbean, I think the intent was to tell an action/adventure tale via pirates. The characters, including the Governor of Jamaica, were all fiction. The events were all fiction. I ask the question, "Where is the history?" But that's just my opinion.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments I will shelve it adventure


message 25: by Cherie (last edited Sep 03, 2013 01:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cherie (crobins0) | 19751 comments Sarah wrote: "Part 2 I enjoyed this part of the book where the Privateers were taken captive by the Spanish warship. I didn't understand why Cazalla stamped on and broke the young seaman's neck after he was alre..."

Arrrr Sarah - I am enjoying your spoilers! I have the book on my list to read someday, but the discussions in this thread drew me in. I agree with Travis about Captain Blood. It was a good story!
I also agree that this book would not be HF. If I had a shelf called 'adventure' that is where I would put it too. :)


Esther (nyctale) | 4221 comments I have the book here. Step one, done.


message 27: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments Well as most would say it isn't HF, I think I will reconsider where I shelf it!

Glad you enjoyed the spoilers Cherie - hopefully it won't ruin your experience when it comes to reading it in the future (or have they inspired you enough to join us now?!?)

Glad to hear you have got hold of a copy Esther. I hope you enjoy it.


message 28: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments Part 5 (view spoiler)

Part 6 (view spoiler)

All in all, I enjoyed the read. I thought it was fast paced and had a good amount of action in. As discussed already, more detail in some places might have been better but on the whole I thought it was well written.


message 29: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments I had the perfect opportunity to read last night, and I did! Only I didn't read our book. I've been listening to an audiobook. When I put it down to eat my supper, watch a bit of tv while checking out Goodreads, I learned that internet and cable were down. So, I resumed the horror story I was listening to and ended up finishing it last night. I couldn't put it down!


message 30: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Cherie wrote: "Arrrr Sarah - I am enjoying your spoilers! I have the book on my list to read someday, but the discussions in this thread drew me in."

re: part 2 (view spoiler)


message 31: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Sep 04, 2013 07:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments re: part 3 (view spoiler)

I guess that's as far as I can go with reading the spoilers. :)


message 32: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments Glad you finished your ghost story Janice. I read your review - sounds good! I won a ghostly gothic book on Goodreads this week which is due out around Halloween - Bellman and Black - my copy arrived today so I'm really excited about it.

I hope you reading the part 3 spoiler before getting to that part wasn't a let down for you.

I agree with the points you made.


Cherie (crobins0) | 19751 comments LOL Sarah! If I have time before the end of the month, I might take this one up.

If I don't I am sure, having read all of the spoilers here, it will not make much difference by then. I will have forgotten everything. :)

What I was most interested in were the comments regarding it as being rushed or not finished by MC.
I did remember reading somewhere that this was found after he had passed away.

@ Krakens - none in Game of Thrones that I can remember being mentioned and I read all 5 books so far.


message 34: by Roz (new) - rated it 2 stars

Roz | 3553 comments I think I have a broader definition of historical fiction. Not all the books on my HF shelf have a true historical figure in it, nor are they depicting an actual documented event. For me a book can be a period piece or a time in history that is dealt with. Here we have a story taking place in the 17th century in the Caribbean involving pirates, the Spanish, treasures to be stolen, locations that exist. Did it actually happen? Not the way it was told. Were the characters real? Not by these names. But pirates did ply these waters during these times. Port Royal's link to privateers is documented.
I may have other books on my HF shelf that don't include real characters as part of the story, like The Help, or The Kitchen House, because they tell something about the time. It's not the people that make these HF, but the timeframe and events taking place. Maybe just a mood.
I often put my books on multiple shelves because I thing they cross over. This one is one of those that could easily be on HF and Adventure/Action.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments Game of thrones mentions the kraken in regards to it being the insignia of the iron born I believe


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments The kraken is the sigil for the greyjoys


message 37: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Sep 04, 2013 02:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Roz wrote: "I think I have a broader definition of historical fiction. Not all the books on my HF shelf have a true historical figure in it, nor are they depicting an actual documented event. For me a book can..."

You are not alone, Roz. 325 other readers shelved it as Historical Fiction. I get a little black and white about definitions. I think some people call that anal. :)


message 38: by Cherie (last edited Sep 04, 2013 02:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cherie (crobins0) | 19751 comments Thank you, Travis. I have been corrected, Sarah.
I guess I was thinking of an actual sea monster, like in Pirates of the Caribbean movie. However, since they have dragons, I do not know why I thought they would not also have Krakens, duh!


message 39: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Sarah wrote: "I hope you reading the part 3 spoiler before getting to that part wasn't a let down for you.
.."


Not at all! I have a bad habit of peeking ahead (hard to do with an audiobook or ebook). I'll read a snippet here and there. I'll confess and tell you that I have peeked ahead with this book.

There are some books where hearing about a spoiler would wreck the story for me. Generally those are mysteries where there's a significant twist. Gone Girl was a prime example.

You'll have to let me know how you like Bedlam and Black. I like a good horror story.


message 40: by Roz (new) - rated it 2 stars

Roz | 3553 comments I prefer calling that focused. I find the definitions confusing sometimes so I put my books in multiple places. That way if I'm looking for multiple genres I may come up with one book that satisfies all of them. ; )


message 41: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments Thanks Travis - I thought I remembered hearing it mentioned just not actual krakens showing up!

I know what you mean Janice re: spoilers. Some books I will read them for, while others I won't do it. It's strange how sometimes they can really get you excited about reading it and getting to that point while with other books you can think "well why should I carry on now I know what's going to happen?"


message 42: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Re: Part 4 (view spoiler)

Well, reading on as I start Part 5.


message 43: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments Janice wrote: "Re: Part 4 I found this section quite tense as well, but typical for a pirate story. Perhaps that will be my assessment of this entire book.

About the only thing that isn't formulaic is the bi..."


I agree with you Janice that it was a little way from the norm when(view spoiler)


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments In regards to last 2 spoilers this part lost me for a moment and puzzled me. I then decided this book couldn't have been 100% because we needed a little more info for clarity


message 45: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments I finished the book last night, finally! :) Re: Sarah's part 4 spoiler: (view spoiler)

Part 5 was my favorite part of the entire story. This section seemed to have the energy and excitement that was missing from the rest of the book.

From the comments here and on various reviews, most people agree that the book may have been an early draft and unfinished in terms of editing and fleshing out the story. When you compare it to his other works, The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, and Sphere (to name a few), this book doesn't seem to have the same quality.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments To me the book had the feel of a first novel rather than from an experienced author which is not being negative it just had that feel to me. If you know what I mean by that.


Travis (travistousant) | 5997 comments On a positive side with the various ideas incorporated into this book I understand why Sarah was able to enjoy it more with it being her first high sea adventure story where with myself i have read around 6 books like this in the past few months with the last one being a 5 star read for with Red Seas Under Red Skies. I really enjoyed that pirate tale and it was gonna take a real good one to follow that for me.


message 48: by Sarah, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 18169 comments I agree Travis that perhaps I enjoyed it more and found it more original than both yourself and Janice due to the fact that I haven't read any other books like this before. I really enjoyed the whole sea adventure and pirate tale as a whole and I will definitely be checking out other books like that in the future. The one you mentioned is the 2nd book in the Gentleman's Bastard series - I have the first book The Lies of Locke Lamora on my TBR so I will look forward to reading them both.


message 49: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 47880 comments Travis of NNY wrote: "To me the book had the feel of a first novel rather than from an experienced author which is not being negative it just had that feel to me. If you know what I mean by that."

You know, I thought about that too. Of course we don't have details, but when they say the manuscript was "found", it seems a bit strange. For an author of his stature, you would think his publisher would be well aware of any upcoming book. So when did he write it? If it was early on in his career, why did he not publish it?

But really, what does it matter? I liked the book well enough. I would have rated it 3-1/2 if we could do half stars.

I have Lies of Locke Lamora in my audible library waiting its turn to be read. I think it's nearing the top. I'm all excited now. :)


Silver | 462 comments I love the movies made from Michael Crichton books, so I have always been tempted to read his books, but never quite get around to it, always have too many other things I have to read. I have read Eaters of the Dead though it had been a long time I recall enjoying it.

I have been curious about this book, in addition to wanting to read more Crichton I also have a particular fan of nautical themed books and maritime adventures, and of course I love pirates.

I was happy to see that this book was chosen as a Buddy Read, as I was hoping for a good opportunity to read it. I am a bit behind in the reading/discussion, as I just started reading the book.


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