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Pirate Latitudes
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P > Pirate Latitudes, by Michael Crichton

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Manda (BookWenchManda) | 1676 comments Pirate Latitudes
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

GR summary:
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 can also lead to riches, if he abides by the island′s code. In the name of His Majesty King Charles II of England, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking. And law in the New World is made by those who take it into their hands.

Word in port is that the Spanish treasure galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is stalled in nearby Matanceros harbor awaiting repairs. Heavily fortified, the impregnable Spanish outpost is guarded by the blood-swiller Cazalla, a favorite commander of King Philip IV himself. With the governor′s backing, Hunter assembles a roughneck crew to infiltrate the enemy island and commandeer the galleon, along with its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloody legends of Matanceros suggest, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he finds himself on the island′s shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry are all that stand between him and the treasure.

With the help of his cunning crew, Hunter hijacks El Trinidad and escapes the deadly clutches of Cazalla, leaving plenty of carnage in his wake. But his troubles have just begun. . . .

I read this for my IRL book club. It was my second Crichton book at the time, and I was less than impressed. Compared to the epicness that was Jurassic Park, this really just seemed to fail in its shadow. I had so much trouble getting into it, and don't really remember a lot of it except the struggle of trying to make it to the end.


message 2: by Peter (last edited Jun 25, 2017 09:45PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Peter | 684 comments I'm a huge Crichton fan, but he definitely has some less than stellar novels. I agree, this is one of them. I think the main difference between this one is that it is less "polished" than his other books. If I remember correctly, I believe this novel was published posthumously and was found in among his notes "mostly finished". I think it was edited by his son to finish it up, but it definitely doesn't feel quite like the best Crichton novels.

Manda, you definitely read waaaaayyyyy faster than I can and devour many more books than I can, but if you're interested in reading some of Crichton's other books on par with Jurassic Park, you should check out Timeline, The Andromeda Strain, Eaters of the Dead, The Great Train Robbery, Disclosure, and Rising Sun

message 3: by Manda (last edited Jun 26, 2017 09:02PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Manda (BookWenchManda) | 1676 comments The finishing and editing of this was actually a huge topic of conversation at book club. It wasn't a big hit, but I think most people appreciated it given that he could not do his typical Crichton magic to it.

Thanks for all the recommendations. Everyone keeps talking about how great his books are and I cannot believe that last year was the first time I picked one up. I just finished The Andromeda Strain, and plan on reading Timeline, Sphere, Westworld, and Congo this year. I want to work in Prey, Rising Sun, and Eaters of The Dead into next years challenge, if possible. I hear Eaters is his best work of all time.

Peter | 684 comments Eaters of the Dead is definitely one of his best. My top three are Eaters, Timeline and Jurassic Park. All three just blew me away.

Eaters is a departure from most of his work though. Normally he puts a twist on emerging or new technology in a seemingly realistic way. Eaters doesn't have that technological aspect and is the story of a foreign dignitary to a Viking king in AD 922.

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