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Pirate Latitudes    by Michael Crichton order for
Pirate Latitudes
by Michael Crichton
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The complete manuscript for Michael Crichton's Pirate Latitudes was discovered in his files after his death in 2008. What a shame he is no longer with us. A hundred and fifty million of his books were sold worldwide. They were translated into thirty-six languages, with thirteen made into films. He remains the only writer to have the number one book, movie and TV show all at the same time.

Pirate Latitudes makes a fitting finale to the remarkable career of a man who brought so much fine reading and viewing to the world. It is chock full of swashbuckling adventure and fun - if you can get past all the killings and injuries suffered by those with whom Captain Charles Hunter surrounds himself - not even counting the Spaniards he dispatches.

The action takes place in 1665 in the Caribbean on and around the British crown colony of Jamaica. The plot is clever. Captain Hunter is the man who concocts a plan to raid the Spanish galleon El Trinidad, supposedly full to the masts with gold, in the very harbor where it awaits refitting. What follows is enough to awaken readers' dreams of sailing the seas and wreaking havoc on all and sundry.

Since most of us have progressed beyond those nocturnal excursions of the imagination, we can now safely read about them, without having to eat hardtack and wipe salt water from our eyes. Pirate Latitudes is an entertaining book and well worth reading - although I kept thinking as I did that this is the last of Michael Crichton's that I shall ever read. Made me sad.

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