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Book Review: Michael Crichton – Pirate Latitudes

Once upon a time before medical school, I was an avid reader, but now I barely manage to keep up with my favorite authors.  When I heard that there was going to be a posthumous Crichton novel I has initially against it, however, I could not resist ordering a copy of Pirate Latitudes.

Pirate Latitudes is a period piece set in Caribbean in 1665.  It has a roughly written, but compelling story of Privateer Charles Hunter.  The novel is a chronicle of Captain Hunter’s plat to lay siege to the impenetrable fortress of Matanceros.  He chronicles a very imaginative plot that numerous twists that make a true page-turner.

However, one of the most notable features of this book, is it lacks the polished that most Crichton novel feature.  One has to believe that either he wrote a period piece for fun and never intended it to be published or that he passed before he could send it to editing.  The beginning of the book is the best written, but demonstrates numerous anecdotes that are written in the incorrect tense and simply do not flow, such as when he explains that while platinum is a value mineral in our society it lacked value in 1665.  The final chapters of the book, read more like a first draft outlining the plot than a finished product, however, it does not take away from the story and simply leaves the reader wanting more.

I enjoyed the novel.  If you want a fast-paced fun novel, I have to recommend this book.  Hardcore Crichton fan, will likely enjoy this book, but will have to accept it is an incomplete work.  If your into hardcore pirate period pieces, perhaps this may not be your book.