Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum


One of the few mass-market authors that A Reader's Respite truly enjoys is Michael Crichton and we truly mourned his passing last year.

When we learned that an entire finished manuscript was found after his death, we were overjoyed when we learned that Harper would publish it this fall (November 24) with the title Pirate Latitudes. Crichton was, by anyone's standards, a very talented man. A medical doctor who turned to writing, he gave us bestselling novels such as Jurassic Park and wrote television hits like ER.

We miss him.

And we gobbled up Pirate Latitudes faster than a pirate downs a bottle of rum.

Crichton didn't write too much historical fiction. His only other foray into the genre was The First Great Train Robbery, written in 1975. An outstanding novel, by the by.

We wish he'd written more in the genre. Pirate Latitudes is a rollicking romp through the 17th century Caribbean, where Spain and England were battling it out for control and pirates reigned supreme. A Reader's Respite couldn't put it down.


We loved the swashbuckling Captain Hunter as he and his ragtag band of privateers roamed about Port Royal, Jamaica and then set off to steal a fortune in Spanish gold from the impregnable fortress on the island of Matanceros.

Battles at sea, hurricanes, and betrayal combine for a first-rate historical fiction romp through a lawless time and locale. The characters are beguiling and the plot is tight....Crichton was at the top of his game here.

*sigh*

We only wish he had written more.


There was, also found amongst his belongings, another partially finished manuscript found. It's our understanding that Harper's intends to employ a ghost writer to finish the novel and then publish it in the spring under Crichton's name.

Which means, for all intents and purposes, that Pirate Latitudes truly is his last novel. And look soon for the movie version....we understand this one will be a Spielberg film. Woo hoo!







18 comments:

  1. My whole family loves Michael Crichton, so I'm thrilled to see this is up to his high standards.

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  2. I've read many a Crichton book in my day, and am sad down in my bones that we shall not see any more of his work (except for that last thingy). I recently felt the same way when I discovered the awesomness of Stieg Larsson.

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  3. Kathy - I really think you'll love this one if you like Crichton's work....I think it may be my favorite of them all.

    Sandy - ditto on the Larsson...I hate losing a good writer.

    Robinbird - give it a shot, it's a fun read!

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  4. Sounds like a good read, I haven't read any of his work but heard a lot about him and have some of his books in my TBR, so hopefully soon I'll get to them :)
    Thanks for a great review !!

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  5. You had me sold at the word "pirates".

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  6. I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoyed this one - I love Crichton and am really looking forward to reading it. I knew it would be good the moment I heard Speilburg had bought the film rights!

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  7. Ooh, it sounds good. I've only read a few of Crichton's other books, but pirates? Sounds fantastic. And also very sad.

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  8. I have that here to read and I can't wait!

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  9. I was also excited when I heard this one was coming out. It's on my to-read list. Glad to hear it gets your seal of approval.

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  10. Glad to hear it's good - I have it on my wishlist!

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  11. I'm glad to see this is good. I'm planning on getting it for my hubby and I'm hoping he loves it.

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  12. I love Michael Crichton's writing, and I can't wait to get my hands on this book!

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  13. Glad to know I'm not the only one who loved this man's writing.....you all are going to love this book. Such a departure from his medical/ethical thrillers, but such a fun read it makes you wish he'd written a lot more historical fiction.

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  14. I haven't read any Crichton books, just watched the films. I will make the effort to read at least one now!

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  15. I'm so looking forward to reading this, and I didn't know there are already plans for a movie version! :D

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  16. I devoured Michael Crichton as a teenager, but I haven't read any of his books for quite some time. I'd love to read this one.

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  17. I always enjoyed his premises so much ... each book was so different and so imaginative yet also seemed based in reality too (at least the way he wrote it).

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Fire away!