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.
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!