The new posthumous thriller from MichaelCrichton, one of the most famous authors in the world From one of the best-loved and bestselling...... more
The new posthumous thriller from MichaelCrichton, one of the most famous authors in the world From one of the best-loved and bestselling authors of all time comes and irresistible tale of swashbuckling pirates in the New World -- a classic story of adventure and betrayal. Jamaica, in 1665 a lone outpost of British power amid Spanish waters in the sunbaked Caribbean. Its capital, Port Royal, a cuthroat town of taverns, grog shops and bawdy houses -- the last place imaginable from which to launch an unthinkable attack on a nearby Spanish stronghold.
For many years, MichaelCrichton's name was a byword for intelligent, cutting edge fiction, frequently utilising striking new developments in...... more
For many years, MichaelCrichton's name was a byword for intelligent, cutting edge fiction, frequently utilising striking new developments in science as the basis of his narratives, or (most famously in Jurassic Park) extrapolating scientific possibilities into highly exciting (if implausible) tales of adventure. After his recent death (at a relatively young age), it was salutary to remember that his writing career had been a very long one -- so that when he took a concept that he might have used before (i.e., high tech amusement park goes disastrously wrong with fatal consequences for visitors) he could ensure that there was a lengthy gap so that people barely noticed (look at the plots of Westworld (1973) and the aforementioned Jurassic Park). And now we have his final book, published posthumously, Pirate Latitudes. For once, though, it looks as if Crichton were following the pack rather than leading it -- but things are not that clear cut as they might initially have seemed.Pirate Latitudes takes the reader back to 1665, when Charles IIs Jamaican colony is under serious threat, besieged on every side by the voracious Spanish empire. At the centre of this troubled outpost is its crowded capital, Port Royal, a lively (if festering) hangout for criminal dregs, who inhabit its taverns and brothels. This is the time of the privateer, when (with tacit royal sanction), ship's captains could make sorties against Spanish ships and outposts, plundering at will -- just so long as the Governor and King Charles are taken care of. MichaelCrichton's protagonist in this colourful mix is Captain Charles Hunter, educated at Harvard and a man with keenly developed survival instincts. He is made aware a treasure galleon, which is at anchor in the heavily fortified Spanish island of Matanceros, and Hunters interest is piqued -- not least because this means he will be able to take on Philip of Spain's most ruthless enforcer, Cazalla. The stage is set for what will either be a glorious bit of naval smash-and-grab or that will end in the ignominious death of Charles Hunter and his motley crew.All of this, of course, suggests that Crichton (always a man aware of the commercial possibilities of any material) had been looking at the phenomenal success of the Pirates of the Caribbean series of films, and there is no doubt that some of the spirit of fun to be found here echoes that of the Johnny Depp-starring movies. But Crichton clearly remembered an earlier era, and the swashbuckling style of the (less parodic) Errol Flynn adventues is actually the template here (you'll notice the comparisons drawn here are cinematic rather than literary -- but MichaelCrichton always straddled the two fields, and was a successful film director as well as novelist). Perhaps Pirate Latitudes isn't the final triumphant legacy we might wish for from Crichton, but (taken in the right spirit) it's uncomplicated, fast-moving fun. --Barry Forshaw
Unless your species evolved sometime after 1993, when Jurassic Park hit theatres, you're no doubt familiar with this dinosaur-bites-man disaster tale set on...... more
Unless your species evolved sometime after 1993, when Jurassic Park hit theatres, you're no doubt familiar with this dinosaur-bites-man disaster tale set on an island theme park gone terribly wrong. But if Speilberg's amped-up CGI creation left you longing for more scientific background and ... well, character development, check out the original MichaelCrichton novel. Although not his best book (get a hold of sci-fi classic The Andromeda Strain for that), Jurassic Park fills out the film version's kinetic storyline with additional scenes, dialogue and explanations while still maintaining Crichton's trademark thrills-'n'-chills pacing. As ever, the book really is better than the movie. --Paul Hughes, Amazon.com
Advantages: Interesting and well written book Disadvantages: Technically occasionally over my head!
Another book recommended to me, this time by my Dentist. He raves about this author and as I'm due for a check up next week I thought I better give it a go.
About the author:
Michael Crichton was born in Chicago in USA on 23rd October 1942. He was probably best known as the author of 'Jurassic Park' and the creator of 'ER'.
His first best seller 'The Andromeda Strain' was...
Advantages: Very readable, good character development Disadvantages: Maybe too many characters which weren't always fully developed
...This review is for the paperback book Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton. The book was published in paperback in 2009, and was sadly published posthumously as Michael Crichton died in 2008.
The basic plot of the book is set in the 1660s and involves Captain Charles Hunter who is put in charge of a large expedition to Matanceros, a fictional island in Jamaica. He reaches there successfully, but...
Advantages: It's a page turner Disadvantages: some academic patches slow the story
...The best win I've had with a short story competition involved the tale of a man who was treated with nanobots - tiny machines that could fix his brain at a microscopic level.
Here it is if you fancy a quick read:
Michael Crichton also writes about nanotechnology in his novel 'Prey' but in a fuller and much better developed story. It is...