A Happy Surprise: Pirate Latitudes

I remember reading Jurassic Park for the first time; I was young, and it introduced me to an author and a style that I enjoyed immensely. Since then, I have been a fan of Michael Crichton's books. Some of his books have been disappointing (like State of Fear and Timeline) but most of them have ranged from good to highly entertaining, which is the perfect range when one is looking for reading which is relaxing but still possessing some substance.

That said, Kristina, Hannah, and I went to the library this weekend, and as I walked with Hannah, diligently keeping her from tearing pages out of library books, she pulled off of the 'popular' shelf a book entitled Pirate Latitudes. I wouldn't have given it a second glance, except that out of the corner of my eye I caught the author: Michael Crichton.

How could this be? Sadly, Crichton passed away in 2008, and I was certain I had read all of the books he had published at that point. The answer was in the flap: apparently the manuscript was discovered posthumously, completed, among his notes.

Since it's a 'popular' book, I had 7 days to read it, no renewals. It took me three.

My thoughts: A good ride. The book has the normal and interesting historical underpinnings of a Crichton novel (or, at least of a Crichton novel that looks back instead of forward), which I enjoy and which provides the needed level of realism (now I feel like I know 'stuff' about Caribbean pirates, as opposed to how I felt after watching "Pirates of the Caribbean"). The story line is very good, with all the positive twists expected in a swashbuckling adventure, as well as some unexpected ones (there's even a Kraken!). Characters were weak though, and the book ended very abruptly; perhaps the manuscript was not as 'finished' as the publishers would have us believe? So much time was spent developing the plot that some of the people are little more than names.

Adult content: Nothing graphic, but lots of violence that gets pretty close. Sex is present, but not described. No swearing (cursing yes, and some very interesting one's. I particularly liked 'God's blood.' Not one I've heard before).

Overall: Entertaining. A must read if you enjoy Crichton. If not, or if not yet, then your better off to start with some of his older better works (Jurassic Park, Sphere).

Afterthought: There is another posthumous novel expected in 2010; a techno-thriller? I can't wait!

1 comment:

kering said...

I can't wait for you to blog about CHANGE OF HEART. It better be good. Just kidding!! :P Feel free to dislike, haha :D