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PIRATE LATITUDES By: Michael Crichton May 10, 2011

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

     Having gained a thirst for something piratey when seeing the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trailer, I finally picked up this 2009 selection, and have mixed emotions about it. While it does offer much in the way of historical detail, it somehow lacks the flavor of the times. It has some terrific scenes that exposes the brutality of the day (no, pirates weren’t the only meanies back then) and the characters are larger than life, but, frankly, one could forget they were pirates every now and again. To this reader  the book felt more like a puffed out movie script, and there will, indeed, be a movie, directed, of course, by Spielberg. Now we have to begin to question at which audience the film will be aimed. Children love pirates, but if we want to retain the scenes where Lazue, our lusty pirate wench, distracts the enemy by pulling her shirt open to expose her breasts, they will have to rate it more for adults. (And my guess is, they’ll go for the boobs, which is  a good thing since they can then also keep in scenes such as the one where the starving rats eat  a seaman’s face. Hooray!)

     The Lycan Librarian, knowing a bit about pirates herself, recognized many true historical snippets in these pages, but can’t quite pinpoint what disappointed her in this novel.  There was something that felt rushed or unfinished about it, and even though one has a fine time running alongside the pirates all through the book, and there is a peek at a wonderful bounty of treasure,it would have been nice to rest long enough to glean a glance, a smell, or a noise that would have stuck and made the imagination soar.  Without the epilogue, there could have been a somewhwt sad but interestingly different sequel.



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