Thanks to MizB for hosting this fun Friday meme!
Oh my gosh...I'm doing the Snoopy Happy Dance...lookie--lookie--see what I found??! Pirate Latitudes by...(yes, I mean it...) MICHAEL CRICHTON!!!! Whoopie!!!
According to Jonathan Burnham, a publisher of an imprint of HarperCollins, the book was written concurrently with Crichton's most recent novel, Next. The novel stars a pirate named Hunter who, together with the governor of Jamaica, plots to raid a Spanish galleon for its treasure. Burnham goes on to say that it is "thoroughly researched...packed through with great detail about navigation and how pirates operated, and links between the New World and the Caribbean and Spain.”
The novel was discovered on one of Crichton's computers by his assistant after the author's death, along with another unfinished novel slated to be published in the fall of 2010.
Synopsis: The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Devoid of London’s luxuries, Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate, life can end swiftly by dysentery—or dagger. But for a daring soul like Captain Edward Hunter, this wild outpost in the New World can also lead to great fortune, if he abides by the island’s code. In the name of His Majesty King Charles II of England, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.
Word in port is that the Spanish galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in nearby Matanceros. Heavily fortified, the impregnable Spanish harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of King Philip IV. With the Jamaican governor’s backing, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy island and commandeer the galleon and its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of Matanceros legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he makes it onto the island’s shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure.
With the help of his cunning band, Hunter hijacks El Trinidad and escapes the deadly clutches of Cazalla, leaving plenty of carnage in his wake. But the danger—and adventure—are only just beginning. . .
I can't even begin to describe how excited I am to discover that Michael Crichton, one of the most brilliant writers from our time left us with a couple of books when he passed away.
Crichton died in November of 2008, leaving behind a body of work, thought and speeches that are simply unbelievable. His testimony before the U.S. Senate in 2005 arguing for independent verification of research used for public policy, was genius. (You can see the text of his testimony here.) And while you're on the website, you should read some of his speeches and essays. He was masterful, and I can't wait to read his final works.
Okay..I know..I'm gushing, but when I think back to novels that were almost prescient in their plotting, I think of Michael Crichton. If you're only familiar with the work through Hollywood's interpretation of them...please read his books. Hollywood, has, as usual, totally bolloxed them. In fact, read State of Fear, it's really pertinent to our time.
I came across this video on YouTube, a ten minute film of Crichton's "Unpopular Truth", where he discusses his reluctance to accept some of today's pop science conclusions. The last thirty seconds pretty much say it all!
He was a fascinating man, the world is a lesser place without him.
And check out other Friday Finds here!