Sunday, December 20, 2009

PIRATE LATITUDES by MICHAEL CRICHTON: REVIEW and GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
PIRATE LATITUDES

BY MICHAEL CRICHTON

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael Crichton was a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER. His most recent novel, Pirate Latitudes, published posthumously in November 2009, is a suspenseful adventure story set in the 17th century.

Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. Crichton's 2004 bestseller,
State of Fear, acknowledged the world was growing warmer, but challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios. He predicted future warming at 0.8 degrees C. (His conclusions have been widely misstated.)

Crichton's interest in computer modeling went back forty years. His multiple-discriminant analysis of Egyptian crania, carried out on an IBM 7090 computer at Harvard, was published in the Papers of the Peabody Museum in 1966. His technical publications included a study of host factors in pituitary chromophobe adenoma, in Metabolism, and an essay on medical obfuscation in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Crichton's first bestseller,
The Andromeda Strain, was published while he was still a medical student. He later worked full-time on film and writing. One of the most popular writers in the world, his books have been translated into thirty-six languages, and thirteen have been made into films.

He had a lifelong interest in computers. His feature film Westworld was the first to employ computer-generated special effects back in 1973. Crichton's pioneering use of computer programs for film production earned him a Technical Achievement Academy Award in 1995.


Crichton won an Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, and a Writer's Guild of America Award for
ER. In 2002, a newly discovered ankylosaur was named for him: Crichtonsaurus bohlini. He is survived by his wife Sherri, his daughter Taylor, and his son, John Michael.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Jamaica in 1665 is a rough outpost of the English crown, a minor colony holding out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, Jamaica′s capital, a cut-throat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses, is devoid of London′s luxuries; life here can end swiftly with dysentery or a dagger in your back. But for Captain Edward Hunter it is a life that can also lead to riches, 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 law in the New World is made by those who take it into their hands.

Word in port is that the Spanish treasure galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is stalled in nearby Matanceros harbor awaiting repairs. Heavily fortified, the impregnable Spanish outpost is guarded by the blood-swiller Cazalla, a favorite commander of King Philip IV himself. With the governor′s backing, Hunter assembles a roughneck crew to infiltrate the enemy island and commandeer the galleon, along with its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloody legends of Matanceros suggest, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he finds himself on the island′s shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry are all that stand between him and the treasure.

With the help of his cunning crew, Hunter hijacks El Trinidad and escapes the deadly clutches of Cazalla, leaving plenty of carnage in his wake. But his troubles have just begun. . .

REVIEW:


After Michael Crichton's death in 2008, PIRATE LATITUDES was discovered on one of his computers. Set in mid-17th century, it is a pirate adventure written as one should be full of swashbuckling pirates at time when they were at their peek of activity. Ships came to the Caribbean from France, Spain, and England often filled with treasures from South America and Mexico and became stuck on coral reefs or in the shallows and were sitting ducks for pirates to take advantage of.

In Port Royal, Jamaica, a British post was ruled by Governor Almont. When Captain Charles Hunter, from Great Britain, arrives he hears about the El Trinidad, a huge Spanish galleon. It has evidently dropped anchor in Matanceros, near the Virgin Islands which is an area known to be a Spanish stronghold. When its sister ship was sunk in a storm, the El Trinidad supposedly is full of a fortune in gold and jewels. And so the Governor of Jamaica makes a tempting offer to Captain Hunter to use his skills as a successful privateer to take over this ship. Privateering back then was a fine profession although very dangerous. It differed from piracy in that what ever was found and claimed would turn over a large percentage of the wealth to the crown while pirates would keep it all for themselves.

Captain Hunter begins searching the island bars and other seedy establishments to put together a good, well experienced crew. Most of them are thieves and murderers themselves, but the ones that Captain Hunter feels can be trusted when paid and treated well, are chosen. His choices include men with skills of all kinds including making explosives! Now they must act quickly as they are greatly outnumbered and so Hunter makes a plan to capture the ship while at anchor and most of the crew are onshore.

As almost everything that was planned that could go wrong does, and Hunter and his crew have to battle to overcome odds, the reader is now immersed in the expertise of Michael Crichton's writing as he pulls you in and then won't let you put the book down as you try and read "just one more page" to no avail! Even at this point IF they succeed, they still would have to get back to Port Royal by traveling in dangerous enemy filled seas.

As you read what as far as we know is the latest and last words from this amazingly talented author, you recall his attention to even the tiniest detail that made you a fan from the first Crichton words you ever read. His research and own personal knowledge of sailing adds to the excitement and reality of the story. Even as we find out more about the brave Captain Hunter and his skilled but roust-about crew, you can't help but want them to survive. Just as privateering was looked upon as respectable in those days, one becomes attached to this gang of seafaring thieves and pulls for their victory and survival.

Full of action and intense excitement, PIRATE LATITUDES gives us a sad farewell the Mr. Crichton as, personally, like many of you, if you've read all he wrote, you realize that this will be the last of his fine novels and the loss of this talented, intelligent, amazing man is felt once more. Please note that the end of this post contains a more fitting tribute to Michael Crichton by those who knew and respected and loved him. Of course I recommend this book most highly and am honored to be able to put my own thoughts on paper about such a talent. Rest in peace, Michael Crichton.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KYLE AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS AMAZING
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!


RULES:
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON ANY OF MICHAEL CRICHTON'S BOOKS YOU HAVE READ OR WANT TO READ. GO TO HIS WEBSITE HERE TO SEE AN AMAZING LIST OF THEM.

+1 MORE ENTRY: TAKE TIME TO READ THE MEMORIAM FOR MICHAEL CRICHTON THAT FOLLOWS AND JUST COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. YOU ALL WORK HARD ENOUGH ALL YEAR ON MY COMMENTS SO THAT'S ALL I NEED FOR THIS ONE.
DEADLINE FOR ENTERING IS
6 PM, EST, DECEMBER 31



IN MEMORIAM
Best-selling author Michael Crichton died
unexpectedly in Los Angeles Tuesday,November
4, 2008 after a courageous and private battle
against cancer.


While the world knew him as a great story teller that
challenged our preconceived notions about the world
around us -- and entertained us all while doing so --
his wife Sherri, daughter Taylor, son John Michael,
family and friends knew Michael Crichton as a
evoted husband, loving father and generous friend
who inspired each of us to strive to see the wonders
of our world through new eyes. He did this with a wry
sense of humor that those who were privileged to
know him personally will never forget.


Through his books, Michael Crichton served as an
inspiration to students of all ages, challenged
scientists in many fields, and illuminated the
mysteries of the world in a way we could all
understand.

He will be profoundly missed by those whose lives he
touched, but he leaves behind the greatest gifts of a
thirst for knowledge, the desire to understand, and the
wisdom to use our minds to better our world.

REMEMBERING MICHAEL CRICHTON

"Michael's talent out-scaled even his own dinosaurs of
Jurassic Park. He was the greatest at blending science
with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave
credibility to dinosaurs again walking the Earth.Michael
was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side
for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will
ever take his place."
--- Director and Film Producer Steven Spielberg


"Michael Crichton was an extraordinary man. Brilliant,
funny, erudite, gracious, exceptionally inquisitive and
always thoughtful. No lunch with Michael lasted less
than three hours and no subject was too prosaic or
obscure to attract his interest. Sexual politics, medical
and scientific ethics, anthropology, archaeology,
economics, astronomy, astrology, quantum physics
and molecular biology were all regular topics of
conversation." --- ER Executive Producer John Wells


"A modern-day Renaissance man. He was a physician,
writer, director and producer -- few people have done
so many things so well. As creator and producer of
NBC's ER, he helped change the face of televised
drama."--- NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker


"He was a nice man, and he died too young — too
young." Ray Bradbury


"Michael Crichton was the original creator of E.R. He
really based E.R. on his life as a young medical doctor.
Michael was always really proud of the fact he had
created something and passed it on. He was the
starter of it all. He will be greatly missed."
--- Star of ER Anthony Edwards

from MICHAEL CRICHTON OFFICIAL WEBSITE HERE

64 comments:

Linda K said...

The first of his books that I read was Andromeda Strain. I watched ER every week. And I have seen many of the movie adaptations of his books. I have always enjoyed his works and would be honored to receive this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda K said...

Google reader follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

~Jennifer~ said...

+1 I've read just about all of Michael Crichton's books. My absolute favorite is State of Fear. It really made me think and left me unsettled about the world around me.

+1 jennsicurella at verizon dot net

ann marie said...

Hi Bingo,

My all time favorite book is Timeline. To be able to go back in time and watch history unfold itself would be amazing. Jurassic Park is my second favorite book by him.

annmariebro at yahoo dot com

Sue said...

I love Michael Crichton. I've just been thinking about going back and reading a couple since my 13 year old just finished Jurassic Park. He's such a great writer! I look forward to this one.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

ann marie said...

He is already missed dearly by me.

annmariebro at yahoo dot com

Sue said...

Thanks for the memoriam. So lovely.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Buukluvr81 said...

+1 entry: I have never read his books, but Pirate Latitudes sounds like one I would love to read!

mollydawn1981 at aol dot com

Buukluvr81 said...

+1 entry: Beautiful Memoriam!

mollydawn1981 at aol dot com

Diane said...

This books sounds awesome. Crichton was amazing. I enjoyed Timeline especially.
bibliopilebytesea AT mail DOT COM

bermudaonion said...

My husband enjoyed this book, too. He said it's a "great story." No need to enter me.

Anonymous said...

Crichton's "Jurassic Park" is one of my favorite books of all time—I like to reread it every couple of years and it's always a good read!

Sheila
skkorman@bellsouth.net

Anonymous said...

"The Andromeda Strain" will always be my favorite because it was my first introduction to this amazing writer.

Donna
dlhaley@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

I read your memoriam to Michael Crichton—so sad that we book lovers will no longer have the gift of this talented writer's imagination, creativity, and intelligence.

Sheila
skkorman@bellsouth.net

scottsgal said...

Aside from Jurassic Park I enjoyed Prey. He was so talented

msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

What nice tributes from some very important people in the entertainment world. He was well respected

msboatgal at aol.com

Benita said...

I loved Jurassic Park.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

It is so sad that Michael had cancer. What a horrible disease. I lost my mom to cancer. At any rate, Losing Michael is painful. His books remain alive to many.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

I've read a few of Crichton's books and I must say I've enjoyed the classic Jurassic Park the most. I also liked Next.

Thanks for the giveaway and the memoriam.
fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

g.g. said...

I thought I had read them all but I don't remember Travels. But this Pirate book looks like the one I'd love to read the most.

g.g. said...

What a loss and so young. My prayers are with his family as I know all too well what that is like. Thank you for this one Bingo and Happy Holidays to you ..oh, I forgot my email last time, I think.

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

Wickdogg said...

I would love to read this. I have read several of his novels but liked Timeline a lot.

wickdogg AT gmail dot com

Giveaway Roundup said...

My favorite Michael Crichton books were Jurassic Park, and The Lost World. I loved the books even better than the movies.
ludeluh(at)yahoo(dot)com

Giveaway Roundup said...

Very sad that Michael Crichton passed away. A great talent lost, not only for his great books, but also for the other things he created, such as one of my favorite shows, ER.
ludeluh(at)yahoo(dot)com

brizmus said...

I love Michael Chricton! I actually cried when I heard he died. It's hard for me to pick a favorite, since they are all so awesome, but I guess I'm going to have to go with Timeline. SO GOOD!

zedster.tbb(at)gmail(DOT)com

brizmus said...

Thanks for the memoriam!
You know, I actually didn't realize that the Andromeda Strain was his FIRST bestseller. It was actually the first book I read by him as well.

zedster.tbb(at)gmail(DOT)com

CelticLady said...

Michael Chrichton was an amazing author. I enjoyed Jurasic Park but the one I liked the best I think is Timeline..Please enter me. Thank you

momkelly2003@yahoo.com

Happy Holidays!!

wheresmyrain said...

+1 im really excitied, I have read all his books except this one

wheresmyrain at yahoo dot com

wheresmyrain said...

+1 read mem.


very nice, he will be missed

wheresmyrain at yahoo dot com

tetewa said...

I enjoy his reads and would like to be included! tWarner419@aol.com

holdenj said...

I always liked Timeline. It was a great read, and I always felt like it received less adulation from the press.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

Beautiful sentiments by all, I think the Renissance man term really says a lot about him.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Katy said...

Sphere was one of the first Crichton books I read in high school, and it gripped me. I was enthralled. I have been looking forward to this one coming out.

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

Katy said...

I was so shocked when I heard about Michael Crichton's passing last year. I loved ER and have read many of his books. I'm glad he left behind his great books, but sad that there won't be any more.

srfbluemama at gmail dot com

bison61 said...

I have not read any of these books but State of Fear sounds good

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Nan said...

I think I've read almost every Crichton book. Airframe doesn't ring a bell so I might have missed that one. Andromeda Strain was the first I read and one of my favorites. Of course I also loved Jurassic Park.

vtgoat[at]gmail[dot]com

justpeachy36 said...

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

I have always wanted to read Jurassic Park after seeing the movie, because I know the book will be so much better.

Martha Lawson said...

I haven't read any of Michael's books but I was a huge ER fan. Never missed an episode. He will be greatly missed. I would love to Pirate Latitudes, it sounds so entertaining!


I am a follower on google friend.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Sandee61 said...

I read Michael's book, Congo awhile back and enjoyed it and would love to read this new one. I love pirates and adventure stories, please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you!

Christmas Blessings,
Sandee

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Jessica said...

It's a great loss so sad we will not get to enjoy more of Michael's work.
I've read a few of his books. I enjoyed Airframe one that doesn't get as much mention also Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park etc etc. many of his books really.

+ 1 jessica(at)fan(dot)com

Aik said...

I love reading Jurassic Park! It's just amazing!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Jaime said...

I have read several of his, starting with The Andromeda Strain
copperllama at yahoo.com

Jaime said...

Love his books
copperllama at yahoo dot com

kalynnick said...

The would like to read Airframe by Crichton!

kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Melissa Burmester said...

I hve never read any of his books.I would like to read Pirate Latitudes


melissa(at)gingerhigh(dot)com

Melissa Burmester said...

Very nice memoriam.

melissa(at )gingerhigh(dot)com

Carol W. said...

I remember reading Timeframe not long after teaching a unit on the Middle Ages. The book brought it all to life!

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com














t

Carol W. said...

The memoriam serves to emphasize what a creative and multi-faceted individual Michael Crichton was.

wolfcarol451(at)gmail(dot)com

Sarah said...

The first book of Michael Crichton's that I read was Jurassic Park, which has stuck with me to this day! I remember being blown away by the book's plot in which humans interacted with long-extinct dinosaurs. An amazing book and film! Since Jurassic Park, I have been hooked on Michael Crichton.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

Sarah said...

Thank you for posting the memoriam of Michael Crichton. Such a sad loss and all the more reason to cherish the books he wrote.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

nfmgirl said...

I've most recently read Next and State of Fear. His books often tend to be full of intriguing scientific theories that make me want to learn more.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Nice tribute to him. Thank you for sharing it.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Angie said...

I read Timeline

aksimmo@brainerd(dot)net

Angie said...

How did I not remember that he had died?

aksimmo@brainerd(dot)net

CherylS22 said...

I've read "The Andromeda Strain" & "State of Fear". I enjoy reading his books & would love to read "Pirate Latitudes".

Thanks ~ megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

I enjoyed the tribute to Michael Crichton - we have truly lost a great author.

megalon22 at yahoo dot com

DCMetroreader said...

I read State of Fear by Crichton.

kimspam66(at)yahoo(dot)com

InABox said...

I believe I've read all of Michael Crichton's books except a few of the nonfiction. He is one of my top 3 favorite authors. Timeline would probably be my favorite, followed by either Congo or Jurassic Park.

whatinabox (at) gmail (dot) com

InABox said...

Michael Crichton will be missed, not only by his family, but by those who loved his books.

whatinabox (at) gmail (dot) com

LoveMyCoffee said...

One of my favorite books by Michael was Airframe. Usually, each year for Christmas I buy my daughter a Michael Crichton book, this year I neglected to do so, this would be a great gift for my daughter...after I've read it of course.
Michael will be missed.

Dutchlvr1(at)aol(dot)com

Esme said...

I have not read any of his books-however Rising Sun would be my first pick

thanks

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

Esme said...

He accomplished lots in his life-how sad to die at such a young age.

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

rubynreba said...

This sounds like a great book. I liked Timeline.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

The memoriam was very touching.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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