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Old 03-14-2010, 05:19 PM   #151
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I’m enjoying the book, but like a pp said, there are a lot of sailing terms that I meant to look up, but didn’t yet.

I can’t relate to the characters either, but I enjoy their colorful personalities. I wish MC would have gone deeper with the characters, and like mentioned previously, especially the women. I find myself waiting for more character development, but then realize it’s an adventure story.

I like how Hunter selected each crew member for their special “skills” and how their survival depended on those skills. Even though they’re terrible people, they still had to depend on each other. I wouldn’t have trusted one of those characters, but they didn’t have as hard of a time with trust as I thought that they would.

Does anyone else picture Haiti in their mind whenever Port Royal is described? I guess it’s because of how the odor and lack of order is described in the news and in the book.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:23 PM   #152
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I agree, Lisa! I really enjoyed the section describing each of Hunter's crew. I also think it has an Ocean's 11 feel to it like someone said above. I'm particularly intrigued by the doctor. Something tells me he is bad news.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:13 PM   #153
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I got to thinking a lot about something that was nagging me about the book in the back of my mind, and I finally figured out what it was. The predictable movie-like plot devices. Just like someone else mentioned in Ocean's 11, and I mentioned in The Magnificent Seven / Seven Samurai. (And another movie plot device I didn't mention because it happens near the end of the book.)

Not only did I find myself bored by the plot devices, it finally dawned on me that I was bothered with the book because it started to read like a screenplay. I hated that.

The only semi-surprise I had was from a character I wrote off as insignificant at the time. But I can't mention that until people have finished the book. Poetic justice was served, but that seemed clichéd to me, more the pity.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:24 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *NikkiBell* View Post
I agree about Lazue and Anne. I'm really, really surprised that Lazue is even accepted at all because of her living like a man. During the 1600s, that isn't necessarily that was well received.

Anne's character intrigues me. I'd love to know more about her backstory, i.e. the one that involved her being labeled a "witch." That could definitely be a book onto itself. She's a very mysterious type of character and I think that the potential for depth is strong.
It appears that MC is very accurate when depicting life, pirates, weaponry etc. I learned that there were 2 female pirates that were very well known and highly respected during the Golden Age of Piracy. I was surprised but it makes sense if society was so restrictive for females that they would want to be part of a more democratic system. Still. Lazue seems to be an accurate representation....the real life ones were so fierce they were put on the landing team (or whatever it was called) and those pirates were known to be the most fierce and ruthless.

Does anyone else wonder why the pirates/stories about pirates from long ago are so much more fascinating/intriguing but modern day pirates are loathsome and frightening?

To you MC fans...does this novel read like his others? I agree with PP that it seems like it was written with a movie in mind, but he never sent it off to publish for a reason...maybe he wasn't done with it or maybe editors made changes??
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:24 AM   #155
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Can I just say how excited about this book club I am. I've finished the book and really enjoyed it. I would never have read it if it wasn't for this book club. I love the idea of going beyond my usual boundries of book picks.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:46 AM   #156
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I am so glad that other people are reading this book and thinking Ocean's 11 like I did. When I finished reading Part 1 I looked at my DH and said, "So far this book is Ocean's 11 meets Pirates".

I've read a bunch of other MC novels in the past and I have to say the beginning of this novel is very much in his style. It's fast and descriptive. But when I read halfway into Part II and III I found it dragged a little and the pace just wasn't the same. I found it lost some of the edge it had in the beginning. Now, that's not to say that all of MC's books are great, but this one had the beginning, just not the ending for me. And I've always felt that MC, especially after Jurrasic Park, wrote most of his novels intending them to become movies.

As to the question of why we find pirates fascinating I think it's a mulit-facated answer. Part is because of Disney. The 3 Pirate movies have been absorbed into our popular culture. Captain Jack Sparrow anyone?

Part is because pirates are part of a history that is geographically close to the United States or even part of the US, like Florida. In the travel that I've done to the Caribbean, almost all of the Islands have some sort of history with pirates and most of them capitialise on this history with pirate stores, merchandise, mueseums, pirate cruises, pirate festivals, etc.

And, I think part is because everyone likes to think they have a little pirate in them -- that "take what you want, give nothing back" attitude. Pirates are naughty. You know they are not good people, but sometimes you just want to root for them. Also remember, when it comes to most pirates it's all about what side you were on. One country's pirate is another country's national hero.

Pirates represent adventure, freedom, the high-seas. That sounds like so much fun -- even if the reality of it wasn't.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:56 AM   #157
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I've never seen Oceans 11 but I'm wondering if he wrote this with a movie in mind. Or if he purposely put in every pirate stereotype to sort of be funny about it. I'm more than half way through and I'm enjoying it but the characters seem to be a little extreme in their stereotypes.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:17 AM   #158
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I'm finished the book and unfortunately it never really won me over. It had some exciting scenes, and some characters with potential, but I wasn't impressed by the whole package.

My feeling is that he wrote this as a very rough draft of a book and wrote down any idea that popped into his head just to get it all down on paper. I bet he wrote it as the basis for a screenplay but then abandoned the idea when Pirates of the Carribbean took off and never went back to refine anything that he'd written originally.

The things that bugged me the most (spoliers so I'm going to white print): the kraken attack - seriously, a giant squid reaching through the portholes to attack? Are you kidding me? And the whole "she's a witch, mark my words" followed by the candles and pentagram stuff. Just out of left field and then completely abandoned and never mentioned again. What was the point?

I also wish that MC had taken the time to tell us what was going on back at Port Royal instead of just saying "Oh yeah, while you were gone, there was a giant power shift." A couple of interspersed chapters could have set the scene and maybe built up some tension. Similarly, I would have liked some writing from Sanson's perspective on the Cassandra so we would have been more prepared for the end scenes.

I found the whole thing frustrating because I really wanted to like it and I just couldn't.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:31 AM   #159
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I agree about the whole witch a kraken thing, that bugged me too and almost rang of sci fi.

I enjoyed the end and the epilogue. I knew that Sanson was going to be the one in the courtroom. I enjoyed hearing how the interaction at the end went down.

I thought the whole thing about Mrs. Hackeltt being "fat with child" only after 6 weeks was a little far fetched.

I would have liked to have heard more about the overthrow of the government. That would have added to the suspense.


This was so far different than what I normally read I enjoyed it but I don't think I would see it as a movie for fear of the gore.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:37 AM   #160
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I absolutley think MC wrote this with a movie in mind. Some sections, when I reread it , jumped out at me as only being in there for that reason....the scene with Mrs. Hacklett and Hunter for example. And a few others into Parts 3 and 4 which I won't bring up yet but two whole sections made me think "what was the purpose of that!"

It would be interesting to know how much the editor would have struck a red line through if it had been anyone other then MC, especially since this was post death.

However, after saying all that, would I go see the movie if it came out? You betcha!
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:43 PM   #161
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Hi - I finished the book this weekend. I liked it - didn't love it. It was a fast read but some of it was far fetched. White out - I don't want to spoil anything. I wish there would have been more detail on what was going on in Port Royal while Hunter and gang were away and also what was happening on the Cassandrea. I had an idea that Sansone was going to make off with the treasure he had but would have like to have been in his head during that time.

I will be interested to read everyone's reviews as they finsh the book.
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:55 PM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriarRosie View Post
I got to thinking a lot about something that was nagging me about the book in the back of my mind, and I finally figured out what it was. The predictable movie-like plot devices. Just like someone else mentioned in Ocean's 11, and I mentioned in The Magnificent Seven / Seven Samurai. (And another movie plot device I didn't mention because it happens near the end of the book.)

Not only did I find myself bored by the plot devices, it finally dawned on me that I was bothered with the book because it started to read like a screenplay. I hated that.
I'm not sure I'm following. Could you elaborate on what you mean by movie-like plot devices?

I'm curious to see the movie version once it comes out. I don't get the feeling that this is written like a screenplay, but that could just be me.
I just view it as a normal "boy" adventure story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tammyroo View Post
It appears that MC is very accurate when depicting life, pirates, weaponry etc. I learned that there were 2 female pirates that were very well known and highly respected during the Golden Age of Piracy. I was surprised but it makes sense if society was so restrictive for females that they would want to be part of a more democratic system. Still. Lazue seems to be an accurate representation....the real life ones were so fierce they were put on the landing team (or whatever it was called) and those pirates were known to be the most fierce and ruthless.

Does anyone else wonder why the pirates/stories about pirates from long ago are so much more fascinating/intriguing but modern day pirates are loathsome and frightening?
While I have heard of female pirates before, what my comment was referring to was this concept of cross-dressing and/or transgenderism. I'm not sure how either were received back then other than what I know of women being oppressed.

I don't find pirates loathsome and frightening either in the books or real world. Perhaps I am just too distanced from the idea that it does not register as something that could really exist. I think Pirates of the Caribbean brought some of the more gruesome side of pirates into my understanding. I'm not finding what is being discussed in Pirate Latitudes too different though. I know others have commented that they are ill from some of the actions or descriptions mentioned, but that hasn't happened to me as of yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lttlmc3 View Post
Can I just say how excited about this book club I am. I've finished the book and really enjoyed it. I would never have read it if it wasn't for this book club. I love the idea of going beyond my usual boundries of book picks.
I can't agree more with you. I never would have picked this book up on my own and feel it is a real benefit of our group here on the DIS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miksilver View Post
As to the question of why we find pirates fascinating I think it's a mulit-facated answer. Part is because of Disney. The 3 Pirate movies have been absorbed into our popular culture. Captain Jack Sparrow anyone?

Part is because pirates are part of a history that is geographically close to the United States or even part of the US, like Florida. In the travel that I've done to the Caribbean, almost all of the Islands have some sort of history with pirates and most of them capitialise on this history with pirate stores, merchandise, mueseums, pirate cruises, pirate festivals, etc.

And, I think part is because everyone likes to think they have a little pirate in them -- that "take what you want, give nothing back" attitude. Pirates are naughty. You know they are not good people, but sometimes you just want to root for them. Also remember, when it comes to most pirates it's all about what side you were on. One country's pirate is another country's national hero.

Pirates represent adventure, freedom, the high-seas. That sounds like so much fun -- even if the reality of it wasn't.
I agree. I think pirates represent a fantasy that some of us crave. It's all abotu the high-seas, adventure, merriment, and treasure. Who wouldn't be intruged by it?

Quote:
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However, after saying all that, would I go see the movie if it came out? You betcha!
Now that we've been reading and discussing it, I'll definitely be seeing it!
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:07 PM   #163
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Reading Schedule Reminder & Part III Discussion

Arrgghhhh, mateys!!!!

I just wanted to post a link here to remind everyone of our reading schedule and how we'll move forward. See Post #126 if you are unsure as to how to participate in our discussion.

UPDATED Reading & Discussion Schedule as of March 10

Part II - March 13
Part III - March 17
Part IV - March 22

Part III is titled "Mantanceros" and features a pretty intense scene involving life or death towards the very beginning. Beginning on page 132, Hunter uses a makeshift sling to climb the very top of a cliff during the storm. "Suddenly, there was a break in the pattern. No more ascent" (133). He then quickly realized that he was about to fall as the "sling rope snapped and came twisting and shaking down on his head and shoulders."

Fortunately for one of our main characters, Hunter was able to manuever his body up the cliff although it was not done with ease:

"His body began to arc back toward the cliff. He braced himself for the impact, and then it came, slamming the breath out of his lungs. He gave an involuntary cry, and hung there, gasping for breath...His mind ceased to function...The world around him became silent, no sound of rain, no scream of wind, nothing at all, not even the grasp of his own breath. The world wasy gray, and he was lost in the grayness" (133-134).

This was a pretty powerful scene, don't you think? Hunter needed to be quick on his feet and figure out a way to scale the cliff or face ultimate peril. How would you react in a situation like this? Would you be able to remain calm as did Hunter? Have you ever faced a life or death situation like this?
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:49 PM   #164
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The book is a good choice, it's a quick read and exciting. I'm new at this commenting part but I am enjoying the book.http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/smilies/pirate.gif PS Hacklett is a twit. - Micki
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:51 PM   #165
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Quote:
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I'm not sure I'm following. Could you elaborate on what you mean by movie-like plot devices?
I'm talking about the tried and true movie cliché of getting a rag-tag bunch of misfits together, each who has a special skill to bring to the party. Throw in the quirks and nicknames like The Jew or The Moor, and you've got a movie-ready plot device straight from Central Casting.

The other plot device I'll talk about in white out.

I noticed that Hunter systematically created a list of people responsible for his tribunal, and then goes about his revenge, killing them one by one. While "Munich" was actually based on the real tragedy of the Munich Olympics of 1972, those responsible for the terrorist act were hunted one by one. Another example I thought of was Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill". But the Hacklett groin shooting was the "poetic justice" I alluded to in an earlier post. Hunter didn't have to do that one.

I guess I'm more annoyed with the contrived movie plot devices than most of you.
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