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Old 03-23-2010, 05:50 PM   #196
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Hi All!

Here's the updated reading schedule for the rest of the novel. Please feel free to discuss anything from Parts I through IV at this time. I already posted a few thoughts above. Feel free to comment or bring up something else that intrigued you. For example, did you find a specific character different in Part IV than towards the beginning of the text? Did you find yourself identifying more with someone? Was there a specific scene that you wanted more information on?


UPDATED Reading & Discussion Schedule as of March 23

Part II - March 13
Part III - March 17
Part IV - March 22
Part V - March 28
Part VI - March 31
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:01 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegal View Post
I needed to know the difference between pirate and privateer...It really bothered me how little value a human life had. A man (well, usually a man) goes out to sea and in a flash of a knife doesn't get to go home. I kept thinking those men had mothers and wives and children at home who would never know what happened to their man. Of course, that was not an important aspect of the story! Just my personal concern, same as Nikki's concern about the animals.
Thanks for posting information about privateering, Lyn. I was thinking about how different they were too while reading last night. The concept of valuing human life is definitely not something that really presented itself here in the text. I think it was probably honorable for men to go out to sea, and people realized that they may never return.

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Originally Posted by PinkBudgie View Post
About the chicken- I was feeling rather "ooohhh" too but then thought better to loose a chick than a human life. And how lucky she was that they found one.
I'm not sure if I agree here. This relates to the common debate about medical testing done on animals (or that with products like shampoos, soaps, etc.). I personally feel that the animal's life is just as important as the human's. I cringed when the chick was being used as bate and thought that they could have found other means to get the snake out of Lazue's pants.

However, I do also realize that this cruel act was presented in order to show, once again, the personalities of the pirates and how gruesome and careless they can be. Without scenes like this, we'd have a very skewed perception of them.

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Originally Posted by tanyabanana View Post
I have never read a Crichton book before and even though is one has been slow going I am going to try another one of his books soon, maybe Jurassic Park.
I was thinking about reading JP as well. I have never read anything by Crichton, but am enjoying Pirate Latitudes.

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Originally Posted by tammyroo View Post
I learned something else at the Real Pirates exhibit that made me understand why men, and some women, would choose the violent lifestyle of a pirate. Evidently, the Navy was very hierarchical--meaning only the officers ever really gained anything and had any kind of comfort on board. The lower ranks made very little, if anything, in wages, which I found surprising. Sometimes, men and boys were "pressed" into service. So, basically they were slave labor.
Whereas, for pirates it really was a type of democracy (everything divided up equally) and could be much more lucrative in terms of making a living. Pirate captains weren't really any higher up than anyone else on board. He basically was the strategist for battle but otherwise had no special privileges. He didn't even have rights to the captain's cabin if someone wanted it.
So, pirating made much better since in terms of earning a living. I was a bit more sympathetic to their plight once I realized the Navy was pretty abusive at that time. Still, its all pretty ruthless.

The towns in the book that welcome the pirates also make sense given that the pirates had a lot of money to throw around and keep the businesses and town afloat. I wouldn't want to live in such a place but it certainly makes sense if people are trying to survive. Sounds a bit like the Wild West....lawlessness, people turning a blind eye, etc
Very interesting stuff. That must have been neat to see this exhibit while reading the novel. I'm glad you had a chance to do both!
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:43 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammyroo View Post
I learned something else at the Real Pirates exhibit that made me understand why men, and some women, would choose the violent lifestyle of a pirate. Evidently, the Navy was very hierarchical--meaning only the officers ever really gained anything and had any kind of comfort on board. The lower ranks made very little, if anything, in wages, which I found surprising. Sometimes, men and boys were "pressed" into service. So, basically they were slave labor.
Whereas, for pirates it really was a type of democracy (everything divided up equally) and could be much more lucrative in terms of making a living. Pirate captains weren't really any higher up than anyone else on board. He basically was the strategist for battle but otherwise had no special privileges. He didn't even have rights to the captain's cabin if someone wanted it.
So, pirating made much better since in terms of earning a living. I was a bit more sympathetic to their plight once I realized the Navy was pretty abusive at that time. Still, its all pretty ruthless.

The towns in the book that welcome the pirates also make sense given that the pirates had a lot of money to throw around and keep the businesses and town afloat. I wouldn't want to live in such a place but it certainly makes sense if people are trying to survive. Sounds a bit like the Wild West....lawlessness, people turning a blind eye, etc
This is really interesting information and certainly does explain why pirating would be a popular lifestyle choice. Also, better to be Lazue than a woman with no say in her life choices.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:09 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by *NikkiBell* View Post
Was there a specific scene that you wanted more information on?
We got introductory background on the sailor / privateers.

I would have liked to known more about Anne Sharpe. She was young in years and new to Port Royale, but certainly knew how to manipulate and gain her way in the world.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:17 PM   #200
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I finished the book today and I enjoyed reading it! I can not wait for our next book. I have enjoyed reading the comments applicable to each section. My 2 cents: I loved Hunter and Lazue, I hated Hacklett and I want to visit the Caribbean even more now. Overall, I give this book a .

Happy Reading!
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:54 PM   #201
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I finished the book today and I enjoyed reading it! I can not wait for our next book. I have enjoyed reading the comments applicable to each section. My 2 cents: I loved Hunter and Lazue, I hated Hacklett and I want to visit the Caribbean even more now. Overall, I give this book a .

Happy Reading!

I hated him too, which is why I liked him! I wish we could have seen more him.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #202
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Finished the book last night -- again Im struck by the story echoing a journey like "the odyssey". Overall would give it a 3 out 5 .. certainly not Crichton's best, and I still have my doubts he is the sole author.
Spoiler - I thought that he would leave it open to a sequel, the hero finding adventure thru the Caribbean seeking the rest of the treasure. Hunter's death was antclimatic.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:22 AM   #203
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Reply to the spoiler: I have to say that I do like when a book or movie tells you what happened to everyone involved because I don't like it just ending. But I was disappointed too in how he ended.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:53 PM   #204
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Parts of the last two sections of the book had me pulling my hair out so I'm going to be really interested to hear everyone's comments when we all finish. The epilogue actually had me running for the computer though...some of it sounded so plausible.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:37 AM   #205
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Hi All,

I'm sorry for being scare the past few days, but am having some personal/family problems right now. Keep the discussion going about your thoughts on the book. Feel free to include your ideas on the ending as well just use the spoiler tag so people are aware in case they are still reading.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:26 PM   #206
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I just wanted to pop in and apologise!

I really wanted to take part in this book, I even got it out of the library, but with all the Uni work on at the moment, and the 8000 word original research monstrosity at my door, I just don't have the time!

Do we have a set book for the next one so I can get an early start?
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:19 PM   #207
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Hi Kate - No need to apologize! I'm asking anyone who has suggestions for the next round's book to PM me. Once we finish this one, we're going to discuss the options for the next book and go from there.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:48 PM   #208
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I often wonder when I read books from those time periods, were people really that careless about human life or if that is just the author taking liberty to tell a story. Life was so short then, it would seem like that should make life even more valued.
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:12 PM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy4stitch View Post
I often wonder when I read books from those time periods, were people really that careless about human life or if that is just the author taking liberty to tell a story. Life was so short then, it would seem like that should make life even more valued.
Oh, I love your comment!

I don't think the author was making up about how people valued life. I have already stated how comfortable I was reading the book.

Some thoughts...

Maybe, just perhaps, because life could be so short, people took greater risks?

Women had many children with the knowledge that some would not survive through childhood. Do you think, maybe, some women didn't get very attatched to children knowing that they could be snatched by disease. Could this lead to latter disregard of human life?

Just wondering, I really don't know.

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Old 03-29-2010, 05:48 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy4stitch View Post
I often wonder when I read books from those time periods, were people really that careless about human life or if that is just the author taking liberty to tell a story. Life was so short then, it would seem like that should make life even more valued.
I have found myself wondering this time and time again during our reading of this book. It seems as if human life (and animal, for that matter) is so devalued. Part of me wonders if it is just the author heightening the intensity of the pirate way of life or if it is truthful.

You made a great point at the end of your comment here. Because medicine and technology was so archaic back then, one would think that people would have placed even more value on it. That is certainly not the case from what we have seen in the novel. I wonder why that is so?
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