I don't post often over on the podcast board too often but I love the idea of a book club! Thanks for taking it on Nikki. I read Pirate Latitudes about a month ago. I don't want to discuss too much of the plot yet so I don't spoil it for others. But I'll just say of all the Crichton books I've read this was pretty much the worst one. Not that is was bad, just not as good as his other works. I wondered the same thing. I've read almost all of his books and this one doesn't feel like him at all. I wondered what the story behind the "lost" manuscript was. True. But there are a lot of similarities to the Pirates movies. I wondered if he maybe wrote the book, then went to the movies and saw POTC and walked out thinking "oh crap, well I guess I won't be publishing that"