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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton


Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

John Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, IL on October 23, 1942. He died of throat cancer in Los Angeles, CA on November 4, 2008 (66 yrs old). He was in treatment and doing well but unexpectedly died. He was 6'9" tall. This and his high intellect made him feel alienated as a young boy. According to his siblings he showed an intense desire to write at a young age. He attended Harvard to study writing but he had a problem with one of the professors and the English Dept so he switched to biological anthropology as an undergraduate, obtaining his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in 1964. Crichton then enrolled in the Harvard Medical School. He graduated from Harvard, obtaining an M.D. in 1969, and undertook a post-doctoral fellowship study at the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, from 1969 to 1970. He taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. Crichton married five times, four of the marriages ending in divorce. He was married to Suzanna Childs, Joan Radam (1965–1970), Kathy St. Johns (1978–1980), and actress Anne-Marie Martin (1987–2003), the mother of his daughter Taylor Anne (born 1989). At the time of his death, Crichton was married to Sherri Alexander, who was six months pregnant with their son. John Michael Todd Crichton was born on February 12, 2009.

Source: Wikipedia

Novels
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, Knopf, 1969
THE TERMINAL MAN, Knopf, 1972
THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, Knopf, 1975
EATERS OF THE DEAD, Knopf, 1976
CONGO, Knopf, 1980
SPHERE, Knopf, 1987
JURASSIC PARK, Knopf, 1990
RISING SUN, Knopf, 1992
DISCLOSURE, Knopf, 1994
THE LOST WORLD, Knopf, 1995
AIRFRAME, Knopf, 1996
TIMELINE, Knopf, 1999
PREY, Harper Collins, 2002
STATE OF FEAR, Harper Collins, 2004
NEXT, Harper Collins, 2006
PIRATE LATITUDES, Harper Collins, 2009

Non-Fiction
FIVE PATIENTS: The Hospital Explained, Knopf, 1970
JASPER JOHNS, Abrams, 1977
ELECTRONIC LIFE, Knopf, 1983
TRAVELS, Knopf, 1988
JASPER JOHNS (revised edition), Abrams, 1994

Published Screenplays
WESTWORLD, Bantam Books, 1975
TWISTER (with Anne-Marie Martin), Ballantine Books, 1996

Films
PURSUIT, ABC Movie of the Week, 1972. (Director)
WESTWORLD, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1973. (Writer/Director)
COMA, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1978. (Writer/Director)
THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY, United Artists, 1979. (Writer/Director)
LOOKER, The Ladd Company, 1981. (Writer/Director)
RUNAWAY, Tri-Star Pictures, 1984. (Writer/Director)
PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, Columbia Pictures, 1989. (Director)
JURASSIC PARK, Universal, 1993 (Co-writer)
RISING SUN, Twentieth Century Fox, 1993 (Co-writer)
DISCLOSURE, Warner Brothers, 1994 (Co-producer)
TWISTER, Warner Brothers/Universal, 1996 (Co-writer, Co-producer)
SPHERE, Warner Brothers, 1998 (Co-producer)
13TH WARRIOR, Touchstone, 1999 (Co-producer)

Other Films From Crichton's Books
THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, Universal, 1971
THE CAREY TREATMENT, MGM, 1972
DEALING: OR THE BERKLEY TO BOST0N FORTY-BRICK LOST BAG BLUES, Warner Bros, 1972
THE TERMINAL MAN, Warner Bros, 1974
CONGO, Paramount, 1995
LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK II, Universal, 1997
TIMELINE, Paramount, 2003

Television
ER, NBC, 1994 Creator, (co-exec. producer)

Computer Games
AMAZON, Tellarium, 1982
TIMELINE, Eidos, 2000
Source: http://www.crichton-official.com/aboutmichaelcrichton-biography.html

His book, Pirate Latitudes, was found in his computer as a completed novel. It is not known when he wrote it. It was found after his death and published posthumously. I've read Andromeda Strain, State of Fear, and Pirate Latitudes. I have his other books but haven't gotten around to reading them yet. Not having read all his books yet, I'm not sure, but it seems Pirate Latitudes may have been different. It's based in the 17th century Caribbean islands. A "Privateer" named Capt. Charles Hunter is in cahoots with the English Governor of Port Royal, Jamaica. The Governor got word that a Spanish treasure ship is sheltering at the island of Matanceros where the evil Commander Cazalla is. The island is nearly impregnable. The bay is protected by the fortress and there is a sheer cliff on the other side of the island that makes it impossible for anyone to land on that side to attack from the rear. But Charles Hunter is spurred by the treasure available on that ship. He puts together a motley crew of criminal seamen to try and steal the ship. The swashbuckling adventure begins and goes page to page until the last one. I enjoyed it. It was like a 17th century Clive Cussler and you know how I like Cussler! It's a short novel compared to Cussler's so it didn't take long to read when you couldn't put it down. I recommend it to anyone over 16 yrs old. There are some deadly descriptions and some sexual situations but nothing bad enough to stop me from reading.

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