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Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune

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Discover the “fascinating and outrageously readable” account of the roguish acts of the first pirates to raid the Pacific in a crusade that ended in a sensational trial back in England—perfect for readers of Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough (Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God) The year is 1680, in the heart of th Discover the “fascinating and outrageously readable” account of the roguish acts of the first pirates to raid the Pacific in a crusade that ended in a sensational trial back in England—perfect for readers of Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough (Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God) The year is 1680, in the heart of the Golden Age of Piracy, and more than three hundred daring, hardened pirates—a potent mix of low-life scallywags and a rare breed of gentlemen buccaneers—gather on a remote Caribbean island. The plan: to wreak havoc on the Pacific coastline, raiding cities, mines, and merchant ships. The booty: the bright gleam of Spanish gold and the chance to become legends. So begins one of the greatest piratical adventures of the era—a story not given its full due until now. Inspired by the intrepid forays of pirate turned Jamaican governor Captain Henry Morgan—yes, that Captain Morgan—the company crosses Panama on foot, slashing its way through the Darien Isthmus, one of the thickest jungles on the planet, and liberating a native princess along the way. After reaching the South Sea, the buccaneers, primarily Englishmen, plunder the Spanish Main in a series of historic assaults, often prevailing against staggering odds and superior firepower. A collective shudder racks the western coastline of South America as the English pirates, waging a kind of proxy war against the Spaniards, gleefully undertake a brief reign over Pacific waters, marauding up and down the continent. With novelistic prose and a rip-roaring sense of adventure, Keith Thomson guides us through the pirates’ legendary two-year odyssey. We witness the buccaneers evading Indigenous tribes, Spanish conquistadors, and sometimes even their own English countrymen, all with the ever-present threat of the gallows for anyone captured. By fusing contemporaneous accounts with intensive research and previously unknown primary sources, Born to Be Hanged offers a rollicking account of one of the most astonishing pirate expeditions of all time.


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Discover the “fascinating and outrageously readable” account of the roguish acts of the first pirates to raid the Pacific in a crusade that ended in a sensational trial back in England—perfect for readers of Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough (Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God) The year is 1680, in the heart of th Discover the “fascinating and outrageously readable” account of the roguish acts of the first pirates to raid the Pacific in a crusade that ended in a sensational trial back in England—perfect for readers of Nathaniel Philbrick and David McCullough (Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God) The year is 1680, in the heart of the Golden Age of Piracy, and more than three hundred daring, hardened pirates—a potent mix of low-life scallywags and a rare breed of gentlemen buccaneers—gather on a remote Caribbean island. The plan: to wreak havoc on the Pacific coastline, raiding cities, mines, and merchant ships. The booty: the bright gleam of Spanish gold and the chance to become legends. So begins one of the greatest piratical adventures of the era—a story not given its full due until now. Inspired by the intrepid forays of pirate turned Jamaican governor Captain Henry Morgan—yes, that Captain Morgan—the company crosses Panama on foot, slashing its way through the Darien Isthmus, one of the thickest jungles on the planet, and liberating a native princess along the way. After reaching the South Sea, the buccaneers, primarily Englishmen, plunder the Spanish Main in a series of historic assaults, often prevailing against staggering odds and superior firepower. A collective shudder racks the western coastline of South America as the English pirates, waging a kind of proxy war against the Spaniards, gleefully undertake a brief reign over Pacific waters, marauding up and down the continent. With novelistic prose and a rip-roaring sense of adventure, Keith Thomson guides us through the pirates’ legendary two-year odyssey. We witness the buccaneers evading Indigenous tribes, Spanish conquistadors, and sometimes even their own English countrymen, all with the ever-present threat of the gallows for anyone captured. By fusing contemporaneous accounts with intensive research and previously unknown primary sources, Born to Be Hanged offers a rollicking account of one of the most astonishing pirate expeditions of all time.

30 review for Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma Ann

    A guy gets marooned on an island for three years and somehow that’s the least bonkers thing that happens in this book. The titular pirates attack Spanish naval ships in canoes. At one point they end up close to the Arctic Peninsula completely by accident. It’s not very often I find a nonfiction book that’s entertaining, well-researched, and well-written. I only wish there weren’t quite so many names to keep track of. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rob Smith, Jr.

    This book is fantastic! The history is well written, researched, explained with gold nuggets spread throughout inserted brilliantly. First, if you'll note my reviews, I do not get a NetGalley offer and praise it up and down hoping for print recognition. I've skewed most because most newly written books have proven to me to be demonstrably worthless. I find the usual issue are political views being lodged into the narrative and then flogging the reader with the views over and over again. I get it This book is fantastic! The history is well written, researched, explained with gold nuggets spread throughout inserted brilliantly. First, if you'll note my reviews, I do not get a NetGalley offer and praise it up and down hoping for print recognition. I've skewed most because most newly written books have proven to me to be demonstrably worthless. I find the usual issue are political views being lodged into the narrative and then flogging the reader with the views over and over again. I get it if the book is prefaced upon political ideas. Even found one writer expounding political gunk throughout a horrid history of Looney Tunes cartoons! Writer Thomson writes history as history should be written, as it happened with supporting documentation. Thomson also does what is rare to find in most histories ever written, dates and years of happenings. This so much aids the reader as to context and connecting ongoing events. This last is the spine that all else emanates as the narrative pours out extensive details and stories of the travels of the pirating privateers and those they encounter. Additional background is sprinkled that adds to the shine of the history with, no doubt, exclamations of, "Oh! I didn't know that!" I love the way he connects various everyday items of today to the goings-on in the late 1600s. The writing is also crisp and vibrant. There's more than the occasional writer who makes history as a fictional novel. This is far better than that. The writing excels between what could be dry history and fictional dialogue to support the narrative. Thomson skillfully maneuvers the documented historical perspectives into a solid presentation that compels reading more and more. In this case it's the wonder of who survives and how. Well worth reading and likely to lead in those that don't even like history or pirates. For those of us who has history as part of our profession, this is a must-read. Bottom line: I recommend this book. Ten out of ten points.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angel White (Bookn.All.Night)

    Who loves Non-Fiction that doesn't read like it? Me, this girl, right here!🤣🤣 I've been on a roll lately with books landing in my lap that are full of facts, adventure, fast-paced reading and interesting stories. Born to Be Hanged is another one to add to that list! I have always been fascinated by pirates and the era surrounding them. Out on the open seas, causing trouble and stirring up a racous wherever they go...yup definitely my style. I definitely got that, and much more with this one. There Who loves Non-Fiction that doesn't read like it? Me, this girl, right here!🤣🤣 I've been on a roll lately with books landing in my lap that are full of facts, adventure, fast-paced reading and interesting stories. Born to Be Hanged is another one to add to that list! I have always been fascinated by pirates and the era surrounding them. Out on the open seas, causing trouble and stirring up a racous wherever they go...yup definitely my style. I definitely got that, and much more with this one. There was a lot more to being a "privateer" than I thought, including how the English pirates fought with the Spaniards. Tre cool 😎 This is definitely for those who enjoy books like this, but I would recommend for anyone who wants to delve into this time in history. I mean treasure, bloody battles, kidnapped princess, and adventure after adventure. It makes for a fun read. I sincerely appreciate Little Brown & Co. for providing me with a review copy. All opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Arthur Bradford Morrill III

    “Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune,” by Keith Thomson (ISBN: 9780316703611, publication date 10 May 2022), earns five stars. Author Keith Thomson weaves an absolutely fascinating and factual tale of English privateers, plunder, a princess, and perseverance despite the worst odds of success and dangers of the greatest sort. Thompson’s lively prose transports us to the 17th Century. There we sail with them a “Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune,” by Keith Thomson (ISBN: 9780316703611, publication date 10 May 2022), earns five stars. Author Keith Thomson weaves an absolutely fascinating and factual tale of English privateers, plunder, a princess, and perseverance despite the worst odds of success and dangers of the greatest sort. Thompson’s lively prose transports us to the 17th Century. There we sail with them along the Pacific coast of South America, which was Spain’s “possession,” Great Britain’s enemy. The author’s impressive research is evident, making amazing use of the privateers’ contemporaneous diaries and testimony. This gives the reader extraordinary personal insights into these adventuring pirates sailing out of the Caribbean as they capture opposing vessels, pursue great wealth, and protect their nation’s interests. Their words treat us to their view of their world as they sail the seas, engage in combat, make daunting treks, and receive justice from the highest maritime court. It is an epic journey and a momentous book. Definitely a five-star adventure. Thanks to the publisher, Little, Brown and Company, for granting this reviewer the opportunity to read this Advance Reader Copy (ARC), and thanks to NetGalley for helping to make that possible.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tori

    I received my copy through the GoodReads Givaways. This is an interesting look into what piracy looked like, following one group over their rise and fall in the South Seas. It has a tendency to meander a bit with no solid endgame in sight (the Princess is rescued quite early on and after that it's just random raid after raid), and I felt like it might be missing some overarching mission statement. Why were these pirates the focus of the story, instead of others? What was this book trying to teac I received my copy through the GoodReads Givaways. This is an interesting look into what piracy looked like, following one group over their rise and fall in the South Seas. It has a tendency to meander a bit with no solid endgame in sight (the Princess is rescued quite early on and after that it's just random raid after raid), and I felt like it might be missing some overarching mission statement. Why were these pirates the focus of the story, instead of others? What was this book trying to teach? Is it even a show of what pirates looked like in general, or were these different? I enjoyed it, but I wish there was more of a main concept to hold onto throughout the narrative.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    This was a fun read. These men decided to go and be pirates in the south seas. They stole millions from the Spanish that was busy raping the new world. The book lays out the diarists that were among the pirates. I am amazed that these account survived for more than 300 years.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Little Brown & Company for an advanced copy of this new nautical history of pirates. Being a pirate back in the Golden Age of Piracy, looks like great fun, at least in the movies by Errol Flynn or Disney studios. Call yourself and your companions buccaneers, receive letters of marque to attack ships that were considered enemies, steal their gold, sail away and spend the night drinking with your mates. The reality was a lot different, as shown in Keith My thanks to both NetGalley and the publisher Little Brown & Company for an advanced copy of this new nautical history of pirates. Being a pirate back in the Golden Age of Piracy, looks like great fun, at least in the movies by Errol Flynn or Disney studios. Call yourself and your companions buccaneers, receive letters of marque to attack ships that were considered enemies, steal their gold, sail away and spend the night drinking with your mates. The reality was a lot different, as shown in Keith Thomson's Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune. A pirate really had to hustle to hassle the enemy, travelling long distances, with poor food, leaky ships and companions who might not be the most trustworthy. The book begins with a quick history of the times and the powers in the area, Spanish, English, and French. A group of disparate men from every where in Europe, and from every social circle gather in the Caribbean with dreams of plunder. Joining together in the interest of freeing a native princess from the Spanish, and liberating their treasury, the men travel overland to a small settlement, are successful at the assault, but learn that the treasure has been taken to safety. Not liking this the men set off again across Panama, through jungle and raging rivers until reaching the South Sea, where they begin an assault on towns up and down the Pacific. Fortunes are made, property is destroyed and lives are lost. Some tire of the life, and return to England, where they are held for trial for their depravations. Some retire and are lost to history. And some go back to the only life they know. The books is very good read, that flows like a novel, but tells a very interesting and very comprehensive history of the era. The book is well sourced with much coming from the pirates own words, journals, court transcripts and even a book or two from a pirate turned author. There is a certain understanding that maybe some of the stories are downplayed, especially during a trial, or full of brags and lies when talking to the boys, but a good solid story can be told from this. My favorite part is just when everything might have gone easier, the pirates always picked the harder way to do something. The book is full of seiges, sea battles, life on board and lots of walking and sailing. Lots of sailing. My only realy problem was that there was quite a few different pirates telling their tales, and sometimes it was hard to follow who was who. However that was a minor quibble. A book full of the swash and the buckle. Highly recommended for a Father's Day gift or a great book to read on the beach. For fans of history, Patrick O'Brien readers, or readers of Pyrates books. Also for people who have watched the HBO/MAX show on real pirates. And for fans like me who used to play Syd Meier's Pirates! game for hours upon hours. Four fun salute.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Selner

    Not my “cup of tea.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Thank you, NetGalley for the opportunity of reading Born to Be Hanged. This deeply rich book makes one feel as though they are sailing along with the Buccaneers navigation in canoes, stealing Spanish gallon ships, and foraging for food on deserted islands while questing for gold and silver. The book is wonderfully written, a mixture of diary entries and research to round out what life was like for these men who roamed the South Seas in a quest for riches. There is so much to relish in this book Thank you, NetGalley for the opportunity of reading Born to Be Hanged. This deeply rich book makes one feel as though they are sailing along with the Buccaneers navigation in canoes, stealing Spanish gallon ships, and foraging for food on deserted islands while questing for gold and silver. The book is wonderfully written, a mixture of diary entries and research to round out what life was like for these men who roamed the South Seas in a quest for riches. There is so much to relish in this book as stories are pulled from real people. One has to realize that the book must be taken with a grain of salt as the men may have embellished their tales, were often drunk, ill, and fighting for their survival. Even with guns and grit, navigating the waters was never easy, given that they were always enemies lurking on the horizon. Storms were also a constant threat, and when they hit they were often so fierce they were capable of breaking a boat apart and causing ships to lose their way never to be seen again. Decisions had to be made by all the men in the group even with a captain, as missions were always fraught danger, and sometimes men would abort. Life was often on the edge, as men were killed in battles and leadership had to be rearranged. This books gets us into the minds of swashbuckling pirates, with lots of action and a provides insights that most books don't cover.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adysnewbox

    As far as nonfiction books go, "Born to Be Hanged" is a perfect pick for the summertime. It's chock-full of adventure, triumphs, tragedies, narrow escapes, improbable victories, thrills, chills, and wry humor throughout. Best of all, it's a true story!! So skillfully does author Keith Thomson spin his tale that the whole things reads like an old-time adventure serial. Only when you reach the end of the book, and see the pages and pages of sources listed, does it really hit the reader that this " As far as nonfiction books go, "Born to Be Hanged" is a perfect pick for the summertime. It's chock-full of adventure, triumphs, tragedies, narrow escapes, improbable victories, thrills, chills, and wry humor throughout. Best of all, it's a true story!! So skillfully does author Keith Thomson spin his tale that the whole things reads like an old-time adventure serial. Only when you reach the end of the book, and see the pages and pages of sources listed, does it really hit the reader that this "merry band" of pirates was an actual group of men whose adventures really took place. Not only was I glued to the story, I learned a lot in the bargain! If you enjoy pirate stories, adventure stories, or just enjoy a high-seas thriller, "Born to Be Hanged" should be required reading. Its story begins in April 1680, when a group of "gentlemen pirates" convene a meeting on a tiny island just off the coast of modern-day Panama. Their objective: Cross the Panamanian isthmus (a wild, dangerous, inhospitable overland trek); commandeer ships on the Pacific side; and liberate a kidnapped Indigenous princess from her Spanish captors (the princess' grandfather was the man who initially enlisted the men on the expedition). After that liberation (so the thinking went), the "privateers" (as they legally preferred to be called) would also be at liberty to "relieve" the Spanish army of their prized "pieces of eight." It was a mission with both an ostensibly noble purpose, AND an opportunity to become wildly rich. What self-respecting pirate could refuse? What follows in the next few hundred pages is an increasingly manic series of adventures (and misadventures!) as this band of men (about 300 at the outset) set out with dreams of gold and prosperity. Seven men on the expedition kept detailed journals, and those journals are heavily referenced to provide color and authenticity to this retelling. As pirates are experts at "winging it," the original mission was constantly changing its parameters, and morphing far beyond its original goal (the princess was actually liberated relatively early on in the expedition, which surprised me a bit!). What eventually unfolded was a wild proxy war with the Spanish, as these proud English buccaneers seized ship after ship, sailing back and forth along the Pacific coastline of Central & South America, raiding, pillaging, and generally making nuisances of themselves! It was fascinating to follow their tumultuous journey, and to get an up-close perspective of what an average pirate's life was REALLY like (beyond the movie & TV stereotypes). The whole thing concluded with a dangerous voyage around the tip of South America, and a sensational trial in England for several of the main parties. "Born to Be Hanged" is highly recommended for lovers of both fiction AND non-fiction; its easy-to-read style and thrilling pacing will please both types! I had a blast reading this and hope to do so again.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This is an engaging, well-written account of what it was like to be a pirate, or a buccaneer or a privateer. These three words are somewhat interchangeable. For the English, a ship that confiscated a Spanish ship was not a pirate vessel. Well, that depends on whether England was at war with a Spain. Confusing? Not really. Thomson’s book follows the exploits of a group of English sailors who recorded their exploits in a series of journals. By weaving their exploits together Thomson was able to wri This is an engaging, well-written account of what it was like to be a pirate, or a buccaneer or a privateer. These three words are somewhat interchangeable. For the English, a ship that confiscated a Spanish ship was not a pirate vessel. Well, that depends on whether England was at war with a Spain. Confusing? Not really. Thomson’s book follows the exploits of a group of English sailors who recorded their exploits in a series of journals. By weaving their exploits together Thomson was able to write his book, and what a grand book it is. A grand book, but what hard lives the sailors lived. Hardship after hardship, dehydration, near starvation, storms and horrid weather conditions on both land and sea, changes in leadership and strange islands and stranger foods to eat. Why would anyone want to be a pirate? Well, pieces of eight, the adventure, the camaraderie, the freedom from land and the law. This book is informative, well-written and thought provoking. Would I want to be a pirate? Would you?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mary Agnes Joens

    3.5ish stars - really fun account of piracy off the Pacific coast of South and Central America in the late 1600s, based closely off of first-person accounts from the men involved. It hints at some of the broader implications of all the plundering and fighting and the ravages of Spanish and English colonial rule, but doesn't really engage with them (which, given the overall lighter tone of the book, is not that surprising - I didn't mind the focus on the gentleman pirates but sometimes it was odd 3.5ish stars - really fun account of piracy off the Pacific coast of South and Central America in the late 1600s, based closely off of first-person accounts from the men involved. It hints at some of the broader implications of all the plundering and fighting and the ravages of Spanish and English colonial rule, but doesn't really engage with them (which, given the overall lighter tone of the book, is not that surprising - I didn't mind the focus on the gentleman pirates but sometimes it was odd for these colonial nightmares to just be breezed past). It also dives into some of the gnarlier, decidedly not-cool, not-romantic aspects of seafaring criminal life. But I do love a good account of criminals, lowlifes, and drunkards stealing shit so overall, this is a fun read and I would recommend. Also, "he that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned" is a top-notch turn of phrase and I love the notion that it was comforting in stormy seas lol

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ian Barbour

    Never thought my first review on this site would summarize a book about pirates of all things, but here we are. If there's one thing that popular media about pirates nailed if this book represents an accurate reference, its the constant state of improvisation these crews lived in. I swear, half of the book revolved around how one aspiring raid was thwarted by circumstance (wind - or lack of, the Spanish, rescources, etc) before a crewmate suggests another avenue of adventure everyone decides to f Never thought my first review on this site would summarize a book about pirates of all things, but here we are. If there's one thing that popular media about pirates nailed if this book represents an accurate reference, its the constant state of improvisation these crews lived in. I swear, half of the book revolved around how one aspiring raid was thwarted by circumstance (wind - or lack of, the Spanish, rescources, etc) before a crewmate suggests another avenue of adventure everyone decides to follow. It's the most impressive and prosperous display of "winging it" I've ever read. That being said, if you want absurdity, then this book is for you. Couldn't believe I was reading nonfiction half the time. From repeatedly beating the odds, to discoveries and strange run ins with local tribes, the lifestyle of Sharp - and perhaps the enterprise as a whole - is strongly represented in the (mis)adventures of the book's crew. Piracy is a short life, but indeed a profitable one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Homerun2

    This eminently readable tale is well-researched, telling the story of a sea-going band of brothers, British pirates who spurned a sedate life in England to plunder and buccaneer the seas near Panama. They ultimately crossed the isthmus on foot and ended up in the Pacific. These guys were incredibly brave, not to mention excellent marksmen equipped with superior weaponry. And some of their navigation feats were impressive. They actually operated in a fairly democratic manner aboard ship - electing This eminently readable tale is well-researched, telling the story of a sea-going band of brothers, British pirates who spurned a sedate life in England to plunder and buccaneer the seas near Panama. They ultimately crossed the isthmus on foot and ended up in the Pacific. These guys were incredibly brave, not to mention excellent marksmen equipped with superior weaponry. And some of their navigation feats were impressive. They actually operated in a fairly democratic manner aboard ship - electing their own leaders and choosing the Spanish targets of their plundering ways. They were motivated mainly by profit. They were amazingly successful against larger numbers but usually drank and gambled their takings away. A fun and entertaining read. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This was an intriguing read! I really enjoyed the subject and learned a lot of information I didn't know before reading this book. I have been looking for an interesting read on pirates as I haven't read any nonfiction books on pirates as of yet. Born to be Hanged definitely satisfied that need. I saw this title and cover and was drawn in. This was thoroughly researched and detailed. The author, Keith Thomson, even uses the words from the mouths of these pirates and those accompanying them, and w This was an intriguing read! I really enjoyed the subject and learned a lot of information I didn't know before reading this book. I have been looking for an interesting read on pirates as I haven't read any nonfiction books on pirates as of yet. Born to be Hanged definitely satisfied that need. I saw this title and cover and was drawn in. This was thoroughly researched and detailed. The author, Keith Thomson, even uses the words from the mouths of these pirates and those accompanying them, and written accounts from that time in history. If you love anything Nautical, and especially pirates... I reccomend this one! Thank you Netgalley and Little Brown for the eARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    D

    Thomson consulted a wealth of primary materials in writing this book and it shows. The descriptions of the crewmembers, the perils of the South American jungle, and the ferocious scenes of battles make this a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in maritime history, readers of Patrick Obrien, or fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Despite the tale of Captain Morgan being full of adventure, Thomson does not fail to address all of the important goings-on of the world to paint Thomson consulted a wealth of primary materials in writing this book and it shows. The descriptions of the crewmembers, the perils of the South American jungle, and the ferocious scenes of battles make this a must read for anyone with even a passing interest in maritime history, readers of Patrick Obrien, or fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Despite the tale of Captain Morgan being full of adventure, Thomson does not fail to address all of the important goings-on of the world to paint a full picture of why Morgan was there, and what he and his men were doing mattered. There is no neglect of descriptions of political turmoil, harsh conditions, or legal ramifications to bring the larger-than-life exploits of Captain Morgan back to reality.

  17. 5 out of 5

    caitie

    Born to be Hanged is a wild ride through history. Well researched and entertaining, you follow our group of buccaneers on a twisting adventure as they navigate and adjust to their changing circumstances. Normally these books have bits and pieces that are a bit dry, as is to be expected when an author needs to establish an era, but I was on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. Definitely worth a read! It’s a swashbuckling adventure for the ages.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Buckle your Swash and prepare yourself for an adventure that you'd swear was made up. If they made a movie out of this, everyone would think it was fiction. But it isn't. These are not your Long John Silver, Errol Flynn on the Spanish Main pirates. This is what it was really like. About the only downside is that keeping track of all the characters can be troublesome. But in the end, if you like Adventure, especially if you like pirates, this one's for you Buckle your Swash and prepare yourself for an adventure that you'd swear was made up. If they made a movie out of this, everyone would think it was fiction. But it isn't. These are not your Long John Silver, Errol Flynn on the Spanish Main pirates. This is what it was really like. About the only downside is that keeping track of all the characters can be troublesome. But in the end, if you like Adventure, especially if you like pirates, this one's for you

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I can't really say this is a terrible book, it just did not hold my interest. I listened to 2 full CDs, and realized that I did not care. The situations and the names blurred together, causing me to see that I did not need to waste my time. Your mileage may vary. I can't really say this is a terrible book, it just did not hold my interest. I listened to 2 full CDs, and realized that I did not care. The situations and the names blurred together, causing me to see that I did not need to waste my time. Your mileage may vary.

  20. 4 out of 5

    spencer wright

    An excellent inside look at the lives of pirates. It felt similar to Marcus Rediker's 'Villains of All Nations', so fans of that book should certainly give this one a chance. I'm looking forward to seeing what else this author writes in the future. An excellent inside look at the lives of pirates. It felt similar to Marcus Rediker's 'Villains of All Nations', so fans of that book should certainly give this one a chance. I'm looking forward to seeing what else this author writes in the future.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Highly entertaining nonfiction, and a good fit for the heat of summer.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Greg Latanick

    Incredible. These guys couldn't stop pirating. Incredible. These guys couldn't stop pirating.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Poth

    Excellent true story about an amazing journey taking over two years. Most enlightening we're all the pirate assumptions that we have that were completely overturned. Excellent true story about an amazing journey taking over two years. Most enlightening we're all the pirate assumptions that we have that were completely overturned.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    An excellent book detailing pirate history. Well researched with many interesting facts about the conditions these pirates work in to achieve a life on the high seas.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deena B

    What a fun and informative read! Thank you!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Dowd

    Full review coming soon

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dora

    Was difficult to keep up with the various people discussed (listened to the audio book) - but the various adventures and sagas were incredible.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hayden Muir

    Fun non fiction story of what real pirates were like.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

  30. 5 out of 5

    David R. Sapin

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