The people who have lived outside the boundaries of normal societies and refused to play by the rules have long fascinated the world, and nowhere is this more evident than the continuing interest in the pirates of centuries past. As the subjects of books, movies, and even theme park rides, people continue to let their imaginations go when it comes to pirates, with buried treasure, parrots, and walking the plank all ingrained in pop culture's perception of them.
While there is no question that the myths and legends surrounding history's most famous pirates are colorful, in some instances their actual lives made for even better stories. Before the golden age of piracy, men and women like Sir Francis Drake and Grace O'Malley straddled the line between pirate and privateer, with Drake being knighted for fighting the Spanish and O'Malley representing many things to the Irish, including queen, legend, pirate, and folk hero.
While Captain Morgan's ruthless piracy has actually been forgotten due to his association with the spiced rum company using his name, Captain William Kidd insisted he wasn't a pirate at all, and his entire reputation is based on the most notorious trial in the history of piracy.
"The golden age of piracy" generally refers to the era when history's most famous pirates roamed the seas of the West Indies from 1670-1720.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors
And his accents are appalling!
Imagine, if you can, Omar Sharif as an Irishman.
I could not force myself to even finish the book.
The narrator is awful, his attempt at Irish, English and Scots accents is ridiculous. He sounds more like a Bangladeshi than an Irish man.
The author doesn't know his History, there is no such place as the 'English Isles'. Also the Tudors were never kings of Scotland and never ruled there so how they were able to introduce laws into Scotland that 'alienated the native clansmen' is a fact, obviously only known by the author whose grasp of history is almost as inept as his scholarship! Utter utter drivel, don't bother!
"Not an original work"
The book is a collection of stories about various pirates extensively padded with long quotes from letters, trial transcripts and old books. Notice that there is no particular author--only the "Charles River Editors".
There are actually several chapters that are simply readings of 17th century travel diaries of the pirates or their crew.
The reader insists on performing the book instead of reading it. I hate this style of audio book. For women you get a quiet falsetto with an Irish or English accent, for men you get a whiny tenor or a loud baritone depending on whether it's a scholar or pirate being quoted. Some of these accents are impossible to determine where they are supposed to represent. This made it impossible to listen at 1.5 or 2x speed which I find helpful with casual books like this.
Lastly, there is no attempt to provide insight or context for their actions. It reads like a Wikipedia entry despite the fact that there is tremendous moral ambiguity surrounding these peoples' actions.
There is essentially no original content here and the extensive inclusion of old, out of copyright material gives it the feel of a thrown together work.
"Kind of a ripoff"
A little more effort by the writers, less silliness from the narrator.
Worked at it, instead of including ridiculously long block quotes to fill pages, and even reusing the EXACT SAME PASSAGES to described similar concepts, in different chapters.
No. The cheesy accents whenever he quoted a British speaker were too much. It's not a children's story; you don't have to use different voices for all the characters.
Good stories, if the writers hadn't ruined them through sheer laziness.
The Charles River Editors threw this book together in a hurry to make a quick buck. It's riddled with the kind of lazy tricks I would use in high school to up the word count on my papers. I've gotten past that kind of behavior, and they should too.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.