Friday, May 4, 2007

The Pirate Hunter

The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks is a nonfiction book written like fiction. It was originally published in 2002 by Hyperion, and is 426 pages long, index included. Zacks thoroughly and completely research the life of William Kidd, and this truly is the real story of Captain Kidd who, as it turns out, wasn't a pirate at all. Kidd was hired to chase pirates and through an extraordinary set of misfortunes and circumstances, he became accused of the one thing he was trying so desperately to not be, labeled a pirate.

From the jacket description: "Captain Kidd has gone down in history as America's most ruthless buccaneer, fabulously rich, burying dozens of treasure chests up and down the eastern seaboard... But it turns out that most everyone, even many respected scholars, have the story all wrong. Captain William Kidd was no career cut-throat; he was a tough, successful New York sea captain who was hired to chase pirates.... His three-year odyssey aboard the aptly named Adventure galley pitted him against arrogant Royal Navy commanders, jealous East India Company captains, storms, starvation, angry natives, and, above all, flesh-and-blood pirates."

If you love sea faring books and this period of history, you will likely enjoy The Pirate Hunter. The reviewers raved about it. Personally, I found it a tad bit slow moving in spots. Zacks really researched this book and he includes many details that I didn't particularly care about. In the final analysis, it is a well researched nonfiction book that has been written as a historical novel that was interesting but nothing I'd tell you is a must read.

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