The Book in 1 Sentence
A overly detailed accounting of the best and worst pirates in history that rarely have the same conscience as Captain Jack Sparrow.
This book is incredibly detailed to the point that there are parts that are completely useless and an overshare. There are some really interesting stories that happened and the people that you follow in the book are some big names, most I know/recognize from Assassin's Creed Black Flag, but also some that made a huge impact to the area you probably have never heard of. Minus of course the pirate nerds... I've never met one, but there has got to be at least one
Why I Read this book
Who doesn't want to know more about Pirates of the Caribbean?
I am really unsure how I feel about this book. There was so much information that 90% I have no need for and will never care or be able to remember it all. However, the sheer breadth of people that you learn about is super cool. However, that coolness is really just overwhelmed by the amount of information and facts that are thrown at you. I am not kidding about the amount of information as you get the numbers of dead non-named pirates and civilians. You also get side stories of what these pirates were doing in a detailed way that I feel could have been summarized more rather than providing exact information.
Thinking back about this book, I do think that the book itself was well planned out. Talking about major events and then flipping to people up and telling their story if they played a major part in those events or at least up to those events. The writing is also really well done referencing the original histories of pirates from the 1700s.
What I also think is cool is just the conversation that should happen about this time. So the British Empire was at its peak in the late 1600s to early/mid 1700s. However, in the early 1700s the first Jacobite revolution happened, 2 wars with the Spanish/French, then the 10 years of the "Golden Age of Pirates" which this book specifically covers, the second Jacobite revolution, and then the American Revolution happened back to back to back for the most part. As an American, prior to my visit to Scotland, I had no idea about the world really rising against the spice-less Brits (Its a joke people, but as Gordon Ramsey would say "It needs more seasoning" which in my experience is common for that area) that I firmly believe is what allowed the Americans to win and become free. If the Scots had tried there second one after the Americans we might not have won and they might have. Little side thought that has come into my mind over the years and this book really put a head to it. The reason I mention it is because there was a decent amount of pirates that had Jacobite sympathizes and that is what caused a lot of the privateers to target English ships rather than just Spanish and French as they were in the beginning which also made them true pirates.
I don't know how to rate this book. The information was cool, I love learning about Black Beard and Calico Jack, but I don't need to know about every ship they took and how many guns they had, all the random people that were a pain that made things difficult, but didn't really change the trajectory of their life. There was a person named Thomas that lived in the Bahamas that was there and left and then came back and their SON helped fight against Black Beard, but I didn't need to know that. I think the book could have been 25% shorter without losing any real information and for that I am giving it a 6. it is interesting and provides a TON of context to Pirates of the Caribbean series, but its just a lot of useless information minus some highlights.