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Pirate Hunters

Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY CHICAGO TRIBUNE • A thrilling adventure of danger and deep-sea diving, historic mystery and suspense, by the author of Shadow Divers

Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister should have been immortalized in the lore of the sea—his exploits more notorious than Blackbeard’s, more daring than Kidd’s. But his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history—it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren’t enough to track down Bannister’s ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate’s exploits, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it’s only when they learn to think and act like pirates—like Bannister—that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before.

Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

Praise for Pirate Hunters

“You won’t want to put [it] down.”Los Angeles Times

“An exceptional adventure . . . Highly recommended to readers who delight in adventure, suspense, and the thrill of discovering history at their fingertips.”Library Journal (starred review)

“A terrific read . . . The book gallops along at a blistering pace, shifting us deftly between the seventeenth century and the present day.”Diver

“Nonfiction with the trademarks of a novel: the plots and subplots, the tension and suspense . . . [Kurson has] found gold.”The Dallas Morning News

“Rollicking . . . a fascinating [story] about the world of pirates, piracy, and priceless treasures.”The Boston Globe

“[Kurson’s] narration is just as engrossing as the subject.”The Christian Science Monitor

“A wild ride [and an] extraordinary adventure . . . Kurson’s own enthusiasm, combined with his copious research and an eye for detail, makes for one of the most mind-blowing pirate stories of recent memory, one that even the staunchest landlubber will have a hard time putting down.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The two contemporary pirate-ship seekers of Mr. Kurson’s narrative are as daring, intrepid, tough and talented as Blood and Sparrow—and Bannister. . . . As depicted by the author, they are real-life Hemingway heroes.”The Wall Street Journal

“[Kurson] takes his knowledge of the underwater world and applies it to the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ . . . thrillingly detailing the highs and lows of chasing not just gold and silver but also history.”Booklist

“A great thriller full of tough guys and long odds . . . and: It’s all true.”—Lee Child

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 09, 2015 – The odds of finding a bona fide pirate ship are quite rare, a fact Robert Kurson (Shadow Divers) points out in the first few pages of this extraordinary adventure. Only one the Whydah has ever been positively identified as belonging to pirates. The subjects of Kurson's latest, John Chatterton and John Mattera, are undeterred by such unlikelihood in their conquest to locate the elusive Golden Fleece, the 17th-century ship captained by Joseph Bannister, lost somewhere in the waters near the Dominican Republic. Kurson takes readers on a wild ride alongside these bigger-than-life pirate hunters as they navigate the red tape of maritime code, dead ends, and dwindling resources, as well as rival hunters keen on beating Chatterton and Mattera to the prize. Though this drama would be more than enough, Kurson also examines the many myths surrounding pirates in their golden age, some of which were true (they did keep parrots and used colorful language, but they were also remarkably egalitarian in terms of race and rank all races were welcomed and every man from the captain to the cook was treated equally, though women were not present unless they were in disguise). Kurson's own enthusiasm, combined with his copious research and an eye for detail, makes for one of the most mind-blowing pirate stories of recent memory, one that even the staunchest landlubber will have a hard time putting down.

Customer Reviews

A Pirates Life

Like most men i grew up reading about pirates and treasure ships. Even today as a grown man i wander the beaches of florida eyes to the ground in hopes of finding a piece of history, treasure!! This book was great on so many levels. The insight into the life of a pirate, the inside look into those that search for those pirates and the treasure they carried. Once i started reading i couldn't put it down.
If you have ever searched for treasure or love history this is a great book.

Are you kidding me?!?

This story has hoax written all over it. Inconsistencies, hype, and factual inaccuracies. The Author's first book might have been well reviewed and appreciated, but this book is just BS.

Wasn't impressed

Kurson was amazing in his book Shadow Divers so I bought this. Unfortunately, it is no where near his previous work and the story doesn't remotely match up. So if you're a first timer to Kurson, read Shadow Divers instead.

Pirate Hunters
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: History
  • Published: Jun 16, 2015
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings