In honor of “On Stranger Tides,” the 1987 novel by San Bernardino author Tim Powers upon which the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” novel is based, I have put together a list of my favorite pirate novels. Yes, “On Stranger Tides” is on the list.
Treasure Island (1883) by Robert Louis Stevenson. Thrill to the adventures of Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins in the pirate tale by which all others are measured.
Red Rover (1828) by James Fenimore Cooper. An agent of the Royal Navy gives chase to a feared pirate in this pioneering sea saga.
Cup of Gold (1949) by John Steinbeck. Seventeenth-century pirate Henry Morgan vows to conquer Panama and steal the “cup of gold” from the Spanish in Steinbeck’s only work of historical fiction.
On Stranger Tides (1987) by Tim Powers. John Chandagnac, on a sea mission to Jamaica to recover stolen money, becomes Jack Shandy when he is forced to join a pirate crew in a quest for the Fountain of Youth.
Captain Blood (1922) by Rafael Sabatini. The story of Peter Blood, a gentleman doctor turned pirate captain, inspired the 1935 movie of the same name starring Errol Flynn.
Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem (1900) by Emilio Salgari. The notorious pirate Sandokan leads his crew in battle against the colonial empires of the Dutch and British.
Pirate Latitudes (2009) by Michael Crichton. Set in 1665, Crichton’s last novel tells the story of Captain Charles Hunter, a privateer who is hired to steal a Spanish galleon and its cargo of gold.
Peter Pan (1911) by J. M. Barrie. Neverland seems like an OK place until our heroes encounter Captain Hook and his crew.
Birds of Prey (1997) by Wilbur Smith. Privateers and pirates battle for the interests of the British and Dutch along the coasts of Africa.
The Pyrates (2003) by George MacDonald Fraser. The author of the popular “Flashman” novels pens an entertaining sendup of the pirate genre.