Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune Audiobook, by Keith Thomson Play Audiobook Sample

Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune Audiobook

Born to Be Hanged: The Epic Story of the Gentlemen Pirates Who Raided the South Seas, Rescued a Princess, and Stole a Fortune Audiobook, by Keith Thomson Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Feodor Chin Publisher: Little, Brown & Company Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.88 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: May 2022 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781549159404

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

31:59 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

33 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

16:37 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Keith Thomson: > View All...

Publisher Description

A riveting account of the roguish acts of the first pirates to raid the Pacific—a crusade that ended in a sensational trial back in England.


The year is 1680, in the heart of the Golden Age of Piracy, and more than three hundred daring, hardened pirates—a potent mix of low-life scallywags and a rare breed of gentlemen buccaneers—gather on a remote Caribbean island. The plan: to wreak havoc on the Pacific coastline, raiding cities, mines, and merchant ships. The booty: the bright gleam of Spanish gold and the chance to become a legend. So begins one of the greatest piratical adventures of the era—a story not given its full due until now.


Inspired by the intrepid forays of pirate turned Jamaican governor, Captain Henry Morgan—yes, that Captain Morgan—the company, primarily Englishmen, set out to cross Panama on foot, slashing their way through the Darien isthmus, one of the thickest jungles on the planet, and liberating a native princess along the way. After reaching the South Sea, the buccaneers plunder the Spanish Main in a series of historic assaults, often prevailing against staggering odds and superior firepower. A collective shudder wracks the western coastline of South America, as the English pirates, waging a kind of proxy war against the Spaniards, gleefully undertake a brief reign over Pacific waters, marauding up and down the continent.

With novelistic prose and a rip-roaring sense of adventure, Keith Thomson guides us through the pirates’ legendary two-year expedition. We witness the buccaneers evading indigenous tribes, Spanish conquistadors, and sometimes even their own English countrymen, all with the ever-present threat of the gallows for anyone captured. By fusing contemporaneous accounts with intensive research and previously unknown primary sources, Born to Be Hanged offers a rollicking account of one of the most astonishing pirate stories ever told.

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“Narrator Feodor Chin’s fluent and highly listenable voice…gives full value to the less romantic aspects of the pirate’s life, including scurvy (its symptoms described in detail), long stretches of idleness aboard ship or marooned on strange shores, and, of course, the constant prospect of the hangman’s noose.”

— AudioFile 


  • “An epic history of a band of ‘gentlemen pirates.’”

    — Washington Post
  • “Thomson does a fine job mining the historical record for all this swash and buckle…It reads, quite literally, like a pirate novel.”

    — New York Times Book Review
  • “A rollicking historical account…Every action-packed page is certain to thrill connoisseurs of piracy and seafaring history.”

    — Library Journal (starred review)
  • “Thanks to lively writing and thorough research, Thomson’s pirates burst from the pages…The entertaining suspense and high energy continue to the very end.”

    — Booklist
  • “Thomson unravels the complex relationship between piracy and colonial governments…and describes local tribes and flora and fauna in meticulous detail.”

    — Publishers Weekly


  • A #1 Amazon bestseller
  • A New York Times Book Review pick of Best True-Crime Books of 2022

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About Keith Thomson

Keith Thomson is the author of several novels, including Pirates of Pensacola and the New York Times bestseller Once a Spy. The former Columbia history major also writes nonfiction for the New York Times, Garden & Gun, and Huffington Post on a range of topics including national security and piracy.

About Feodor Chin

Feodor Chin, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, is an actor classically trained at the American Conservatory Theater and UCLA. His acting career includes numerous credits in film, television, theater, and voice-over.