Dirk Pitt

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Read: Atlantis Found

My problem with Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels is that even though they all follow the same basic structure I cannot stop reading them. And as long as there are still some unread volumes on my bookshelves there is no reason to – except of course that I also like some diversity.

Atlantis Found invokes two different opinions in me. First, it is once again a superb, tantalizing adventure. Second, Cussler becomes too practiced. There are some phrases you have to read more often than you would like them to read in one single novel. There are a few plot elements that appear too often in this series and that hurt the credibility of its characters. Luckily, Clussler also breaks with some of his traditional story elements in Atlantis Found and thus introduces a new twist. Finally, the series’ protagonists mature. Their social relations change what may open the door for new developments.

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Read: Flood Tide

Given that Cussler’s business is to entertain, writing fictional novels that are a mix of adventure and mystery, it is quite astonishing how he almost always embeds his indestructible hero Dirk Pitt in a plot of international political, ecological or economic crises.

This time he broaches the issue of illegal immigration, its probable social and political consequences for the United States on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the ecological and economic issues related to a dynamic, even skittish natural environment like the Mississippi river. The usual love interest, mayhem and personal vendetta are thrown into this mix, too. The result: one of Cussler’s better Dirk Pitt novels.

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Read: Shock Wave

I think I have not noticed this before but with Shock Wave it became rather clear. One of Cussler’s strengths is setting up the historical backdrop of his novels. Once in a while, I would really like to read only these parts if they came as a full fledged novel on their own.

Or do I become a little tired of Dirk Pitt? Always the hero, indestructible and with his luck never running out. Maybe Cussler felt the same. Two years after Shock Wave he published the first NUMA Files novel that features a different protagonist while still taking place in the same timeline and universe he created with Pitt. Actually, these novels got me started with reading Cussler.

That being said, Shock Wave was fast paced and exhilarating as ever. A new evil (economic) super power is introduced, almost Bond-like I dare say. I wonder whether they will re-appear in the next novels as a more active ingredient to mix of adventure, science, global politics, and secret agents.

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Read: Inca Gold

It is already two months since my last Clive Cussler novel. Given the backlog on my to-read-shelves I should read one Cussler novel per month so that I will get a new truck load of books as presents this December. Yet, there are so many other books. Luckily there are some weekends when I have more time to read than otherwise. Easter weekend is one of these relaxing reading weekends. It’s really nice to spend all day sitting in the garden enjoying the sun and reading an enthralling novel.

Inca Gold is another of Cussler’s Dirk Pitt adventures. And this time it’s a real treasure hunt as a second party is also searching for the old Inca’s Gold. As most times there is a little (accurate – at the time) political background information. I really was pleasantly surprised to find the Shining Path who are mentioned in the book also mentioned in this week’s Economist. So Cussler really does a little research for his tantalizing novels to inflict some knowledge on his readers.

I guess by now I am already used to the sometimes rather brutal violence in Cussler’s novels. There are a few inevitable deaths. Though, this time I was not as repelled by them as when reading some of the earlier Cussler novels. Indeed, they felt kind of right.

Since this novel was rather absorbing, more than Sahara I think, I wonder why they did not adapt this book for film instead of Sahara.

Read: Sahara

It was time for another Cussler Novel to shorten my train trips. This one, Sahara, is even available as a major motion picture. Yeah right, I almost forgot that there really was a Dirk Pitt movie. And having now read some of the Dirk Pitt Novels I am not so happy with the movie’s cast. They do not really fit my mental picture of Dirk or Al or Sandecker. Nevertheless, I have to re-watch the movie now.

Sahara shows more environmental consciousness than most Dirk Pitt Novels so far. In this respect it is closer to the Kurt Austin Novels by Cussler and Kemprecos. A series that started in about 1999 (when the first Kurt Austin book was published) or 2000 (when the its story takes place) and therefore about four (fictional time line) to seven (real time between publications) years later than Sahara.

Sahara is really nice entertainment. It has every typical element of a Cussler novel, the hero saves the day a scores with another intelligent beauty. Some incredible coincidences and another classic car for Pitt’s private collection. I think, the writing style has improved over the last few books. So I will keep reading on…

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Gelesen: Dragon

Es ist nicht so, dass die Gewalt in den Dirk Pitt Romanen wirklich mit der Zeit abnimmt. Die Zahl der Toten variiert. Wenn es mal weniger (un)freiwillig Verblichene werden wie in Dragon, so nimmt die Gewalt einfach nur eine, nennen wir es blutigere Qualität an. Der unbarmberzige Charakter Pitt ist jedoch gerade der Attraktor für diese Abenteurerserie. Als regelmäßiger Leser der Cussler Bücher die Gewalt in seinen Werken zu kritisieren wäre also eher unehrlich.

Interessant ist jedoch die Entwicklung der Kontextgeschichten, die sich den politischen und wirtschaftlichen Entwicklungen der Realität anpassen. Statt Kaltem Krieg sind es in Dragon nun, das Buch spielt in den frühen 90ern, wirtschaftliche Dominanz, die als Konfliktursache herhalten muß.

Wie immer spannend geschrieben. Meiner Meinung nach wieder besser als der Vorgängerband.

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