Friday, November 11, 2011

Book Report #35 - Pacific Vortex by Clive Cussler

Oh my God - what fun!

Clive Cussler has a special place in my heart.  I read him a lot when I was a teenager (sadly a long time ago) and I grew out of his books in my mid 20's.  With my interest in pulp fiction it didn't take long to rediscover good 'ol Cussler who has not slowed down one bit.

This guy is in his 80's now and is only increasing his output by teaming up with all kinds of authors including his own son, Dirk.  The authors he's teamed up with are, Paul Kemprecos, Craig Dirgo, Jack Dubrul, Justin Scott and Grant Blackwood.

The basic story goes like this:  There is an area in the Pacific, north of Hawaii, called the Pacific Vortex, that has, for decades, has been known for ships disappearing with out a trace, just like the Bermuda Triangle.  Along comes a newly built American nuclear submarine and it too goes missing.  Our hero, Dirk Pitt, finds the captain's log capsule floating in the ocean and takes it directly to the US navy.  Thus begins the adventure and with the weight of the US navy the mystery of the Vortex is uncovered.

Pacific Vortex was the first Dirk Pitt adventure written by Cussler but was the sixth in publication order.  This is like American James Bond stuff!  Complete with an evil overlord in a hidden fortress of doom!  There are many tropes that Cussler uses that, like the James Bond films, if they are not present the book feels incomplete.  There is always a beautiful woman who falls, usually tragically, in love with Pitt, there is his best friend and partner Al Girodino and there are the cars.  Oh, the cars are wonderful and sadly the cars also come to tragic ends as well.  But not in this story  Here Pitt drives an AC Cobra into the sunset with nary a scratch on her.  Whew!

This was pure pulpy fun!  Knowing that it was written in the 70's and published in 1983 the story actually stands up very well.  There are no glaringly obsolete technologies mentioned and the story feels just like a James Bond movie.  If you like action, adventure, exotic locations, beautiful babe, humor and men being men - you really can't go wrong with this book.

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