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Medusa, Clive Cussler & Paul Kemprecos

Discussion in 'Diving Print & Digital Media' started by CT-Rich, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Just finished this book on tape and have to admit that it was difficult to get through. I know these books are mostly boy adventure fluff, but it really didn't even live up to the genre expectations. If I hadn't been trapped in the car with nothing else going on, I would have given up on it as soon as the Handsome Kurt Austin had shown his steely blue eyes or moved his uber-manly square Jaw.

    I have read other Cussler books that I did rather enjoy. Raise the Titanic was a memorable read from my youth, highly improbable, but loads of fun. This book had paper thin characters that rang hollow and boringly predictable. The only feature of the book that I really enjoyed was the historic fiction that preceded the book proper. If the book had centered around this premise and these characters, the reader would have been much better served. I have noticed that about other Cussler books.

    The preamble focuses on the adventures of a 1848 whaling ship and the unusual voyage and crew, including a crewmate that survived being swallowed by a sperm whale only to discovered alive in its gut. they also survive a super-plague that is thwarted by semi-hostile natives... all in all a potentially interesting story line.

    What we get for the balance of the book are evil Asian out to control the world and girls falling all over themselves hook up with our intrepid heroes..... I think Kurt Austen think an awful lot of himself....

    The diving part of the book was also annoying, there was a coral atoll with just a wisp of an Island (the original island, apparently was wiped out by an Earth quake, that is so large that it can hide an undersea research lab at a depth of 300fsw and has enough room to maneuver a 600ft nuclear sub. Not a particularly well thought out contrivance. Several dives are made to the undersea habitat, and they point out it must be done with using trimix and wetsuits, but don't accept that you need to decompress to enter the habitat and that a wetsuit on such a dive would be compressed to uselessly thin proportions at those depths.


    I remember there was a book written about (by?) Cussler and his real-life adventures researching shipwrecks, including his involvement in the CSS Hunley discovery and several other stories that were quite interesting and much more worthy of reading than this particular book. Anyone recall the name of the book I am talking about? I was looking for it on Amazon, but didn't see it.
     
  2. Sam Miller III

    Sam Miller III Scuba Legend Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: CALIFORNIA: Where recreational diving began!
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    The sea hunters --1996
    the sea hunters 11-- 2002
     
  3. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

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    Location: Upstate NY
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    Beware books "written" by a noted author "with" an unknown. Many authors have started following the lead of James Patterson who, as far as I can tell, has stopped writing entirely. The current fad is to lend your name (in huge letters on the cover) to an unknown quantity (the with and name in tiny letters on the cover). I've yet to find one that I could finish the 1st chapter though it must be profitable because so many otherwise good writers are doing it.
     
  4. covediver

    covediver Solo Diver

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    I gave up on the Cussler franchise a few years back as his novels became very formulaic and extremely predictable. Cussler has had a number of co-author franchises over the years, none of which have really amounted to much including the latest Dirk Pitt incarnation with his son. Guess after 35 or so years it may be losing originality. BTW, Kemprecos wrote a series of pretty good mystery novels about a Cape Cod PI, Aristotle "Soc" Socarides, in the 80s and 90s that are much better than anything he has done with Cussler, IMHO.
     
  5. Griffo

    Griffo DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney, Australia
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    All of the co-authored books by Cussler are a joke really. His older books were interesting, the new ones are all to the same formula, and often contain really really poor diving facts and stories.
    One of his recent releases even had people diving with oxygen tanks.
     
  6. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

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    I came to the likes of Cussler and Patterson l;ate in life... after my TV antenna blew off my roof four years ago and I decided not to replace it. Formulaic, yes. Classical writing, no. But I have enjoyed reading almost all of "their" books... much better than the fluff on over-trhe-air TV these days. But then I want something light after reading scientific journal articles much of the day.
     
  7. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
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    I don't disagree. The books they actually wrote are pretty readable. It's the "franchise" crap that is drek. When they run out of steam and ideas thay should just quit gracefully.
     
  8. covediver

    covediver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Alaska
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    I recall one book where it had a pilot on the vessel using a telescope years before its invention. This kind of threw me since Cussler was known in his books for attention to detail. I wrote the publisher about this and received a note back to the effect, "hey, this is fiction, you have to suspend disbelief" which is when I started suspending purchases. His older books were good, but even near the end they were becoming quite predictable and less focused on themaritime nature of the story and more on getting in and out of predicaments. Characters became quite two dimensional as well. He had a great run for decades, but like Joe Di, he didn't quite know when to leave the game.
     
  9. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    people run out of gas, From what I have heard, Mr. Cussler has been dealing with issues and the franchise books have been less than stellar. I am planning on re-reading the Sea Hunter books that Sam Miller listed above. I believe I read one or both of them in the past and found them excellent.
     
  10. leoconnor

    leoconnor Contributor

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    Location: FL
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    I prefer the solo Cussler books as well. What really ruined it for me was the casting in the film version of "Sahara". Bad, very bad....
     

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