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From Publishers Weekly
Cussler and Dirgo, coauthors of two nonfiction books (The Sea Hunters; The Sea Hunters II) team up this time to debut a new action-filled series, dubbed the Oregon Files, equal to any in the Cussler franchise. An organization of intelligent and superbly proficient mercenaries, known as the Corporation, is headquartered on the ship Oregon, a seagoing marvel of science and technology disguised as an ancient, rust-bucket cargo vessel. The leader of the Corporation-cool, brainy Chairman Juan Cabrillo-explains the mission of his organization: "We were formed to make a profit, that's for sure, but as much as we like the money, we are also cognizant of the chances that arise for us to somehow right the wrongs of others." They've been secretly hired by the U.S. government to find and acquire an ancient statue known as the Golden Buddha, stolen from the Dalai Lama upon his ouster from Tibet by the Chinese in 1959. An intricate plan is then set in motion culminating in the defeat of the Chinese in Tibet and the ascension of the Dalai Lama to his rightful place as the leader of the country. The list of characters, both good and evil, is long and sometimes confusing, but a useful directory is supplied. Cabrillo and crew are adept at high finance and diplomacy, playing the Russians off against the Chinese and winning over the United Nations. But it's the technology, real and imagined, that steals the show with awe-inspiring secret weapons and spy gear that the Defense Department would kill for. Readers will burn up the pages following the blazing action and daring exploits of these men and women and their amazing machines.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
It all started with Raise the Titanic (1976)--the point at which avid readers of adventure fiction date their "fanship" with Cussler. This, his third book with Dirgo, is the first novel in a new series called the Oregon Files. The cast of characters is headed by one Juan Cabrillo, the so-called chairman of the board of the Oregon, ostensibly a regular hauler but really a state-of-the-art intelligence-gathering ship that carries secret cargo and is armed with missiles and torpedoes. Working for the CIA, Cabrillo and a crew of former naval officers have been asked to return Tibet to the control of the Dalai Lama by making a deal with the Chinese and the Russians. This depends on finding a golden Buddha that contains maps and records related to Tibet's oil reserves. There's lots of talk about modern technology and stolen art, and the novel has its share of narrow escapes. What is evident from the start is that the good guys will prevail in the end, but even with the dearth of suspense, Cussler fans won't be disappointed. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Clive Cussler's spin-off series from his Dirk Pitt series he has established another skilful and charismatic hero.
In the first book of the series we start off with a minor assignment for the Chairman of the Corporation (Juan Cabrillo) in Cuba to rescue some political prisoners in an air tight escape proof jail. However to the employees of the Corporation this just meant a little more planning.
With their usual bravado they breached the jail and released the prisoners who were in poor physical condition.
Having the actually carry 5 prisoners on their backs because of the weakened condition they were in the crew were able to get all the prisoners back to the Oregon and swiftly taken to Puerto Rico to be eventually transferred to Florida.
This adventure series is as much about the Oregon as it is about its crew. The Oregon is described as 560 feet long, with a 75 foot beam. It has internal water tanks so it can intake water and sink low so that it looks like it has a load of something on board, or pump the water tanks out and site high. This is particularly important when going for top speed which is noted as 70 knots (approx 80mph).
Also on board are two submarines, a helicopter, ATV's, sea to air missiles, anti aircraft guns and explosives galore.
The main adventure in the book is return to Golden Buddha to the Dalai Lama the religious leader of Tibet.Read more ›
Cussler crafted a world, and is now licensing it out. Truthfully I can't recall the crew of the Golden Buddha from prior novels, but that's neither here nor there. More important is did I enjoy this?
Yes. Yes I did.
The ship fits Cussler's world perfectly. The crew felt less like individuals and more like cloned personalities, but that's understandable. A ship needs a full crew, and each member is given limited time in the spotlight, so they never fully flesh out - a problem hopefully solved in future "episodes."
The caper works. It has twists, it has turns, but it works. Maybe the other reviewers are right, maybe it didn't and I was influenced more by the margarita's and Acapulco sun than I thought, but nothing in this plot felt too "out there." Sure, the ship isn't believable, and the fact that there are experts in everything on it might not work, but it's explained in the plot ($$$), so it works well enough.
If you're a Cussler fan itching for a fix I recommend this whole-heartedly. It isn't up to Cussler snuff, but it's written a bit more fluidly than the Kemprecos spinoff.
If you aren't a Cussler fan you won't like this.
And if you've yet to discover Cussler's work start there, but remember to return here after you've gone through his novels.
The short choppy chapters and paragraphs, and the overpopulated cast of characters, were wearying, as other critics here have noted. More irritating was that none of the characters seemed very deep--I don't mean unrealistic, just two-dimensional. Eddie Seng did not seem like an Asian, Lincoln did not come across like an African American, Cabrillo did not seem Hispanic other than in name. The female characters especially seemed fetchers of coffee, or collectors of farewell letters and last testaments (Ms. Crabtree), or else just pretty bods to sleep with the enemy for information. (Oddly, none of the heroes seem to get anything going in this line, while Cussler generally has his hero at least flirt with a trophy woman.)
Also annoying were the blatant giveaways. "Rhee had no way of knowing it, but he'd just made the biggest error of his life." "President Putin had been promised the meeting would be worth the effort. Cabrillo would not fail to deliver." "And Winston Spencer had no way to know he had less than a fortnight to live." This frequently leaves the technology the only point of interest, since the reader knows how the chapter will end.
I did like, however, the fact that so much of the action took place away from the sea; this allows much more scope for sequels.
Case in point: Clive manages only 3~4 main charaters with 1-4 secondary charaters, Craig has 20-30 main charaters with more secondary/main charaters coming in every chapter.
The story starts out making the reader think that this is a small band of people, using a ship as a floating base, fighting to correct evil with NO goverment ties or is a shadow goverment agency.
But as the story progress, more and more charaters are introduced, every possible problem that can hinder the heroes in their quest to recover a stolen Golden Budda, is thrown in the story and soon this 'small' band of people fighting evil turns into a large multi national agency with some ties to the goverment and/or is a arm of a shadow goverment agency.
I wish the auther Craig had cut out about 40 charaters and stuck with the small band of people instead of dragging the story down with so many new charaters and so many details that the reader is hard pressed to keep track of much less care about.
I hope that IF Clive Cussler allows Craig Dirgo to co-write another book or a sequel to Golden Budda that Craig cuts down on all the extra details, charaters and prodding story line and makes the story more enjoyable to the reader.
I think I will stick with Dirk Pitt and Kurt Austin adventures from now on.
Most recent customer reviews
Great adventure, Cussler knows how to capture the readers interest,I enjoyed every page of this book. I recommend it to all!Published 5 months ago by Robin
Clive Cussler is awesome adventure writer . I enjoy reading all his series from Dirk Pitt to the The Oregon which is a spin off from Dirk pitt seriesPublished on Oct. 14 2013 by Michael Matthews
I just can't believe that i actually finnished the book. I usually really like Clive Cussler books, but this one was something else. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2004
I'm a relativly new Cussler reader and have been backtracking to read his older books and find the Oregon Files refreshing. Read morePublished on July 11 2004 by Jennifer Holton
The Golden Buddha by Clive Cussler
Over the years I have been reading most of Clive Cussler's adventure stories. Read more
I am a huge Cussler fan, but I am terribly disappointed in this book. I am sorry I wasted a gift certificate on it. I don't know who wrote this, but it certainly wasn't Dr. Read morePublished on July 7 2004 by Chris Leber
We have all become so comfortable with Dirk, Al and now Kurt that maybe we were expecting the comfortable ol' sneaker that seems to always fit just right. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by J. Taylor
I don't understand all the negative reviews. I loved that this was different and with so many characters. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by Stranjer