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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on January 8, 1999
Is this book worthy of Titanic's name? NO! I'm insulted that a legend like Titanic could be used for such a stupid book. Then again, the book isn't even ABOUT Titanic... and no wonder. Cussler doesn't know diddly squat about the matter. Back before Ballard discovered the ship at the bottom of the North Atlantic, it was a debate over wether or not Titanic split, but if the author had done ACTUAL RESEARCH he'd find most of that witnesses that were watching the ship sink that night, like Eva Hart, and Jack Thayer, all agreed that Titanic split (it was only people who were too busy trying to keep alive and thus weren't watching the ship, like Colonel Archibald Gracie and Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller who claimed the ship was intact when it went down). Yet the author describes the ship as in ONE PIECE when the salvage crew find it. But that wasn't the worst of the book. The story, which was entirely unoriginal, completely copied off 007 what with secret US and secret USSR agents fighting with high tech gadgets and impressing beautiful girls, was hardly held together with POOR DIALOGUE. And the insanity thing, suffered both by the Brewster and Seagram charictors, were written immaturely. And our hero? Nice hero! Seagram was right about Dirk Pitt- he was just a stupid, cowardly murderer who has special power because of his li'l daddy. And then there's the part where the authour describes one scene as "If it were a movie, it would be perfect typecasting." Okaaaaay. I don't think he knows this, but typecasting is not a good thing. You know a book's bad when the authour criticizes it. And finally there's the matter of Capitalism vs. Communism. In this book the Communists were criticized very harshly. I love my country and deeply love freedom, my rights, my priveleges and everything I call Democratic, but let's give the Communists a break, shall we? While the people in the USSR were treated poorly, they were very reluctant to change their ways when Gorbachev tried to introduse Perestroika in 1985. And let's not forget who got into space before we did, hm? They did. Who beat us to the moon in 1966, hm? They did. Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin were smart men (Lenin didn't have very good morals in that he ordered the death of the entire Romanov family, but he was still smart), and Cussler had no right to insult them. Don't get me wrong. I love democracy and freedom.
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on December 15, 1998
Clive Cussler uses his imagination and combines it with actual events to produce a great novel. In most of his stories, Cussler writes with one main character. That characters name is Dirk Pitt and he is the epitome of a hero. Pitt is a Special Projects Director for the NUMA organization yet seems to get involved in the wildest adventures. Pitt uses common sense, sarcasm, and his intellect to solve the hardest of mysteries. In the novel, Raise the Titanic, Pitt starts out trying to find missing byzanium. According to the last report, the byzanium went down with Titanic when it sank. Pitt and NUMA decide to raise Titanic in order to find this byzanium for it is the main ingredient in the making of a defense weapon. Cussler uses factual information concerning the shipwreck and writes the most compelling story. Cussler is a native of Colorado and in this book, Pitt visits CO. Another interesting point is Cussler's fascination with vintage automobiles. In every one of Cusslers books, Pitt owns or drives a car that Cussler has in real life. Following the idea of past history, the novel Treasure also written by Cussler begins with a fight with the Romans in the time of the Roman Empire. This novel goes on about a lost treasure that is priceless. Pitt must find the treasure but no maps were ever found, only directions on tablets. It turns out that the boat with the treasure sailed up the Rio Grande and ended its journey in Texas. Pitt faces deadly adversaries in this book like all others. Pitt is able to overcome high obstacles with the help of his superior, Admiral James Sandecker and his friends Al Giordino and Rudi Gunn. These three characters are in most of Cussler's stories and the team of Gunn, Giordino and Pitt is unstoppable. They have been shot and hurt numerous times but refuse to be beaten. The attitudes of these men are what make heroes. The novel that is most powerful is Sahara for it seems so real yet so unbelievable. The beginnings of all Cussler's novel begin hundreds of years ago to tell a brief story and then it jumps to the present day. What is amazing about Cussler is that is writing technique allows him to relate the original excerpt with the whole book to make complete sense. In Sahara, the story is about Pitt discovering a highly poisonous toxin. Pitt and Giordino are then captured and put in a pit with others digging for diamonds in Africa. They manage to escape, steal a car and race into the Sahara desert. They come across a downed aircraft flown by a young woman nearly forty years ago. They take her diary and continue on their journey. Near death they come across an intercoastal highway like the one in Alaska. They are rescued and after recovering, they go back and save the other prisoners. Pitt is intrigued by the young woman's diary and discovers that she found a ship when she crashed. Pitt launches a recovery operation that leads them to a confederate ship from the United States with Abe Lincoln's remains on board. Cussler is able to use actual events and then put his own twist on it. A habit of Clive Cussler's is to put himself in the story he's writing. Its always a small part though. For instance, in Sahara Pitt and Giordino come across an old drifter in the desert who guides them in their journey. At the end of their conversation the drifter identifies himself as Clive Cussler. Cussler has a unique writing style that distinguishes himself from other authors. He leads readers to places they have not gone to before and the reader has a sense of experiencing these events for themselves. Cussler always rearches information so false events is unlikely and it is obvious that Cussler has a passion for water and land adventures which mirrors in his Dirk Pitt character.
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on June 5, 1997
This was also my first Clive Cussler book. I have read all ofhis previous and subsequent books but this one still stands out as thebest.(It was also the first time in my life that I experienced the dread of all readers...starting a book and realizing at 4:30 in the morning that you have to go to work the next day, but you have only 3 chapters left to go!!)
The situations that his hero, Dirk Pitt and the other regulars, Rudy, Admiral Sandecker et al. experience is always intriguing. Even though you know that they will somehow survive, it is thrilling none-the-less.
We all know that the fascination people have with disasters is contagious(witness the gawkers at an automobile accident), the thought of bringing the recipient of one of the world's worst disasters back to the surface is a fascinating proposal.
I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially anyone who is looking for a new favorite author or a hero to put most to shame.
Kerry Hutsler
Denver, CO
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on August 7, 1998
I should have put down four and a half stars, cause it's that good. Someone wrote down about how the facts about the Titanic are way off. Yes, they are, but this book was written years more than TEN years before the Titanic was found and studied. He was writting what he thought the Titanic would look like after 76 years under water, and he did a fine job in discribing what the hull looks like after all thouse years. Plus, it is a work of FICTION, ok, as in "Not real". Being that it is fiction, it is a fine one at that. The suspense keeps you turning pages wanting to find answers, and the characters are believeable. The downfall of Gene Seagram was very well done. Imagine if all you lived for, all you worked for, what you put all your money on, was found to be worth nothing, disspossed in less that a day. I would probably break down. It is a great book, a very enjoyable book, and one that keeps it's head-on pace right to the very end.
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on September 2, 2000
I love Clive Cussler's works, and this is certainly one that will be one of my favorites. And though I still consider "Cyclops" one os his best, this is certainly up there on quality. It has that wonderful action adventure sense to it that only a true novel can give. And although it starts kind of slow at the beggining, it certainly picks up - and in the end, the excitment of the climax makes up for the slow start. I loved how Cussler had those wonderful descriptions about the Titanic, even though he was writing these in the mid-seventies. I also loved the wonderful pace to it. It also had a different perceiption than usually Clive Cussler, especially on Dirk Pitt. He's not the rugged, dashing hero-type. He's much more down-to-earth and sophisticated. Overall, though, it's a wonderful book, and I will consider it one of my favorites. I would certainly recommend it to not only Cussler fans, but all readers of action and suspense.
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on April 30, 2001
I'm really amazed at how good a writer Clive Cussler is. I think he ranks up there with Stephen King and Tom Clancy in keeping the pages turning. Every book reads like a James Bond novel and Dirk Pitt is a worthy James Bond. It's pretty cool (a little silly sometimes, but still cool) that Pitt & his comrades use a famous historical object in each novel to assist them in their mission. Obviously in this one they use the Titanic to try to recover this rare chemical element buried in its vault to build a missle defense system. That idea doesn't sound too original today, but consider that this book was published in 1976, before the Titanic was found (Cussler includes a well-written forward about this) and before a missle defense system was discussed regularly by the government. The point I'm trying to make is that the book deserves praise not only for a well written, adventurous story, but also for its originality.
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on June 23, 2001
If you enjoy page turning adventure novels, none I've read surpasses "Raise the Titanic." It is most certainly the best of all the Clive Cussler novels (I've read them all and many more than once)and is simply fun, fun reading. Perhaps those that have or will read it for the first time after the actual discovery of the Titanic will have a more difficult time buying the plotline. However, if you can get past what we know to be real today and enjoy a fiction as a fiction, you'll have a great time. There are some really strange negative reviews posted here for this novel. A few of them make for some very odd but entertaining reading in themselves. You'll see,however, if you scan the majority of the rational sounding reviews that the novel is loved by many. I do recommend that you avoid the movie version. What a major disappointment and possibly the death note for any future in the movies for Dirk Pitt!
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on July 19, 1998
I just read all the reviews of this book... it has great writing, i agree, it's pretty interesting, okay, but five stars??? give me a break. This book is about the lamest excuse for a historical fiction novel i've ever seen. Right off the bat it's improbable. And "WetSteel"? What the hell is that all about? Anyway, this book drove me completely bonkers because i've studied the "titanic" explicitly and any moron with half a brain knows that there is no 300 foot gash in the side of the sunken ocean liner. And, more obviously, that it would be completely impossible to "raise the titanic" because it's lying in two seperate pieces! Maybe other people can stand reading historical inaccuracies, but if you're like me, and seeing something incorrect bothers you, do NOT read this'll make you want to scream with frustration from the very beginning.
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on June 24, 2001
Two things you can count on with Clive Cussler. First, history will be re-written with amazing revelations that tickle the imagination. Second, Dirk Pitt will put James Bond to shame. Once again, Cussler delivers a fanciful adventure on the high seas, where Pitt and company race against the Soviets to get the precious cargo aboard the Titanic. Pitt comes off as the superhero who refuses to die, even when the odds are a million to one against him. In this one, Pitt manages to solve a pretty complicated puzzle with powers of deduction that I do not believe ordinary mortals possess. Just when the Soviets think they have the upper hand, Pitt saves the free world. One flaw in Pitt did disappoint me, however. I was dismayed when our hero committed adultery. How could you, Dirk? Shame shame.
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on March 8, 2001
Ahhh, sweet memories!...Raise The Titanic was my first book by Clive Cussler and I consider it to be among this man's best. However, I didn't fall in love with it instantly. The story took some time to get rolling and it wasn't extremely fascinating at first. But halfway through I couldn't catch my breath! Things were so unexpectable, thrilling and jaw-dropping that I was restless until the end. The whole WHAT-IF? basis is what his later books lack. The idea of raising the Titanic itself, the wild race of the superpowers for getting there first, the great knowledge of special deep-sea gadgets (naturally) is what makes it desirable. The single flaw: Some Russian names are too unreal. But it's not very important. Bottom line: If you want the real Cussler experience, get it.
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