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Raise the Titanic!
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on November 22, 2001
This book is good. Let's just get that straight before I talk about the flaws.
First, I must say that the first one hundred pages were terribly boring. I mean, all this race to find this byzanium material, and we only find out WHY THE HECK IT'S SO IMPORTANT way too late. I found myself yawning as I read those pages, and it only got intersting when the Titanic kicked in (then again, way too late)
Another thing is the remarkable lack of accuracy. I'm not much of a realistic nut, but if you are, stay away from this novel. First of all, the Titanic split in two before sinking, but it's complete in this novel, making the entire plot downright impossible. But this isn't my biggest gripe (I managed to ignore the lack of realism) but the worst thing is the portrayal of the soviet soldiers.
The russians aren't simply demonized in this work. Clive Cussler goes out of his way just to bash them. They seem to constantly praise the americans when they talk between themselves "The americans have an annoying habit of accomplishing what they set out to do" (actual quote from the book). I mean, come on! Also, they are constantly outsmarted, as if they are just stupid monkeys with AK-47s. They are also heartless, I might add, not hesitating to do hte most horrible things (even though they always fail).
Although I can question the plot, I can't question Cussler's ability to describe a scene. He does it masterfully. Many of the scenes the pages just seemed to zoom as the suspense filled the plot. The rising of the Titanic seems to be the one that sticks out in my mind the most.
I liked this book. Really. But the thing is, it's got way too many big flaws for me to give it five stars, or even four stars.
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on August 21, 2001
I had never read anything by Cussler until this. I had heard a lot about him and his Dirk Pitt character but never really had any desire to get into the series. However I was looking in a bookstore one day and wanted something new to read so I decided to try Cussler. I figured this would be a good one to start out with because it was about the Titanic.
Even though this was a little bit unrealistic it was still fun. The plot is pretty self-explainatory. It's a project served up by NUMA to get the Titanic up from being buried deep in the Atlantic. There is also a murder that comes into play. It might not seem like it makes much sense but once you read it all you'll understand fully.
Even though I thought this book could get a little boring at times it still got to me somehow. Something told me that I need to read more by this Clive Cussler guy. I mean he's almost sold 100 million copies of his books. So I decided to try Sahara and am in the middle of reading it now. But Cussler is definitely an author to think about trying out if you haven't all ready.
One person found this helpful
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on July 11, 2001
I don't understand the bad reviews. This was the first book I read of Cusslers back in the late 70's (79?). I had picked it up in the book store because I had just finished composing an extensive paper on the Titantic for school and when I read the back cover, was intrigued. Okay here is the dirt Cussler did his homework; it is evident if you read between the lines. Cussler uses the what if scenario and his method works. He weaves a fantastic tail of intrigue, dirty politics and fantastic science. The best scene that still plays through my mind even to this day is Dirk Pitt roaming the ship after it has risen to the surface and then raises the White Star pennant. After constructing my own paper, reading all the evidence I could find, looking over blueprints, etc., Mr. Cussler bought what was on paper to life for me. So, simply for a good read put aside the facts about the Titantic that we knew before this book came out (and after) and simply enjoy the thrilling ride that is the Cussler writing. Cussler gives his characters an edge not found in any other adventure series that I have read. Not Clancy, not Crichton, no one. It is total escapism at its best.
2 people found this helpful
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on February 20, 2001
As always Dirk Pitt is there in all his glory. The mixture of fact with fiction, and impossible elements make a Cussler novel all you are looking for. I read the book 15 or 20 years ago and just read it again without realizing until I was well into it. It did not matter, a good read never grows old, please keep going Mr. Cussler, your fans are waiting.
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on March 20, 2003
Let me get one thing straight: I rate this at 4 1/2 stars, not just 4. The reason I take off 1/2 of this excellent Dirk Pitt novel is because of all the political elements and complicated side stories Cussler adds. The greatest part of this book was the underwater probing, the glorious raising of the Titanic, and it's journey to New York Harbor. Be warned, Pitt doesn't even appear in the story until about the 100th page, the beginning is mainly background, and entryway into the plot. The story is good, though the character of Gene Seagram, and the politics take away from the heart of the story. Nevertheless, it is a great book, and a great read for all!
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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 April 10, 2000
ok high speeds i read the book about 13 years ago, but some of the thought behind the negative reviews is simply turning my top. the logic patterns behind them are simply too much to bear. lets start with the year the book was written, 1976. Id like to repeat that because it sounds, VAGUELY IMPORTANT! the year the book was written was 1976... so with this in mind just how much positive information do you think was available for study back then? humm? not a whole lot, thats how much. some of us out there are critiquing the book as if it was published last month. the ship was not even found until 1985. think about it. there were numerous reports of the ship breaking up as it went down, yes this is most definately true no arguement, however conversely several ships officers, who we will credit with being competent, if somewhat on the stressed side claimed that it did not. also keep in mind a very large number of the people who reported the break up were passengers, most in a very high state of stress. it is plausible that their testimonys might have been blown off. or maybe its something else. humm... in reality what difference does it make. in writing there is something called artistic licence, (ah ha here it is) it is frequently used in a work that is termed historical fiction. a real historical event is either used as a setting for a fictitious tale to be told. sometimes this means that the event will be described near 100% accurate and only the people involved with part of this event will be fictitious. however, yes another however my short tempered friends, sometimes it is all encompassing. the event while still based upon what happened will be twisted enough to meet the needs of the story, along with the people historically real, composites of several people in one or entirely fictitious are changed and adapted to make the story do what the author desires. i think that is part of the joy of being an author, you can alter the setting to how you want it. life does not always work that way. so, how soon shall this tirade end? soon i should think, i could have condensed all of this into about one paragraph about when the book dates from and how people critique the book on information that BEGAN to be gathered 9 years later. and the book criticized 24 years later. not to mention i wanted to give the bored among us something to read. time periods people, remember that. another question, ive got my choise in mind, ponder this, pick a great book that you have read, that involves an historical event but is not entirely accurate in its description. does that make it a bad book?
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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
One person found this helpful
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on May 18, 2002
Dirk Pitt is Superman. OK not really, but he has more luck than a field full of four leaf clovers. The book starts with a man in trouble, caught by a couple of Russian soldiers when out of a blinding snowstorm, a man comes and saves him. Dirk Pitt is a director for a government agency called NUMA. He is a man who takes on the impossible tasks and makes them possible, usually getting the girl and saving the world at the same time. Cussler mixes history and legends together to create a unique story that can get you so caught up, you sometimes stay up all night to get to the end.
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on May 17, 2000
This is the book by Cussler that definitely established DIrk Pitt as one of the greatest action heroes of our Century ! He and his pal Al Giordino fight against the russians, for something that valious that's deep into the TITANIC. Great stuff.
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