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Pacific Vortex! (1983)

Pacific Vortex! (1983)

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4.15 of 5 Votes: 3
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0553276328 (ISBN13: 9780553276329)

About book Pacific Vortex! (1983)

In the foreword, Clive Cussler mentioned that he created Dirk Pitt to be a character in the vein of James Bond, and he certainly brings that to mind. Not in the most flattering way for me though. He reminds of the aspects of the Bond films from the 60s-80s I did not like. The casual disregard for women (their relevance mainly relegated to their use as pawns or sex objects), with a little bit of violence thrown in. Before anyone gets angry, you know what they say about opinions. This is mine. I just have a button with this type of character, and it was pushed with this book. Having said that, if I disregard Pitt's womanizing, woman-dismissing ways, this is a pretty good book. I liked the maritime adventure a lot. I also enjoyed Cussler's highly visual portrait of the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific isn't a static, inanimate setting in this novel. In fact, it is personified in ways that I found very affecting. The Pacific in this novel, is not just a place of awe-inspiring natural beauty, but also a place of violence and hidden menace. As far as plotting, Cussler draws out the mystery of the Pacific Vortex very well. Initially, I was prepared to be believe in the otherworldly phenomena as evidenced. It was pretty creepy, in fact. That ghosts could menace and attack the living. Pitt is a lot more cynical than I am though. He doesn't believe it for a minute. Good thing, because the Navy has tasked him with finding the lost submarine. This novel progresses in waves, point A moving naturally to point Z, and as it goes the storyline changes. Eventually, it arrives to a slightly different destination that I expected, but it's fitting in the context of what Cussler's overall goals were in writing this book and creating the character of Dirk Pitt.I'm glad I decided to keep reading this, even after being turned off by Pitt's behavior towards women. The adventure drew me in. I found the maritime/ship components of the storyline interesting. Although there was a fair amount of jargon, it did not hinder my ability to understand what was going on. Instead, it immersed me deeper into the story. The adventure scenes were good, with many on the edge, hold-your-breath moments. Not just man versus man, but also nature versus man. Going back to the overall personification of the deep, infinite Pacific Ocean and all that it holds. There are infinite ways the Ocean can kill you, besides bad guys in the water, and Cussler just scratches the surface in this novel. My rating takes into consideration the following factors:Plotting: Good Overall, but I give it an F for romance--totally unbelievable. All of a sudden, love blooms between getting hit in the groin and socking a woman on the jaw, and meeting twice more! Sorry, but I can't buy that any woman would fall in love with Pitt that fast, especially after being knocked out with a punch to the jaw.) (Point deduction for unbelievable romance)Characters: Fair--Pitt is sometimes unlikable (arrogant and dismissive), and other characters are less developed. He was hard to relate to, which made me more judgmental of his flaws. I wasn't allowed to get to know the other characters very well since they were more like ways to progress the storyline than three-dimensional characters. (Point taken off for underdeveloped and marginalized female characters and the manner in which the male lead treats females.)Action/Adventure Scenes: Very good. Good emphasis on the dangers of the Pacific Ocean and the use of maritime setting.Honorable Mentions: Nice twists in the storyline. Cool evolution in the identity of the villain and what that person wanted. Nice blast to the past: This book me back to the 80s where most of us kiddos wondered who would push the button first.End Verdict: Pacific Vortex! as my introduction to Clive Cussler didn't blow me away. I've had it on good authority that he has some excellent books and Dirk's caveman personality isn't representative across the board of typical characterization in his body of work. It had some good points and some bad points. Overall a good adventure novel and an entertaining read. Glad my library had a copy because this isn't a book I feel the need to add to my personal library. I may have an ongoing love/hate relationship with Dirk Pitt that has nothing to do with my dislike of Matthew McConaughey, since I haven't even seen Sahara.Ultimately, I am thankful that members of the Action/Adventure Aficionados selected this book for our August Group Read, warts and all.

Weak 3 stars. Too much like an action-adventure movie. Might be good for teen boys or adults in that kind of mood.STORY BRIEF:Dirk was a major in the military and can fly planes. Currently he does special projects for an underwater marine agency. For thirty years, ships disappeared in an area called the Pacific Vortex, north of Hawaii. Recently a nuclear submarine named Starbuck disappeared there. Dirk sees a yellow canister floating in the ocean. He grabs it and takes it to Navy headquarters. It contains a message from the Starbuck. Dirk accompanies a Navy group to try to find the sub and figure out what happened. Someone tries to kill Dirk.REVIEWER’S OPINION:This was the author’s first book, but he didn’t publish it right away. After his sequels proved successful, he went back and published this at the urging of his friends. The author tells us that this is not as well developed as his later books. He wrote more than 20 Dirk Pitt books and more than 20 other fiction books. This book has a swashbuckling adventure feel. There is not a lot of thought to it. It’s about bad guys, danger, bravery, some fighting, and escape - accessorized with a beautiful woman. It reminds me of movies. I prefer books over movies because I like the depth in books - characters, motivations, and plot development. This did not do enough for me to want to read more in the series. However I already purchased the sequel so I will be doing one more (The Mediterranean Caper). Dirk is a smart tough guy, but I prefer Jack Reacher (the Lee Child books). I think you can read these novels out of order based on other reviewers’ comments, so if you want to try this author, I’d suggest reading one of the other books first.In this book Dirk meets Summer. If you are reading this for back story on Summer, don’t expect much. There are three brief scenes with Summer. First she tries to kill him, then she tries to help him. Apparently they love each other but that is not developed. There is no relationship development. Apparently she has a role in future books. There was one line that had me chuckling. Dirk is flying a plane with a group of Navy men going on a dangerous mission, possibly-probably to die. Dirk wants to ease their nervousness so he tells his copilot friend to “get back in the main cabin with the others and act like a bored bus conductor.”I liked another scene. A woman appears to be seducing Dirk. She knees him in the crotch and plans to inject the contents of a syringe into him. But his instinctive reaction upon being kneed is to lash out with his fist which knocks her unconscious. Then he spends the next several minutes recuperating from his crotch hit, and then he sees the still-full-syringe in her hand. That was a fun scene.DATA:Story length: 346 pages. Swearing language: mild, including religious swear words. Sexual content: No sex scenes or language, but Dirk thinks about his desires for women and sex. When he sees a desirable woman, his first thought is wondering how soon and how much effort will it take to have sex with her. Setting: current day Hawaii and the Pacific Ocean. Copyright: 1983. Genre: action adventure thriller.

Do You like book Pacific Vortex! (1983)?

Dirk Pitt. Seriously. If this book hadn’t been written 30 years ago – and ten years before it was finally published – I would swear that Clive Cussler’s name of his lead character Dirk Pitt was an obvious wink to Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg in “Boogie Nights”) and Brad Pitt (in anything). I can’t think of another “Dirk” or “Pitt” that comes anywhere close. He’s suave, he’s cool, he’s – updated for the 80s – wearing “brief white bathing trunks” when first we meet him. And he’s sunbathing, no less.Mr. Pitt – Dirk, not Brad – has starred in 17 of Cussler’s swashbuckling adventure thrillers. (Cussler wrote “Pacific Vortex!” first, though it was not published until 1982 when Dirk Pitt was a fixture on the best seller’s list. According to “Dirk Pitt Revealed,” Cussler’s 1998 concordance/encyclopedia of all things Dirk Pitt, “Pacific Vortex!” was initially deemed a weak first effort.) I was tempted to start with “Flood Tide” (1997) or “Atlantis Found” (1999), recent best sellers that are plentiful in paperback and in the remainder bins, but I like my genre novels to unfold in the order the author intended.But enough exposition: Dirk Pitt is a star in “Pacific Vortex!,” and a star for reasons Cussler never intended. He’s rugged, debonair and likes the ladies, to be sure, but he screams 80s louder than a Boy George t-shirt. In the picturesque opening scene, Dirk Pitt is sunbathing in those brief white bathing trunks on a Hawaiian beach. As he naps, “[t:]he hairy barrel chest that rose slightly with each intake of air, bore specks of sweat that rolled downward in snaillike trails and mingled with the sand.” Oh, my. While I read, I alternately imagined him as Tom Selleck circa “Magnum, P.I.” and Ben Stiller in “Starsky & Hutch,” the real and the surreal – the yin and yang – versions of the 80s man.The obvious comparison is James Bond, and it’s a fair one. Dirk Pitt is comfortable schmoozing over cocktails. In the most unintentionally hilarious scene of the book, two women are literally fighting over Dirk while he suavely sips scotch. “The bruise beneath her right eye had begun the transformation from red to purple, and a small cut on her lower lip unleashed a few drops of blood that trickled down her chin, falling with precise accuracy down the cleavage between her breasts. Pitt still thought she was the most desirably woman he’d ever seen.” Enough said. Oddly, there are no bow-chick-a-wow-wow scenes, but you know Dirk’s gettin’ some. The “sexy” scenes are usually of the slow-motion-body-shimmering-in-the-moonlight variety. Most are hysterical.
—Scott Porch

You know, I decided that instead of going through and writing reviews on all of Cussler's books that I've read I can pretty much wrap it all up in the following statement: If James Bond were American, his name would be Dirk Pitt. His adventures are over-the-top, impossible and he always gets the hot chick at the end. Even if I already know what's going to happen, I enjoy the ride nonetheless. Cussler is a good writer and I like the pattern his stories run. I love the cars and the races across the globe and the loyalty of his (Dirk Pitt's) friends and the cool gadgets and the underwater exploration, etc, etc. etc. If you want an original plot of though provoking prose that will change your life go read something else. If you want entertaining reading with over the top adventures than anything in the Dirk Pitt series will do just fine.

Clive Cusslers "Pacific Vortex" is a literary masterpiece. It is a fictional story telling about a seemingly average man who as a more than average adventure. Due to the constant adventure and many entertaining aspects of this book, it felt necessary to give this book the high ranking of 5 stars.This book was an easy read for me. Although it may take a while to get used to the different style of writing by Cussler, the nonstop action makes it an easy, and quick read. In my opinion, this is a must read book for all who enjoy fiction and action all in one book. This is a must read because of the usual man, Dirk Pitt, who sees something floating in the ocean of the coast of Hawaii. After retrieving the buoyant object, Pitt discovers it is a message sent from the lost submarine, The S.S. Starbuck which was allegedly lost in the Pacific Vortex, a spot in the Pacific Ocean where seemingly endless amounts of ships where lost. After in forming the Navy, Pitts long journey to find the "Starbuck" begins, and the mystery of the Pacific Vortex begins to slowly unravel. In this book I learned to not give up on what I'm working on and I learned to continue to try to solve problems when things seem like they won't work out. I highly recommend to this book to all.

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