Monday, February 06, 2006

Deep Six by Clive Cussler

Clive Cussler is not high art. Nor will his books ever be considered "literature"-- Cussler is to books what Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme are to movies. They're sometimes fun to watch, but they're not compelling or at all feasible.

Deep Six is no exception to this... If anything this is one of Cussler's weaker novels. With this type of novel, the "action film" of books, the author still has to get the reader to suspend disbelief. Some of Cussler's novels are fun enough, and move quickly enough to allow me to give him the benefit of the doubt and just let things slide. This is not one of those books.

The basic premise, a Korean shipping magnate has her lackey grandson kidnap the President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, and President Pro Tempore of the Senate (the top 4 in line for the presidency) for the Soviets (the book was written in 1984 and set in 1989, I only recently "discovered" it when bored out of my gourd at the Ft. Lauderdale airport).

The chicanery and tomfoolery necessary to pull off such a feat is more than my "suspension of disbelief" could handle. The book did keep me reading as, yes even though I knew it would all end well, I wanted to see how Cussler tied up the loose ends.

They say the devil is in the details and I can understand if Cussler was bored out of his mind by the time he finished this book and just wanted to get it over with. But you'd think a good editor would at least try to compel the writer to re-write the ending. After spending so much time on details and innocuous events throughout the rest of the book, the amount of time spent tying up those details and loose ends in the end was half-assed, at best.

All in all, Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels are fun, but if you're really in the mood to read one of them, skip this one and read Sahara, Raise the Titanic, or even Inca Gold instead, any of them will be much more satisfying reads than Deep Six.


David Amulet said...

There is nothing -- NOTHING -- wrong with "pulp fiction" like this. I find it annoying and sad when people refer to such works as "great books," but if it's a good thrilling read that entertains, more power to the author.

My favorites of the same kind of thing are David Eddings' fantasy series The Belgariad. Not the best wuality writing you'll ever see ... but a good diversion.

-- david

Perplexio said...

I agree, with 1 corollary to your statement... There's nothing wrong with GOOD pulp fiction.

Clive Cussler has written some decent pulp fiction in his day... I enjoyed Inca Gold, Atlantis Found, Raise the Titanic and Iceberg. But Deep Six just didn't compare to many of his other Dirk Pitt novels. It was mediocre and it really had the potential to be one of the better Dirk Pitt novels but I don't think Cussler fully realized the full potential of the premise of this book.

Godwhacker said...

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