Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clive Cussler and Crescent Dawn

I have been called an 'intellectual'.  I have "read" the classics.  I've even been accused of 'literary aspirations'.  My work has required me to read extensively in the sciences, medicine, theology, philosophy, ethics and law. 

What I really like is a good story.  I may read the Bible in the morning and often have several 'texts' on the go, slowly wading through some very important writing.  Yet every night and when I have a moment free, and especially when I'm waiting for a plane or rarely on a beach, I have a special attachment to a 'thriller'.

Today this is Clive Cussler. In the past it was Tom Clancy.  It probably all began when as an adolescent I became addicted to the 007 series.

Because I'm a sailor, having soloed blue water, I love Clive's often almost 'corny' character Dirk Pitt whose adventures admittedly are the stuff of sophisticated Hardy Boys.  Mark Twain would likely read Clive Cussler.  They have that kind of Tom Sawyer flavour and a touch of Twain's humor too.

Compared with Michael Crighton's work they are called 'techno-thrillers'.  I love the marine innovations that he includes in his writing but as well like the geo-political observations. 

It turns out Clive Cussler is an underwater explorer himself and actually was the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency which plays a major role in his novels.

I can't say I've read all his novels like I have with some of my all time favourite novellists but I'm beginning to see a recurring pattern that I do pick a Clive Cussler novel like I might choose to watch a Clint Eastwood movie.  There's a reliability factor.  Always a good story, fast adventure and fascinating surroundings and context.

Right now I'm reading Crescent Dawn.  It's set mostly around Turkey so I'm not only learning a bit about the American view of fundamentalist Moslem terrorists but also the difficulties the Israelis have with antiquities as well as a whole lot of history from Instanbul.  The boat chases and kidnappings and epic battles have my heart racing.  It's hard to put them down.

It's probably a bit 'escapist' but really I love it.  So there, I've confessed my closet attachment to Clive Cussler books.  It's not very elitist since literally millions love Clive Cussler books.  I'd rather have an erudite appreciation of a writer so ahead of the curve that they have only 1 or 2 followers but the fact is I've 'everyman' tendencies.  As unique as I might like to believe I am I share my literary love of Clive Cussler with the masses.  It's a very common love, indeed.

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