Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sahara -- Clive Cussler

Clive Cussler

A Dirk Pitt Adventure
Age: 16+
Rating: 5 stars

After watching and enjoying the movie, I was delighted to discover there was a book. Yesterday, I read it... all 568 pages and found myself mentally applauding the author. He has such a gift for plot and characters, humor, gruesomeness, history and mystery and emotion. He kept me turning page after page. I love a good book. :-)

Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino have been buddies since childhood and they now have a bit of fame to their name for their deep sea adventures. But author Clive Cussler decided it was time for these two to take a break from the water and tread sand in the adventure of their lives.

Dr. Eva Rojas, a biochemist from California is in Cairo, Egypt with her colleagues from World Health Association. They were sent to study a plague that was severely affecting the natives of the Sahara Desert. From the symptoms, they suspected the plague was due to toxins and they suspect nothing more until Eva is brutally attacked and nearly killed by two men. Dirk happened to be in the neighborhood and rescued her (and took care of her assailants) but they are both puzzled. Why would someone want to kill Eva when she is only trying to save lives? Nothing seems connected so Dirk sees Eva and her colleagues off to the Sahara, albeit a trifle sadly since he's not sure when he's going to see her again. Little does he know!

Shortly afterwards, Dirk's boss, Admiral James Sandecker, is notified of a rapidly spreading water contamination. No one in higher power will listen to him, even though danger of extinction of all living creatures on earth is imminent. So he does the next best: he sends Dirk, Al and their friend, scientist Rudi Gunn, in a yacht to find the source. Enter into the world of adventure as this trio travels up river and meets all sorts of savory characters.

Dirk Pitt: rogue, hero, ingenious. He's also thinks that he's God's gift to women, which is why he's not married. Lol. I appreciated the fact that he always thought first of those he loved, even when things seemed hopeless. I also appreciated his sense of humor. Probably the funniest part in the book was when he told the dictator General Kazim the truth about the rescue team and Kazim back handed him, accusing him of lying, so Dirk made up a story. Kazim believed that one.

Al Giordino: funny. This guy's sense of humor had me laughing out loud more than once. His timing is excellent... his personality helps with the laughs, too. He's also ingenious and very quick on his feet. The only thing I didn't like about Al was how mouthy he was. When you're in trouble, it's wise not to sass the bad guys and get them to beat you up. Unless, of course, you're three steps ahead of the bad guys when you mouth off.

Rudi Gunn: genius scientist. Very handy with guns, too. Nice to have around when you're in a pickle. My favorite line of his was, “Why me?” Oh! Did you know that when you wear a back pack around your front and dress yourself in a djellaba (a long flowing garment), it looks like you're fat?

Admiral James Sandecker: domineering, determined. This man will do what he knows is right, even if he's going to get into a serious amount of trouble for doing it. And he's pretty good at the manipulation thing, “Once you see the boat, I guarantee you will change your mind.” :-)

Dr. Eva Rojas: dedicated, beautiful and caring. Her personality was more dynamic in the movie but I still admired her character. She wished to help humanity, even if it was at great cost to herself.

General Zateb Kazim: dictator, evil. This man cared nothing about his people... in fact he cared for nothing except himself. He was a genius gone wrong and money helped him on his way.

Yves Massarde: And yet a more evil character! His ending was... fitting. The humor related to him was what made me laugh the most.

Colonel Marcel Levant: Commander of the United Nations Critical Response Team sent in to rescue Gunn and the group of people enslaved in the mines. He liked to call it his duty and he was very brave, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he gloried in the adventure and smoothness with which his team worked.

What I Liked:
1: The history and knowledge.
2: The humor.
3: The rich array of characters.
4: 99% of the book. ;-)
5: Even though the author had the Dirk and Eva sleep together, it doesn't go into detail... stops at the point when they find themselves alone. Thank you for that.

What I Didn't Like:
1: The fact that Dirk and Eva sleep together. It didn't help the story at all.
2: Occasional bad language. (It wasn't terrible.)
3: How bloodthirsty and callous Dirk and Al seem at times. (Ok.. I'm a girl...)

I do recommend this book and I'm looking forward to further adventures of Dirk and his crew. Read and enjoy! “The...humor never ends.”


Melinda said...

I read the book too after seeing the movie and enjoying it so much. This was one instance (perhaps the only one) where I enjoy the movie more than the book.

The Ponderer said...

It's strange how that works sometimes. The movie seemed better told than the book was. Somehow. It wasn't as confusing or something. :)

But I did like the Abraham Lincoln aspect of the book. That was genius! :) :)