Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spotlight Series: Dirk Pitt

Clive Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. 

Cussler is an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization (named after the fictional Federal agency in his novels) that dedicates itself to preserving American maritime and naval history.  In addition to being the Chairman of NUMA, Cussler is also a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He has been honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration. 

Cussler's books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. Clive Cussler lives in Arizona.

The Dirk Pitt series were the first books that I read that I consider Guy-Lit. They're full of action, adventure and men being men. Of course, that means in the older books the men (Dirk especially) get away with being chauvinistic and kind of jerky to the ladies, but such was the time. I was drawn to the series because of my interest in the Titanic, which was deeply examined in the 4th book of the series, and knew I had to read the others in the series.

Important Characters to Know
Dirk Pitt - Adventurer. Marine engineer for NUMA. Collects antique cars.

Al Giordino - Dirk's life-long best friend. Air Force captain. Works at NUMA.

James Sandecker - Director of NUMA. Dirk's boss.

Rudi Gunn - Deputy director of NUMA.

Loren Smith - Dirk's long time love interest. Special Project Director for NUMA.

Hiram Yeager - Computer specialist for NUMA. Something of a hippie.

Dirk Pitt (in reading order, links lead to my reviews)
  1. Pacific Vortex!
  2. The Mediterranean Caper
  3. Iceberg
  4. Raise the Titanic!
  5. Vixen 03
  6. Night Probe!
  7. Deep Six
  8. Cyclops
  9. Treasure
  10. Dragon
  11. Sahara
  12. Inca Gold
  13. Shock Wave
  14. Flood Tide
  15. Atlantis Found
  16. Valhalla Rising
  17. Trojan Odyssey
  18. Black Wind
  19. Treasure of Khan
  20. Arctic Drift
  21. Crescent Dawn
If you like the Dirk Pitt series, you should try:
The Independent series by Dale Brown
The Patrick McLanahan series by Dale Brown
The Jake Grafton series by Stephen Coonts
The Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy
The Op-Center series by Tom Clancy

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