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Dragon (1990)

de Clive Cussler

Sèrie: Dirk Pitt (10)

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[Dirk Pitt] had always believed that insurmountable odds were surmountable.

These books are so ridiculous.

In 1945, a nuclear bomb is lost on it's way to Japan (apparently there were two sent in this world). In 1993, a Japanese cargo ship is found adrift with obvious--to the reader--signs of radiation poisoning. You'd think the two things are related, but ... we'll you'll just to read and find out.

And along the way? Japanese criminals/businessmen hoping to take over the world economically, by way of a nuclear threat. Robots. Lots and lots of robots, driving cars, defending evil lairs, and beatable only by... a magnet in a sock or a length of hose and some silk? Like I said. Ridiculous.

A few other things that made me smile throughout the story:

- The opening scenes with the lost B-29 bomber and the nuclear explosion aboard the container ship were an excellent start to the ship, along with the rescue of the few survivors.

- At one point one of the female characters is literally described as a 'Bond girl but smarter'. Cussler may still have some issues with female characters, but he's getting better and he's definitely acknowledging it.

- For at least the second time, someone had a background check on Pitt and commented that it 'reads like an adventure story'.

- Dirk Pitt gets a chance to race one of his classic automobiles. His opponent for the race? Clive Cussler. So far as author insertion (and having read a bit about Cussler's history outside of writing), it makes sense.

- An exchange between two characters: Smith: 'Dirk Pitt can do anything!' Pitt: 'I wish people would stop staying that.'

- A scene towards the end where they drop a giant undersea crawler out of an airplane. Just cool.

- Once again, this book bumped into one of the problems with writing about real world events and setting yourself a few years in the future. There are comments about 'West Germany'. When this book was published in 1990, the Berlin Wall had fallen only months before and re-unification had not yet been completed. But by 1993 when the books take place, both events had most certainly have occurred. Then again, it's quite clearly an alternate history at this point, so take it as it goes.

Overall, a fun read. The opening is strong and the island invasion and Pitt's 'final' mission were also action packed reads. The middle was somewhat muddled, but still fine. Overall, worth the listen. Onward! ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Cussler really has a hard feeling/spot for the Japanese in this book. The B-29 carrying the third A-bomb in 1945 crashed and somehow was found in order to counter Japanese imperialism in 2003. The rest of the book is about some bad Japanese conducting nuclear extortion and some good Americans who save the day! In a little bit of cuteness, Pitt meets Cussler as he writes himself into a cameo role. Adventure/thriller that's fun to read but not very real! ( )
  buffalogr | Sep 4, 2020 |
The Cold War seems to be winding down, but a new economic war appears to be on the horizon with the added element of nuclear blackmail. Dragon is the tenth book of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series as the titular hero finds himself sucked into a espionage war between the U.S. and fanatical ultranationalist Japanese businessmen and criminals looking to create a new empire.

On 6 August 1945, a B-29 Bomber “Dennings Demons” takes off from the Aleutians with an atomic bomb headed for Osaka without knowing the “Enola Gay” is headed for Hiroshima and vice versa; however a Japanese pilot shots down the bomber which lands in the water not far off from a little island off the Japanese coast. Forty-five years later a Norwegian cruise ship in the Pacific finds an abandoned Japanese cargo ship and find a car leaking radiation moments before it detonates destroying the cargo ship, takes out of the cruise ship in the shockwave as well as a British research vessel. Underneath the surface a British submersible is also damage from the nuclear shockwave is found by an experimental NUMA ocean floor crawler—piloted by Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino—from an underwater research facility that must be evacuated due to earthquakes caused by the nuclear explosion. After getting to the surface, Pitt and Giordino are flown to D.C. and are “volunteered” to join a task force to tackle the nuclear threat from Japan due to them smuggling nukes in the country in cars. The two go outside the process and give the task force big clues that tips off the Japanese that their plan has been found out. Undercover agents in both Japan and the U.S. take on security forces with both sides, but things hit the fan when the Japanese kidnap Pitt’s on-off love interest Congresswoman Loren Smith along with an influential U.S. Senator. Thanks to a British undercover agent, the task force is able to locate the Japanese command center and launch a two-prong attack with Pitt & Giordino acting a decoys to let the rest of the task force get in and destroy the command center but both teams are surprised by robots upsetting their plans. The five task force members are forced run for their lives in a human hunting game, but Pitt as the first to be the prey tricks his hunter and turns the tables on him. The task force escapes with Loren, the Senator, and the mastermind behind the Japanese plot but their attempt to cause damage to the command center doesn’t work. The Japanese decide to set off a nuke in Wyoming, but the task force has found the wreckage of “Denning’s Demons” and plan to use the NUMA crawler to get the atom bomb and set it off in a nearby fault to take out the little Japanese island that the command center is built in. Pitt keeps Giordino from joining him and is able to fulfill the plan to detonate the bomb, but the escape route doesn’t workout making everyone think he doesn’t make it until a month later when the crawler comes up out of the ocean on a little island in front of a resort with a haggard Pitt asking for some fresh food.

At the time of publication (1991) the Cold War was over and with it the clichés of earlier Pitt novels, so Cussler compensated with Japanese business takeover on steroids. Overall the plot was solid with none of the scenes really dragging the book down, unlike the previous book. Of the characters, the main antagonists were a tad on the cliché side but were written well enough to still be a little rounded. Dirk Pitt was less of a lady’s man this time around, but to offset that Cussler made Pitt be perfect at everything including beat the author himself in a classic car race. Though I’ll give credit to Cussler for having Pitt referencing Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game before he was hunted and doing homage to it in his own book.

Dragon is a product of its time, an overall fine book that kept the reader hooked but also not the best in the series in my opinion. Clive Cussler keeps on going back and forth in how to describe his main character from book to book, but at least he isn’t the jerk he was in the earlier books in the series. ( )
  mattries37315 | Dec 29, 2019 |
Een typische Clive Cussler / Dirk Pitt boek . Het opent met actie en vertraagt niet voor het einde.

Dirk Pitt is de ultieme macho held. Hij kan niets fouts doen, ontsnapt uit allerlei moeilijke situaties en redt uiteindelijk de wereld. Het verhaal is loopt lekker door, is boeiend maar de verafgoding van Pitt en de neiging om zich zelf in het verhaal te schrijven vervelend.

Het verhaal is een beetje een mix van science-fiction en werkelijkheid. Zo blijkt dat Dirk Pitt al een paar maanden in een onderzeese habitat geleefd te hebben. Na een kernbom explosie op de oppervlakte wordt deze habitat vernietigd. Op het laatste moment kan Pitt ontsnappen.

De Japanse slechteriken zijn een beetje een-dimensionaal, net zoals bijna alle schurken in dit soort verhalen zijn. Ze presenteren wel een spannende en geduchte bedreiging voor de wereld.

Als je een spannend boek zoekt, zonder echt veel diepgang, dan is Cussler's Dirk Pitt serie een goede keuze.

( )
  EdwinKort | Oct 18, 2019 |
Japan, 1945: Two U.S. bombers take off with atomic bombs. Only one gets through.

The Pacific, 1993: A Japanese cargo ship bound for the United States is instantly, thunderously vaporized, taking with it a Norwegian vessel. Japanese fanatics have developed a chilling plan to devastate and destroy the Western powers. From the ocean depths to the discovery of cache of lost Nazi loot, DIRK PITT is untangling a savage conspiracy and igniting a ( )
Aquesta ressenya ja no es mostra perquè diversos usuaris l'han marcada com a abús de les Condicions d'ús (mostra-la).
  Tutter | Feb 26, 2015 |
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