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Deep Sound Channel Hardcover – July 5, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (July 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553801333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553801330
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,808,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Exciting battle scenes, fascinating naval maneuvers and accessible technical data are offset by clich?d villains and tenuous narrative logic in this debut submarine warfare thriller set in the year 2011. World War III has begun, and Germany and South Africa, armed with nuclear weapons from a "neutral" Russia, are allied against the U.S. and Britain. The brunt of the war is borne by naval forces in deadly nuclear combat. Lt. Comdr. Jeffrey Fuller finds his state-of-the-art submarine, the U.S.S. Challenger, pulled from battle duty to run a covert team of Navy SEALs into Durban, South Africa. The mission: to destroy the secret lab where an ultra-lethal biological weapon is being perfected. Ilse Reebeck, a Durban marine biologist who worked at the lab until her family was executed in a Boer coup, is along as sonar consultant, and it is she who will lead the raid. But first Challenger must navigate a heavily mined port and evade enemy tracking devices and nuclear torpedo attacks launched by its South African counterpart under the command of Capt. Jan ter Horst. The fearless ter Horst, who is Ilse Reebeck's former lover, is the epitome of arrogant evil; their relationship adds a personal edge to the struggle. Buff scripts suspenseful submarine action and invents clever futuristic naval tricks as Challenger and its crew play dueling subs with ter Horst's vessel and improvise on the Durban raid. The inevitable romance is well handled, but the villains are straight from central casting, as are many of the good guys. A satisfying, cliff-hanging ending suggests a sequel. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

It is 2011, and the world is at war. Fascist coups in Germany and South Africa have created an unholy axis that is fighting the United States and her allies. Tactical nukes are used by both sides with great loss of life. This is a great premise, and Buff knows weapons and warfare. However, his descriptions are overly technical, his characters one-dimensional, and the nontechnical dialog trite. Nor is the overall premise plausible. For instance, it is unlikely that Germany, a traditional land power, would be willing and able to fight and sustain a major land war in southern Africa. Confronting defeat, the Axis plans biological warfare measures that Lt. Commander Jeff Fuller and the obligatory gorgeous blonde scientist set out to forestall. Their success is almost too easy, and the subsequent submarine chase is confusing. The ending implies a sequel; one hopes it is torpedoed. For larger collections.
-Robert Convoy, Warren, MI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Suspense and action packed.
chuck rice
I certainly look forward to reading Buff's next book, and I am pleased with finding another author I like.
A. Neilll
What a great story by writer Buff!
"fictionloverextraordinair"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Roy DeMeo on August 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book, which is the author's first, offers both a vividly realistic look at how war might be fought at sea in the not-too-distant future, plus a tightly edited, fast-paced, exciting story that's often brutally violent, always action-packed and always full of suspense. The often highly technical prose displays a dazzling level of knowledge of submarines on the part of the author which actually makes the reader feel as though he is ON the submarine, but at the same time does not make the basic story line too hard to follow, which can be a risk with this kind of writing. Plus, Joe Buff provides a glossary which is extremely helpful. I now know a lot more about nuclear subs and about tactical nuclear war than I used to. Though I rarely read fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can hardly wait for Joe Buff's next one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Braunling on May 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's difficult to believe this is Joe Buff's first novel. Written with the maturity you'd expect from a much more seasoned author, Deep Sound Channel quickly grabs you and shows you one possible future on a US Navy nuclear submarine. In a near-future limited nuclear conflict between major powers, the author masterfully depicts the turmoil, pain, and dedication of submariners in a high stakes conflict between good and evil. His apparent knowledge of submarines lends believability to the ultra-complicated, and demanding world in which these remarkable people live and die to preserve a way of life. With enough action to hold the reader's interrest throughout, the author develops his characters to the point where the reader shares emotional highs and lows with them. A thoroughly satisfying novel that will engross action buffs looking for a good read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As Tom Clancy, the great submarine novelist of the past decade, moves away from submarine epics into psychosocial melodramas involving matters of high state, a new novelist in his tradition has appeared and, like Clancy, done so with his first release. In "Deep Sound Channel" by Joe Buff, the author weaves an intricate yarn of undersea warfare, set in the not so distant future, that involves adversaries that will surprise the reader and not be apparent till later in the novel. Unlike the various other futuristic writers, the advanced technology described by this author exists already on the drawing boards. In terms of future weapons, sensors and tactics the book reads like a primer for the U.S. Navy Submarine Force in the 21st century. The author's greatest asset, though, represents his extensive knowledge of nuclear physics and acoustic propagation combined with detailed descriptions of how a nuclear submarine actually operates from the submariner's perspective. A remarkable achievement given the difficulty of the subject matter. I eagerly look forward to Joe Buff's next submarine novel.
Landlocked in Beverly Hills
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Soper on December 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This novel was loaned to me by my daughter and although I am not a literary critic, I am an avid reader. Deep Sound Channel is an exciting, thought-provoking and suspense filled book about Naval warfare of the future. Being unfamiliar with many of the naval terms, the glossary was not only necessary for me, but very much appreciated. Through this well-written novel, I obtained a great deal of knowledge about nuclear submarines and the navy as well. Even though the subject matter may suggest the novel appeals only to a male audience, I found it very appealing and interesting to me as a woman, especially with respect to the heroine.
Deep Sound Channel is written in such a manner that I felt I personally knew the characters involved. At times it was difficult to tell where the story ends and reality begins. I look forward to many more novels from Joe Buff.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Neilll VINE VOICE on December 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book based on the recommendations on Amazon, and I was NOT disappointed.
This book really delivers the goods when it comes to action, tension, plot, and characterization. The tac nukes fly with frightening regularity. Buff manages to deliver a vision of near future warfare unlike any I have read, and let me tell you it is a scary one. By no means is this a low intensity regional conflict or a "limited war". This is about as all out as you can get without the ICBM's flying.
I was really impressed with Buff's writing and with the story. The characters were 3 dimensional and had believable motivation. I liken Mr. Buff's effort to Stephen Hunter's work, albeit in a bit of a different genre. Like Hunter, Buff takes pains to deliver detailed technical information without slowing down the story, and writes a tight action packed story.
I certainly look forward to reading Buff's next book, and I am pleased with finding another author I like.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "Stormin' Normand " on July 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
In this intricately woven undersea-tale, Joe Buff has created a gripping story of a possible future conflict. Frightening believability is supplied by his technical research on current hardware and it's logical progession into future gadetry. The story line regarding the re-emergence of Germany as a dominating power in Europe, bent on reestablishing past levels of power and prestige on the world stage after the decline of the former US and Soviet Union "super-powers", is consistent with the rise and fall of other powerful nation-states over thousands of years of recorded history. Reinforced by an "Axis of Evil " partnership with like-minded South African Boer comrades seeking to relive their glory days of dominance over subject populations in their region, the new realities have forced the former super-powers into unaccustomed roles.

A badly weakened and disorganized America reacts slowly and with limited success to the surprise onslought of combined German-Boer forces. Russia is a "neutral", but supplying clandestine support to the new "AXIS", while the rest of the world waits to see who gains the upper hand before declaring any public support for either side! Joe's work in current national defense commentary for non-fiction outlets in military and public-policy circles lends additional credibility to the scenarios he paints in this novel.

The authentic operational proceedures and dialog between characters in military actions creates the feel of a transcript recorded on the scene by the author. This occasionally gets into a great deal of technical detail, obviously designed to help the reader follow the "decision cycle" and "brainstorming " needed to solve grave problems in a tense and critical situation.
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