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Golden Buddha (The Oregon Files) Paperback – July 31, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cussler and Dirgo, coauthors of two nonfiction books (The Sea Hunters; The Sea Hunters II) team up this time to debut a new action-filled series, dubbed the Oregon Files, equal to any in the Cussler franchise. An organization of intelligent and superbly proficient mercenaries, known as the Corporation, is headquartered on the ship Oregon, a seagoing marvel of science and technology disguised as an ancient, rust-bucket cargo vessel. The leader of the Corporation-cool, brainy Chairman Juan Cabrillo-explains the mission of his organization: "We were formed to make a profit, that's for sure, but as much as we like the money, we are also cognizant of the chances that arise for us to somehow right the wrongs of others." They've been secretly hired by the U.S. government to find and acquire an ancient statue known as the Golden Buddha, stolen from the Dalai Lama upon his ouster from Tibet by the Chinese in 1959. An intricate plan is then set in motion culminating in the defeat of the Chinese in Tibet and the ascension of the Dalai Lama to his rightful place as the leader of the country. The list of characters, both good and evil, is long and sometimes confusing, but a useful directory is supplied. Cabrillo and crew are adept at high finance and diplomacy, playing the Russians off against the Chinese and winning over the United Nations. But it's the technology, real and imagined, that steals the show with awe-inspiring secret weapons and spy gear that the Defense Department would kill for. Readers will burn up the pages following the blazing action and daring exploits of these men and women and their amazing machines.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

It all started with Raise the Titanic (1976)--the point at which avid readers of adventure fiction date their "fanship" with Cussler. This, his third book with Dirgo, is the first novel in a new series called the Oregon Files. The cast of characters is headed by one Juan Cabrillo, the so-called chairman of the board of the Oregon, ostensibly a regular hauler but really a state-of-the-art intelligence-gathering ship that carries secret cargo and is armed with missiles and torpedoes. Working for the CIA, Cabrillo and a crew of former naval officers have been asked to return Tibet to the control of the Dalai Lama by making a deal with the Chinese and the Russians. This depends on finding a golden Buddha that contains maps and records related to Tibet's oil reserves. There's lots of talk about modern technology and stolen art, and the novel has its share of narrow escapes. What is evident from the start is that the good guys will prevail in the end, but even with the dearth of suspense, Cussler fans won't be disappointed. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Oregon Files (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (July 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042521818X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425218181
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Michael B Shore on November 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Cussler is one of the few authors who have NEVER disappointed me and I buy his books day of release without fail. I even liked his collaborations with Dirgo as it always seemed to me to be a Cussler book, UNTIL NOW. I totally agree with the reviewer who wrote that the book just died. Reading about the Dali Lama got me hooked as i thought there would be a few plots going on at once and the Dali Lama part could be quite intriguing. Did Cussler even see the book before Dirgo went to publisher?
I kept waiting for something other than the one event to happen. All these uninteresting characters that were not developed and no place for them to go. Who cares about this caper? I am on page 300 now and i couldn't believe that it took 300 pages to get to this point in the story so i came to Amazon to see it if was just me. It's not. I am only finishing this book because the name Cussler is attached. If this had been an unknown author, I would have stopped a long time ago as it is a terrible story, terribly concocted with only the first chapter or two having any interest. This is SO NOT CUSSLER. The writing is repetitive and boring as if he is trying to be Cussler but failing miserably. Ok, done. Wish the book was.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By S. M Marson on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
As far as I can tell, I've read every novel that Clive Cussler has written. These include: THE MEDITERRANEAN CAPER,ICEBERG, RAISE THE TITANIC!, VIXEN 03, NIGHT PROBE, PACIFIC VORTEX, DEEP SIX, CYCLOPS, TREASURE, DRAGON, SAHARA, INCA GOLD, SHOCK WAVE, FLOOD TIDE, ATLANTIS FOUND and VALHALLA RISING. I have also read, three novels he wrote with Paul Kemprecos which include: SERPENT, BLUE GOLD, AND FIRE ICE. His most recent novels (particularly the ones he coauthored) fail to meet the richness found in his earlier work. In a long process of excruciating reflection, I have drawn three conclusions regarding GOLDEN BUDDHA (coauthored with Craig Dirgo) that focus on changes in my personal enjoyment of Cussler's recent collaborative writing.

First is intensive character development. Within Cussler's Dirk Pitt series, I gained a great deal of reading enjoyment by viewing the character development. He was able to offer his readers an intensive psychological profile of the main and secondary characters. This process made the characters come alive by having an in depth understanding of their individual and often conflicting motivations. In addition, Cussler was able to move the characters through their aging cycles and thereby produced changes within their psychological profiles. I don't see this intensive character development in GOLDEN BUDDHA or in the other novels Cussler has coauthored. I miss that aspect of this writing.

Throughout the Dirk Pitt series, the impossible seemed possible. Cussler was able to pull together a series of strange and twisted elements within a story. These plot twists and turns emerged from the character's thought processes, dialog, and the reader's knowledge of history and archeology. Within GOLDEN BUDDHA, the characters do very little thinking.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jayne A. Hitchcock on October 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
There comes a time when authors "jump the shark." Tom Clancy's was when he began "writing" the Net Force series (which I fondly call Net Farce); John Grisham did it with The King Of Torts; Kathy Reichs latest, Bare Bones, comes close (her rant at the end is out of character for the main character, Tempe Brennan). For Clive Cussler, it's Golden Buddha.
Although his name is prominent on the cover, this latest book is co-written with Craig Dirgo, who's written with Cussler before on The Sea Hunters books. In those, you can obviously tell which parts Cussler wrote and which Dirgo wrote - Dirgo's parts did not flow as well and sometimes contained inaccuracies in the facts. He should take a writing class.
Golden Buddha is a new series called The Oregon Files, featuring a main character named Juan Cabrillo who is tall, blonde and blue-eyed (much like Kurt Austin in the other spinoff series by Cussler and Paul Kemprecos). He and his crew of the ship Oregon take on "jobs" that most mercenaries wouldn't touch. They all showed up in a previous Dirk Pitt novel , Flood Tide, and I guess Cussler thought it would be a good spinoff. It could've been, but it isn't.
First of all, the book is about putting the Dalai Lama back in power in Tibet, which is why a very large golden Buddha must be recovered - there is a secret compartment in it with important information. I wish the Dalai Lama character hadn't been based on a real person - this made the entire story very unrealistic (if it does come true by 2005, the date in the book, I'll eat my hat). A fictional religious leader would have been a better bet. Also, Russian President Putin is named, but the President of the USA is not - he's just called the President. Who says Putin will still be in power in 2005?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Wesserling on December 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Having been a long-time Cussler fan, enjoying the Dirk Pitt series, as well as the Kurt Austin series, I eagerly picked up Sacred Stone when I saw it a the local Costco a few months ago. I found it to be a pretty good read with an interesting subject forming the basis for the story. I decided to give Golden Buddha a read. I have to go along with the consensus here that this is simply a terrible book. I think it should be listed as authored by Craig Dirgo and Clive Cussler, instead of the other way around, because clearly most of this book was not written by Clive Cussler.

Throughout all of the Cussler books, there was never a need to insert a cast of characters before. This book actually benefits by it due to the fact that there is virtually no character development that would make the reader take interest in them. Cussler continues his homophobic trend, started early in the Dirk Pitt series, of butch lesbians and "light in the loafers" males. (Funny how none of his major protaganists ever bothered to marry).

The book is also poorly edited. It is often confusing. It is a choppy read, with unnecessary foreshadowing, as pointed out by another reviewer. The part about setting up one of the Corporation's dummy businesses (and we'll go from Andorra to San Marino to Lichtenstein, to Luxembourg, blah, blah, blah) was especially difficult to get through and superfluous to the story.

All of Cussler's work stretches credulity; this book goes far beyond incredulous. The conspiracy with the Russians to set a ruse with the Chinese was simply ridiculous. I guess I just don't find any members of the Corporation to be interesting, nor do I find their mercenary deeds to be noteworthy.

All in all, a book which had a potentially interesting concept, but which fails to be a compelling read.
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