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The Mediterranean Caper: The First Dirk Pitt Novel, A 40th Anniversary Edition (Dirk Pitt Adventure) Hardcover – July 16, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt

“Dirk Pitt is oceanography’s answer to Indiana Jones. Exotic locations, ruthless villains and many narrow escapes—Cussler’s fans come for swashbuckling [and] he delivers.” —Associated Press

About the Author

CLIVE CUSSLER is the author of many New York Times bestsellers, most recently Poseidon’s Arrow, The Striker, and Zero Hour. He lives in Arizona.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dirk Pitt Adventure (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; 40 Anv edition (July 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399166815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399166815
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clive Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt(R), in 1973. His first non-fiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.
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. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered more than 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy's Hunley, and its victim, the Union's Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the renowned Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron, the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, and the Carpathia, which sank almost six years to-the-day after plucking Titanic's survivors from the sea.
In September, 1998, NUMA - which turns over all artifacts to state and Federal authorities, or donates them to museums and universities - launched its own web site for those wishing more information about maritime history or wishing to make donations to the organization.
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. His past international bestsellers include Pacific Vortex, Mediterranean Caper, Iceberg, Raise the Titanic, Vixen 03, Night Probe, Deep Six, Cyclops, Treasure, Dragon, Sahara, Inca Gold, Shock Wave, Flood Tide, Atlantis Found, Valhalla Rising, Trojan Odyssey, Black Wind, Treasure of Kahn and Arctic Drift (the last three with his son, Dirk Cussler) as well as The Chase; the nonfiction books The Sea Hunters, The Sea Hunters II and Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt (R) Revealed; the NUMA(R) Files novels Serpent, Blue Gold, Fire Ice, White Death, Lost City, Polar Shift, The Navigator and Medusa (written with Paul Kemprecos); and the Oregon Files novels Sacred Stone and Golden Buddha (written with Craig Dirgo) and Dark Watch, Skeleton Coast, Plague Ship and Corsair (written with Jack Du Brul).
Clive Cussler lives in Arizona.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scott D. Welch on July 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The first published (second written) adventure of Dirk Pitt and the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) is well worth picking up as the story contains all the hallmarks Cussler established and has used for Pitt and his crew ever since - including a great plot (and subplots), characters you love and hate, and high-quality action that keeps you turning pages.

As a note, this Pitt story does not begin with an historical prologue that later ties into Pitt's adventure. However, there is a World War I German bi-plane that attacks an American Air Force Base on a Greek Island.

As fate would have it, Pitt and his partner, Al Giordino, are traveling on assignment in their World War II flying boat (amphibious aircraft) but are, however, only armed with a couple of rifles. Never one to back down from a challenge, Pitt and his WWII plane engage the WWI craft and a dogfight ensues. Through daring and some luck the good guys win.

That is the introduction to Pitt arriving in the Aegean Sea to connect with a NUMA research vessel searching for evidence of a fossil believed to be tied to the development of the first mammal. However, what ends up on Pitt's radar is a massive international smuggling operation, including, among other things, drugs and human trafficking, led by a man known by one name (Bruno Von Till) but is, in reality, the former commander of the Nazi transportation fleet during WWII, who then used that experience to establish and run a fleet of cargo vessels.

Adding some spice to the story, Pitt meets Von Till after having met and romanced the smuggler's niece (who has a dramatically different role than as a loving relation to her uncle).
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(I've read it three times now--previous reads were in 1987 and 2004). Everything you expect from a Pitt story--the slam-bang action, the exotic locales, exotic women, maritime and/or aviaition historical elements, the aura of mystery, the almost -larger-than-life megalomaniacal villains, the oceanographic technology, Pitt's coolness under fire, suaveness, and flair for smart-aleck humor (especially when bantering back & forth with faithful sidekick Al Giordino)--are all here. Even after 40 years, this book still stands the test of time.

Only a couple of nitpicks keep me from giving this book a full 5 stars:

(1) I would expect a fellow U.S. Air Force veteran like Cussler to know that the proper name for the F-105 is the Thunderchief (or "Thud"), not the Starfire (the USAF *did* have a Starfire, but that was the F-94, which was retired in 1959, 14 years before "The Mediterreanean Caper's" original publication date).

(2 The so-called Bureau of Narcotics had been officially renamed the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) in 1968 and again as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1973.

Those minot criticisms aside, a highly enjoyable read and a wonderful introduction to Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt (and Al Giordino, Rudi Gunn, and Admiral James Sandecker) alike!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Cody on August 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Cussler, especially his Dirk Pitt adventures. This was an anniversary edition of his first Dirk Pitt novel. Dirk and Giordino are pulled into this caper after a vintage World War 11 airplane attacks a US Air Force base on a Greek Island. When a Numa scientific expedition close the island is sabotaged and attacked they find the two incidents are related. In their pursuit of finding the reason for the attacks they encounter a huge freighter with no crew and an underwater cavern with secrets. They are confronted with an smuggling ring, dangerous secrets, and an old Nazi criminal running the show. Of course, Dirk also has an adventure with a beautiful woman who is in the middle of all this. Fun, fast paced adventure and a great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dennis L. Taylor on August 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I only pray that more of his books will be re-issued in hardback. I read this novel in one night, I tried to put it down, it just would not stop jumping back in my hands. PLEASE MORE OF HIS EARLY NOVELS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Butler on September 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another awesome Cussler novel. It was interesting to see how much Dirk Pitt has changed over the years. In this book, he was always lighting up a cigarette, but not so as he aged. The book arrived in a timely manner, was in new condition, and at a god price.
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Disclosure: I have watched Sahara-also written by Cussler, and in my head, the voices of Dirk Pitt, Teri, Al Giodino, Rudy and the Admiral all sound like McConaughhey, Cruz, Zahn, etc-- not that there is any other relation between this novel and the later tale. But, by comparison, these words are so stilted! The book has little of the nonchalant combativeness that the movie centered on.
In this anniversary edition, Cussler explains how he researched existing literature to choose a genre, a character, and stage for the stories. Definitely, underwater action and ships are fascinating. Evil geniuses must be thwarted. Interpol and local authorities may be inadequate- this becomes Dirk Pitt's theater, when not romancing the mademoiselles.
There is an action scene where a nimble WW I biplane attacks an airbase, only to be driven off by Dirk's clumsy flying boat shooting back with a hand-held rifle. Damaged, the Albatros struggles away, likely to crash at sea(?). This is just the first of several clashes with a mysterious organization that wants to drive foreigners from the Greek island of Thasos. Later, on a deserted beach, Dirk meets a gorgeous babe. Unfortunately, the beautiful Teri could not stop grieving for her dead husband; to 'counsel' her, he slaps her to snap her out of it.
*No way this abuse can be justified.* It should have been edited out.
Up to that point, I was hoping this would rise above disappointing and become a decent thriller. No. The mysterious gang is two-dimensional, the authorities bumbling, and Dirk's ability to overcome injury and exhaustion becomes unbelievable. His buddy worships him while superiors defer to his insights.
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