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Black Wind (Dirk Pitt Adventure) Paperback – June 6, 2006
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About the Author
Dirk Cussler is the coauthor with Clive Cussler of six previous Dirk Pitt® adventures: Black Wind, Treasure of Khan, Arctic Drift, Crescent Dawn, Poseidon’s Arrow, Havana Storm, and Odessa Sea. For the past several years, he has been an active participant and partner in his father’s NUMA expeditions and has served as president of the NUMA® advisory board of trustees. Cussler lives in Arizona.
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but there are still some technical gaffes (explained below) and the lack of edginess so prevalent in the classic Cussler novels of the 1970s and 80s that prevent me from giving the novel a full 5 stars.
p. 8: the Bungo Strait--shades of "Run Silent, Run Deep!"
Lookup: Seiran floatplane
--p. 11: "Naval authority on submarines was notably relaxed, even in the Japanese Navy." Time-Life Books' "War Under the Pacific" noted the same thing.
So, even back then and in non-U.S. countries, sub crews got better chow than the rest of the Navy, eh?
--p. 17: Lookup Farragut-class destroyer USS Theodore Knight
--p. 29: Lookup Steller's sea lions.
Lookup "Laissez le bons temps rouler?" = "Leave well enough alone?"
--p. 38: "'We've notified the Coast Guard *and* the Department of Homeland Security" [emphasis added] Um, the Coast Guard IS a part of DHS.
--p. 41: Basil named for the sea serpent from "Shock Wave?"
--p. 45: Um, although the AK-74 rifle may have full-auto capability, it's not technically considered a "machine gun."
Lucky for Jack Dahlgren that the round didn't tumble upon impact!
--p. 48: "'Well,' Dirk said, tearing a steaming leg off the big crustacean, 'we could use some lemon and butter.'" Heh heh, glad to see that the NUMA peeps, their love for the sea and the environment in general notwithstanding, are not vegetarians!
--p. 54: "'It just makes sense for everyone involved to ease trade restrictions. Our own steel tariffs may still get in the way of an agreement.'" Wow, what coincidental timing (reading this passage and quoting it on 26 April 2018).
"'It’s a damn mystery how they can think that way, given the past aggressiveness of the North.'" Again, how timely.
--p. 69: "'I think a dinosaur crapped in my mouth during the night,' Dahlgren said
with a belch." Haha, appetising anal-ogy!
--p. 89: "Shining his light on one set of valves, he made out BARASUTO TANKU in white lettering, which he presumed operated the ballast tanks." Um, would it be in actual "lettering" per se, or Japanese (Kanji) script? Or does Dirk actually know how to read Kanji?
--p. 91: "Type 95 torpedoes, large and deadly fish that were both more reliable and more explosive than the American counterpart during the war." Hmmm, really? I'll have to look that one up....
--p. 97: "An ex–Marine Corps MP, Finch still sported a crew cut and spoke with the blunt voice of a basic training drill sergeant." Ahem, the Corps calls 'em "drill instructors (DIs)," not "drill sergeants."
--p. 99: "'there has been no real radical Islamic presence visible in Japan.'" Hell, there's very little Islamic presence in Japan, moderate OR radical.
p. 101: "The twenty-three-year-old master sergeant was an avionics specialist at the air base," AHEM, no way would a mere 23 year-old be a Master Sergeant in ANY branch of the U.S. military in this day & age! Promotions to that level of seniority just don't happen that fast nowadays, not even battlefield promotions (especially not within the senior NCO ranks)!
--p. 110: "William Beebe, Sylvia Earle, and Don Walsh." Some historically iconic oceanographic names there!
--p. 116: "'Just like the Titanic,' he marveled." Hmmm, an allusion by Al to his (and Dirk's) "Raise the Titanic!" adventure?
--p. 125: "communist entrepreneur" a deliberately ironic oxymoron on the authors' part, I presume? Wow, Dae-jong Kang is the ultimate Cadillac communist!
p. 148: Referring to an Ingram Mac-10 as a "burp gun?" Um, no, that nickname belongs to the M3 submachine gun AKA the "grease gun."
--p: 188: "The aristocratic club was appropriately housed on the hundredth floor of the world’s tallest building, the recently completed International Business Center Tower located in western Seoul." Really, taller than the Burj Khalifa?
--p. 205: "Starfish," an homage to the "Raise the Titanic" film adaptation (even though Clive hated it)??
p. 259: Pararescue Jumpers (PJs), HOOYAH!
--p. 338: G8 meeting, how timely!
--p. 347: Ahem, in the Air Force, "First Sergeant" is a job title like "Commander," not an actual rank.
--p. 348: Air Force generally doesn't use the acronym/abbreviation "S.O." for Special Operations teams. They use "STT" for "Special Tactics Teams" instead.
--p. 358: Ahem, the Navy doesn't use the term "Special Forces" for its SEALs/UDT types. Special Warfare or SpecWar, but not "Special Forces."
--p. 389: Ahem, it's not the "Customs Department," it's the Bureau of Customs & Border Protection (CBP) within the Department of Homeland Security.
--p. 510: Ahem, a SEAL is a SAILOR, not a "soldier!"
--p. 513: A SIG-Sauer P226 holds a 15-round magazine, not 13, and moreover, it's supposed to go to slide-lock when out ammo, therefore no "firing pin beat down on an empty chamber."
Top international reviews
Featuring Dirk Pitt Jnr. and his sister, along with familiar characters of old like Pitt Snr., Admiral Sandecker and Al Giordino, to say nothing of the involvement of NUMA, this tale revolves around the sinking of Japanese submarines carrying a lethal cargo towards the end of the Second World War and its subsequent use by an un-hinged Korean dictator who tries to use the payload to 'persuade' the US Government to support his mad political vision.
With plenty of action both above and below water, and a surprise appearance by Cussler himself, this yarn is very readable and uses Cussler's usual mix of well thought-out plot and just enough technical explanations to interest but not bore the reader.
I always enjoy Clive Cussler, and this book was no exception. Recommended.