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

4.6 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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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 (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the years, Clive Cussler has introduced his readers to a number of exciting characters, including the Fargos, Isaac Bell, Kurt Austin, and Juan Cabrillo. But the one that started it all for Cussler is Dirk Pitt, and this 40th anniversary of Pitt's first adventure is full of action and intrigue.

The drama starts when an old World War I-era German Albatross attacks an American Air Force Base on the island of Thasos. Coincidentally, Dirk and Al Giordino are flying in a PBY Catalina flying boat to check on the progress of the NUMA ship First Attempt which is in the area conducting marine experiments. Dirk and Al manage to chase the Albatross off, but not before the base is shot up and several planes destroyed.

Unintentionally, Dirk and Al have flown themselves smack into the middle of a mystery that will take them to expensive villas, underground lairs and adventure on the high seas. They will also meet unscrupulous characters along the way, including a drug smuggler intent on delivering tons of heroin to the drug markets of the United States. Will Dirk and Al be able to crack the case?

Over the years, I've become a big fan of Cussler's books, and it was fun for me to go back to the one that started it all. Cussler's style of writing remains the same now as then; his books are loaded with action, intrigue, and interesting characters. It was fun reading a story that was originally written forty years ago and seeing how cultural norms have changed since then.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Mediterranean Caper". Dirk Pitt is probably Cussler's most recognizable character, and it was fun to see how he got his start. Highly recommended.
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