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Vixen 03 Hardcover – Import, 1978

4.3 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews
Book 5 of 23 in the A Dirk Pitt Adventure Series

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Hardcover, Import, 1978
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Dirk Pitt [is] oceanography’s answer to Indiana Jones.”—Associated Press --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

1954. Vixen 03 is down. The plane, bound for the Pacific carrying thirty-six Doomsday bombs -- canisters armed with quick-death germs of unbelievable potency -- vanishes. Vixen has in fact crashed into an ice-covered lake in Colorado. 1988. Dirk Pitt, who heroically raised the Titanic, discovers the wreckage of Vixen 03. But two deadly canisters are missing. They're in the hands of a terrorist group. Their lethal mission: to sail a battleship seventy-five miles up the Potomac and blast Washington, D.C., to kingdom come. Only Dirk can stop them. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340234318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340234310
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,677,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a big Cussler fan. I've read five of his books so far, and "Cyclops" is still my favourite. "Vixen O3" is not, in my opinion, one of Cussler's best because many of the chapters deal with the politics of the African Army of Revolution attempting to overthrow the white government in South Africa. These "political sections" of the book tend to take some of the energy away from the overall story. I'm used to reading about Dirk Pitt's undersea and airborne adventures. Every time the story went back to politics, I became somewhat bored and couldn't wait until I reached a chapter that had Pitt and his fellow NUMA comrades in it. As was the case in "Iceberg", one of the male characters in "Vixen 03" turns out to be a woman. I hope Cussler breaks away from this weird pattern in the newer books that I haven't read yet. Despite the weaknesses just mentioned, the politics of the story mesh well with the interesting parts of the story near the end of the book. While some chapters were slow, others were much more intense. After reading "Raise the Titanic", I was really looking forward to reading about the salvaging of the plane (the Vixen 03) at the bottom of a Colorado lake. Unfortuately, the salvage began and ended within a five-page chapter. I really like the undersea adventures that take place in Cussler's books. I felt cheated when the whole salvage operation took place in such a short time. Overall, I think that the real Cussler fans will still enjoy "Vixen 03". For those of you who are new to his work, I suggest you first try one of his other books...I really do recommend "Cyclops". Now there's a page-turner!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was SO anxious to read this novel when it first came out many years ago, I TRIED to read it all at once...I have to admit it starts off REALLY GOOD. Dirk finds a plane in the bottom of an isolated Colorado lake, and he also uncovers quite a mystery in the process...but then this novel shifts gears in a way that is totally foreign to ALL the other Dirk Pitt novels. Cussler then transports us to South Africa and there you end up embroiled in a political nightmare which seems SO FAR removed from anything else Cussler has written to make one wonder if in fact he had a hand in actually writing it. It seems 100% UNrelated to the events detailed in the beginning of the book. When the two sections of the book begin to run together (and I have to admit I was about to give up on the book when it finally happened) it FINALLY became a good adventure novel. Some bad guys attempt to sail a decomissioned naval ship up to Washington D.C. and launch a few surprises on the Capitol...let's just say the surprises are enough to make things rather unpleasant in D.C. for many years to come--but NO it's NOT a Nuke. At this point the book shifts gears again and turns back into a Pitt novel. So let's re-cap: 'Vixen 03' starts OFF as a Pitt story, turns into an odd mix of politics and protest in South Africa, then comes BACK to America where it turns back INTO a Pitt story. The first third and last third are GREAT, but it's the middle which is almost so strange as to seem like it was written by someone else (not that I would think it actually happened...). All in all 'Vixen 03' is an entertaining story, mixed with a 2nd story that is just barely connected to the rest of the novel. Good, but NOT Cussler's best, that's all I can say.
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By A Customer on December 20, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of Clive Cussler's earlier books, "Vixen 03" is still his best. This novel is great because it combines the wild action sequences Cussler is noted for with a truly interesting story and characters with depth.

The plot of "Vixen" is diverse. There are many different strands of the story, from Cussler's hero Dirk Pitt and his sidekick Al Giordino, to members of an African terrorist organization: from various officials in the United States government to the South African Defense Ministry. All of the storylines eventually blend together seamlessly into an amazing story that makes one wonder how anyone could write such a huge, tight tale.

The best part, however, lies with the depth of the dozens of characters that Cussler creates for this adventure. All the characters in the story have been written with a quality that makes the story, however fantastic, seem realistic. Even the villians are created with human touch, unlike the corny, comicstrip-like evil guys that populate Cusslers early and latest novels.

Simply the best Cussler novel there is. And weirdly prophetic, too. After reading this book, find out what happened to the actual U.S.S. Iowa! The similarity is scary.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a huge Cussler fan, this being my eighth Pitt adventure, most of which are the later offerings. The storyline in Vixen holds more for me than the latest books, as did "Deep six", being a bit more of a plot than simply the spectacular heroics in the later books, however, I must agree with Jeff that due to the fact that it was written in the middle eigthies(the height of South Africa's Political and Humanitarian Embarrasment), Clive seems to be using his great influence to spread his political viewpoint, which he is more than entitled to do, but it is at the expense of a well rounded story, although a comment was passed at the end that outsiders didn't understand the struggle in SA, this holds true for a great many South Africans as well. There are also a few inaccuracies regarding the South African side of the story - eg. There is no International airport at Pretoria, only in Johannesburg, and people don't refer to each other in South Africa as "Herr" anything,(the minister of Defence was often referred to as Herr Minister), South Africans are not, after all, German. Otherwise I was quite impressed with the rest of the book, and as Usual, Dirk Pitt kicks some proverbial A_s, which makes it all worthwhile at the end.
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