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Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler
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Raise the Titanic! (edition 2004)

by Clive Cussler

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2,494313,682 (3.71)27
Member:ElementalDragon
Title:Raise the Titanic!
Authors:Clive Cussler
Info:Berkley (2004), Paperback, 448 pages
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Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler

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Deep in the North Atlantic is the rarest radioactive mineral on the planet that can power a strategically redefining missile defense shield, the problem is that it’s in vault of the most famous shipwreck in history. Raise the Titanic! is the third published book of Clive Cussler’s series featuring Dirk Pitt, who accepts the challenge to bring the most famous shipwreck in history only to find himself in the middle of a shadowy Cold War encounter in the middle of a hurricane.

A secret U.S. government think tank, Meta Section, sends a mineralogist to Novaya Zemlya in the Soviet Union to look for byzanium that will power their new antiballistic missile defense system. Unfortunately the scientist is discovered by Soviet security until he’s saved by Dirk Pitt whose “interference” of Meta Section’s plan upsets its chief, Dr. Gene Seagram who is married to a NUMA colleague of Pitt’s. The mineralogist how has both good and bad news, Novaya Zemlya does have byzanium but only a tiny fraction that did because it was mined earlier in the century by Americans from Colorado. Gene Seagram and his closest friend in Meta Section begin hunting down this new lead while Captain Prevlov of Soviet Naval Intelligence begins investigating the American incursion of Soviet territory both the recent and newly discovered mine from the turn of the century. Meanwhile Gene Seagram’s quest to get his secret project completed results in his wife Dana leaving him just as he learns that large amount of byzanium was found on Novaya Zemlya by Coloradan miners who spirited from Russia to Britain and loaded it on the Titanic. Gene Seagram finds Pitt and convinces him to lead the salvaging of the shipwreck. Over the course of the salvage, both American and Soviet intelligence agencies have a shadowy back and forth that Pitt only learns about close to the end of salvage which comes to a dramatic end when they raise it to save one of their submersibles. In preparing to tow the now risen Titanic, Pitt and crew learn that a mid-May formed hurricane is barreling towards them which for Prevlov is prefect for his plan to steal the ship and its “secret” cargo. Prevlov and his strike force board the Titanic while it’s in the eye of the hurricane and take the crew hostage, save Pitt, who confronts the Soviet captain before several minutes before Navy SEALS take out the Soviet soldiers except for Prevlov. The Titanic makes arrives in New York to fanfare, but Meta Section and NUMA learn that their efforts were for not because in the ship’s vault were only boxes of normal stones. Gene Seagram, who had slowly been losing his sanity, has a complete nervous breakdown and attacks the mummified remains of the last American miner who by coincidence was also insane by the time he boarded Titanic. Pitt travels to Scotland and makes his way across Britain until he finds a tiny village where one of the American miners was buried, with the bzyanium thus allowing the U.S. to create its missile defense system.

Written almost a decade before the Titanic was discovered, in two pieces, Cussler writes an intriguing narrative of underwater discovery and salvage with some nice Cold War intrigue thrown in. The main plot was basically really fun to read even with the knowledge that Cussler’s details were wrong in every regard to the shipwreck. While the Soviet spy subplot was completely fine as was Gene Seagram’s slow mental breakdown, the other subplots in the book were complete trash. First was Dana Seagram’s independent woman angle in which was asserted herself and also bashed women’s liberation (which went hand on hand with the usual chauvinistic streak of these early books), the second was the President of the United States being persuaded by the CIA and NIA to let Meta Section’s secret project get leaked to the Soviets which was completely unrealistic (even in a story about raising the Titanic!). Even with those I would have been fine, but Cussler for some reason had Pitt bed Dana Seagram after going the majority of the book seemingly like the Pitt later in the series.

Raise the Titanic! for the most part is a good book, which could have been better, but it’s better than The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg especially since Dirk isn’t a complete jerk. Cussler did write a solid main plot, but the biggest problems were some of the subplots which undermined the work plus some poor decisions around Pitt close to the end. However, after Pacific Vortex this is the best early Pitt book so far. ( )
  mattries37315 | Jan 31, 2019 |
Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler
Book starts out in 1900's and it's the night of the sinking Titanic where a man aboard knows the ship hit the iceberg and will sink as he goes to where he's stored the element that was mined that will be needed for future war projects.
Story follows a lot of different groups: one who finds the horn-the horn that was played on the Titantic, Sicilian project, money paid to survivors from miners who died in the past, other private groups that are funded from the government, the President who pursuades others to do things they don't really want to do and a lot more in different countries.
There is so much action and adventure, never mind the mystery surrounding it all. Bit of romance and you have a well rounded book for everybody.
Byzantium is the special mineral that everybody wants a piece of. two month submersible that can stay under water for more than 2 months time might just be the answer they need to get the minerals.
Thing that amazes me is that this book was written before they even located the Titanic so this is quite the story about it all.
Just when things are on an even keel a hurricane is in the area...
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | May 10, 2018 |
Just as fast, fun, and wondrous as the first time I read it (which was before the Titanic has been found by Dr. Ballard). Combining the best of James Bond and Michael Crichton, it's a shame that Dirk hasn't managed to successfully crack the surface of pop culture. ( )
  bibrarybookslut | Jul 5, 2017 |
Context is everything...and should probably be considered when re-reading early Cussler books. He might have thought he was crafting a strong female character, must he was sexist through and through in attempting it. Think 20 something male and a culture of Hugh Hefner in the 70s with an underwater James Bond who never fails to get the girl, even in the most remote environments and you'll get the picture.

As this was just his third novel, Cussler had yet to perfect his maddening habit of having his characters voice the things that most people would just think to themselves, but the seeds were here. I must not have noticed thirty years ago that he called the military head of the Navy the "Navy Chief of Staff" - it's "Chief of Naval Operations"...the other is an Army or Air Force term - odd mistake for someone so wrapped up in the sea in real life.

Despite his characters being caricatures and his plots formulaic, for whatever reason, I like his books. I still have a fascination with Titanic, due in some part to this book. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Pretty darn good! Quick read. ( )
  JackDayHova | Dec 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
you can not go wrong with ANY of the dirk pitt books!great adventure
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clive Cusslerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gronwald, WernerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koskinen, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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With gratitude to my wife, Barbara, Errol Beauchamp, Janet and Randy Richter, and Dick Clark
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The man on Deck A, Stateroom 33, tossed and turned in his narrow berth, the mind behind his sweating face lost in the depths of a nightmare.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425194523, Mass Market Paperback)

The President's secret task force has developed an unprecedented defensive weapon that relies on an extremely rare radioactive element--and Dirk Pitt has followed a twisted trail to a secret cache of the substance. Now, racing against brutal storms, Soviet spies, and a ticking clock, Pitt begins his most thrilling mission--to raise from its watery grave the shipwreck of the century...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The President's secret task force has developed an unprecedented defensive weapon that relies on an extremely rare radioactive element--and Dirk Pitt has followed a twisted trail to a secret cache of the substance. Now, racing against brutal storms, Soviet spies, and a ticking clock, Pitt begins his most thrilling mission--to raise from its watery grave the shipwreck of the century...… (more)

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