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Pacific Vortex! (Dirk Pitt #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  11,658 ratings  ·  370 reviews
DIRK PITT’S FIRST, MOST TERRIFYING ADVENTURE!

Dirk Pitt, death-defying adventurer and deep-sea expert, is put to the ultimate test as he plunges into the perilous waters of the Pacific Vortex—a fog-shrouded area where dozens of ships have vanished without a trace. The latest victim is the awesome supersub Starbuck, bearing America’s deep-diving nuclear arsenal. Its loss pos
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Mass Market Paperback, 270 pages
Published July 1st 1984 by Bantam Books (Mm) (first published January 1st 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
In the foreword, Clive Cussler mentioned that he created Dirk Pitt to be a character in the vein of James Bond, and he certainly brings that to mind. Not in the most flattering way for me though. He reminds of the aspects of the Bond films from the 60s-80s I did not like. The casual disregard for women (their relevance mainly relegated to their use as pawns or sex objects), with a little bit of violence thrown in. Before anyone gets angry, you know what they say about opinions. This is mine. I j ...more
Pam (E.P. Scott)
Where the Love Affair Begins

The first Dirk Pitt novel introduces us to a simple, plain man ... on the surface that is. As we delve into the enigmatic, brash, female loving epitomy of masculinity, we witness the birth of a character who takes us on an adventure into the Pacific's version of the Bermuda Triangle.

We see glimpses of a character who bends to the will of no man and yet melts in the presence of a beautiful woman ... but has no reservations about knocking her out when she tries to kill
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Greg Strandberg
This book sucks. I'm sorry, it does. Even Cussler says in the beginning notes that he never really intended for it to get published.

But if he did that he'd get a shiny new car, so...yeah, I read it, and it wasn't that good. Do I regret it? No, I've moved on. I'm fine with it. It doesn't bother me.

Now where's a pillow I can scream into? Seriously, though, this book is best skipped, unless you're a hardcore fan. I'd start with the Mediterranean Caper and move on from there.
Amanda
Removed; this review was for The Mediterranean Caper.
Marius van Blerck
I've seldom read a book as bad as this. Vraggies. (That's Afrikaans for Truly). Mr Cussler clearly believes in the mystical power of adjectives. His maxim: why lay it on with a trowel when there's a bloody shovel handy? I love mixing my exploration of classics and more serious works with a rich sprinkling of thrillers and detective stories, but they must be well-written, as (fortunately) most are. This one fails the test. Badly. Cussler makes Dan Brown seem like Dostoevsky. 'Nuff said.
Jorgen Schäfer
Clive Cussler’s Pacific Vortex tells the tale of a strange area in the pacific where ships get lost. The latest victim is a experimental US navy submarine. When Dirk Pitt finds a message buoy from the submarine, he’s drawn into a mystery hidden below the surface of the sea.

The book starts out with an explanation by Clive Cussler that it’s the first adventure of Dirk Pitt, but he hadn’t released it until later because he did not quite like the quality. Knowing that and not expecting too much, the
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Jane Stewart
Weak 3 stars. Too much like an action-adventure movie. Might be good for teen boys or adults in that kind of mood.

STORY BRIEF:
Dirk was a major in the military and can fly planes. Currently he does special projects for an underwater marine agency. For thirty years, ships disappeared in an area called the Pacific Vortex, north of Hawaii. Recently a nuclear submarine named Starbuck disappeared there. Dirk sees a yellow canister floating in the ocean. He grabs it and takes it to Navy headquarters. I
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Barbara ★
The Pacific Vortex an area in the pacific ocean very similar to the Bermuda Triangle. 38 ships have disappeared completely off the radar in 30 years. When a US nuclear submarine is 38, Dirk Pitt gets involved in the mystery.

The mystery itself is fascinating. The adventures of recovering the submarine by the US Navy and Drk are amazing. The storyline is not up to Cussler's usual twisty turny plot scenarios but well written except for the romance of Dirk and Summer. He first meets her when she tr
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Lee
Dirk Pitts' first adventure, was my first Pitt novel in 30 years also. I just hadn't read the first one yet. Our hero who manages to get out of tight spots, and always a beautiful lady, not too far away....was the same in his first adventure. Entertaining quick read.
Kim
A naval sub has disappeared and Dirk Pitt is drawn into its mysteries as the navy tries to find the sunken ship, he dismisses the paranormal of the vortex and it’s myth and in typical james bond of the sea fashion, theres near death shootouts and car races and a lame instalove attempt with the bad guys daughter. The romance was lame, completely unnecessary but I think the author was aiming for a James Bond look, only with scuba gear. This particular book didn’t have as much to do with salvage an ...more
Sarah-Lambert Cook
I'm a fan of James Bond and other action thriller movies, but it's been since I was in junior high reading "Thunderball" that I've actually read an action thriller. Dirk Pitt's first outing "Pacific Vortex" was picked by one of the members of a book club I'm in as the choice for this month. It's definitely different from what I normally read, but in a good way. This was a fun, super-fast read.

So what's keeping at only 3 stars? Dirk Pitt. He's not likeable in this story. Maybe later on in Clive
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Scott Porch
Dirk Pitt. Seriously. If this book hadn’t been written 30 years ago – and ten years before it was finally published – I would swear that Clive Cussler’s name of his lead character Dirk Pitt was an obvious wink to Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg in “Boogie Nights”) and Brad Pitt (in anything). I can’t think of another “Dirk” or “Pitt” that comes anywhere close. He’s suave, he’s cool, he’s – updated for the 80s – wearing “brief white bathing trunks” when first we meet him. And he’s sunbathing, no less ...more
Zeek
Fast introduction to Dirk Pitt, Special Projects Director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA)- with the best part being, Pitt’s impromptu- practically naked- meeting with the assembled Brass of the military. I’ve read coupla Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels before this one and I gotta tell ya, if I had read this one first I might have been a little more enthusiastic with carrying on with the series.

A bit dated- (See reference to Mark Spitz rather than Michael Phelps, author stating th
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Terry
The author introduction states that this is the first Dirk Pitt story. He says it was never before published, that he was reluctant to submit it because it did not have the intricate plots of later Pitt adventures. True, as I read, I saw it did not have as many sub-plots as other Pitt novels I have read. Though at 270 pages this edition, it is a moderately long book, even without a lot of intricate plotting. And in fact the book seems much shorter. It flows, it speeds along. Most of the sequence ...more
Peter
There should be a literary subgenre composed entirely of books with excalamation points in the title. In the last month I've read both Submarine! and Pacific Vortex! It's hard to resist an author who's that excited about his book. Would you rather read The Brothers Karamzov or HOLY CRAP! IT'S THE F'ING BROTHERS KARAMAZOV!? See?

I picked up this, the first Dirk Pitt adventure, after reading Shadow Divers. I find shipwrecks really fascinating, so I was looking forward to a nice pulpy novel about de
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Jay
While I have never been an advocate of books having exclamation points in their titles, I found this one to be well worth reading. A friend recommended the Clive Cussler (well, Dirk Pitts, really) books and I figured I should start with the first one. Except I had no idea there would be all this complication with figuring out which was the first. Pacific Vortex! is the first one written, but not the first one published. I debated skipping it and coming back later, but I decided that I'd see the ...more
Aslı
Normalde 3,5 yıldızlı olabilecek kitap çevirmen ve editör yüzünden böyle zort diye ikiye düşer. Ömrümde bu kadar kötü çeviri okuduğum azdır. Cümlelerin 1/3'ünü zaten hiç anlamadım. Anladıklarımda da bolca imla hatası vardı. Anlayacağınız, sırf Clive Cussler'a saygısızlık olmasın diye konuyu anlamak için hızlı okuma yaparak ilerledim. Altın Kitaplar'ın kitap mahvetme becerisi sınır tanımıyor gerçekten. Neyse, blogumda söylenmeye devam ederim. Öpücükler!
Ginia
Why Did I Read This Book?

1. Pure Escapist Fiction!!!
2. I liked the movie Sahara with Matthew McConaughey so it was easy to imagine him as Dirk Pitt.
3. I have never read a Clive Cussler book. Branching out.
4. I happened to have a few dollars and decided to buy it from among the more expensive choices at Costco.
5. I love the ocean.

Although the story of Kanoli (a Pacific Ocean legend of a hidden underwater city near Hawaii) got kind of soggy after a while I still enjoyed the fast-paced action and a
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Maggie Olson
This book was about exactly what I thought it would be. I watch the movie Sahara often, it's one of my guilty pleasures. Since I love the movie so much I figured I would take a look at the books about him.

Pacific Vortex is the first novel about Dirk Pitt and NUMA.

The plot was interesting enough to make me over look a few character disappointments. The relationship between Summer and Dirk was grasping at straws I felt. I enjoyed the brief relationship between Dirk and Al much more. I thought the
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Jen
If I could, I'd give this book zero stars. DO NOT waste your time. The writing is so so so so bad. It's bad enough that Clive Cussler appears to be both racist and wildly sexist based on use of ridiculous and offensive stereotypes, and horrible objectification of women. It's quite unbelievable, even given the fact that he was writing in the 80s. Add to that the fact that the writing is laughably awful: tortured metaphors, saturation of over-the-top adjectives, inconsistent characterizations, and ...more
Tim
Clive Cusslers "Pacific Vortex" is a literary masterpiece. It is a fictional story telling about a seemingly average man who as a more than average adventure. Due to the constant adventure and many entertaining aspects of this book, it felt necessary to give this book the high ranking of 5 stars.
This book was an easy read for me. Although it may take a while to get used to the different style of writing by Cussler, the nonstop action makes it an easy, and quick read. In my opinion, this is a mus
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Teo Hoppe
Dirk Pitt is the James Bond meets John Wayne character that every guy would love to be. Pitt's a "man's man." He smokes, but he still scuba dives with the best of them. He's no pretty boy, well-mannered and cute, but he gets plenty of women. He's no fame-seeking show off, but he always saves the day. Playboy, Maxim, and GQ only WISH they could have such a chap to plaster on their covers!
Pacific Vortex! is a quick read since its a rather short book, but that's not a bad thing. A lot of popular no
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Frank
The first Dirk Pitt adventure! I have several of Cussler's earlier Dirk Pitt books that I haven't read so decided to see where it all started. This one is quite unlike some of the later stories without so much detail and length but still enjoyable. In this one Dirk gets involved with the strange disappearances of ships during the last 30 years in an area of the Pacific called the Pacific Vortex -- much like the Bermuda triangle. The book starts out with the loss of a nuclear submarine in the are ...more
Joe Mahoney
Before I started PACIFIC VORTEX! I tweeted that I expected thrilling heroics and casual misogyny. I was mostly right.

The heroics are indeed thrilling. This book is a perfect summer read for when your brain is on autopilot. Dirk Pitt is Bond mixed with a bit of Sherlock Holmes, and Chuck Yeager. He's good looking, competent if not excellent at everything, and kind of a dick. The plot is standard techno-thriller fare–it wouldn't hold up with 2015 technology but it hardly matters.

The misogyny isn
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Troy
You know, I decided that instead of going through and writing reviews on all of Cussler's books that I've read I can pretty much wrap it all up in the following statement: If James Bond were American, his name would be Dirk Pitt.

His adventures are over-the-top, impossible and he always gets the hot chick at the end. Even if I already know what's going to happen, I enjoy the ride nonetheless. Cussler is a good writer and I like the pattern his stories run. I love the cars and the races across th
...more
Yasser Maniram
"As long as there are seas, ships, and men, there will be strange unsolved mysteries. The Starbuck is only one." - 44, 2010, Mass Market Paperback reprint edition.

Cussler's "Pacific Vortex!" reads like a techno-thriller with the ease of a hollywood film. While Cussler's characters, as other reviewers have noted, may be flawed in their personality quirks, they are 100% human.

I enjoy the dialogue between the characters and it is hard not to like the main character, Dirk Pitt. He is first introdu
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Kathleen Ali
Definitely dated! I enjoyed reading it simply because of the language and references. I could almost see Rock Hudson playing Dirk Pitt!
On a serious note, it is very obvious that it was a very greenly written book. It was good, but the story was choppy and thoughts didn't flow, but look where Mr. Cussler has ended up! We all have to start somewhere.
Bookamante
I read this because my nephew likes Clive Cussler and I thought I would try something I wouldn't normally read. I don't think this is one of Cussler's best books. With so many other great books out there I'll probably not read another Cussler. On the up side, this book got me interested in living in Honolulu.
Jeff
This was my first foray into the works of Cussler and the world of Dirk Pitt and while I wasn't completely blown away, I will be back for more.
The book reads like a James Bond action movie. Pitt is a great character and I'm looking forward to see how he develops over the remainder of the series.
Jessica
Dirk Pitt, adventurer and deep-sea expert, is witty and sarcastic as he plunges into the perilous waters of the Pacific Vortex—a fog-shrouded area where dozens of ships have vanished without a trace. The latest victim is the awesome supersub Starbuck, bearing America’s deep-diving nuclear arsenal. Its loss poses an unthinkable threat to national defense. Pitt’s job is to find it and salvage it before international forces beat him to the prize or the sea explodes in a nuclear blast—whichever come ...more
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Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt, 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 ...more
More about Clive Cussler...

Other Books in the Series

Dirk Pitt (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • The Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt, #2)
  • Iceberg (Dirk Pitt, #3)
  • Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4)
  • Vixen 03 (Dirk Pitt, #5)
  • Night Probe! (Dirk Pitt, #6)
  • Deep Six (Dirk Pitt, #7)
  • Cyclops (Dirk Pitt, #8)
  • Treasure (Dirk Pitt, #9)
  • Dragon (Dirk Pitt, #10)
  • Sahara (Dirk Pitt, #11)
Sahara (Dirk Pitt, #11) Inca Gold (Dirk Pitt, #12) Atlantis Found (Dirk Pitt, #15) Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4) Valhalla Rising (Dirk Pitt, #16)

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