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Pacific Vortex! (Dirk Pitt #6)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,875 Ratings  ·  435 Reviews
Dirk Pitt, death-defying adventurer and deep-sea expert, is out to the ultimate test as he plunges into the perilous waters of the Pacific Vortex -- a fog-shrouded sea zone where dozens of ships have vanished without a trace. The latest victim is the awesome superb Starbuck, America's deep-diving nuclear arsenal. Its loss poses an unthinkable threat to national defense. Pi ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 270 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Bantam
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1st out of 9 books — 13 voters


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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)
Apr 15, 2013 Pam (E.P. Scott) rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, adventure
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
...more
Greg Strandberg
Jan 14, 2015 Greg Strandberg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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.
Marius van Blerck
Mar 17, 2011 Marius van Blerck rated it did not like it
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.
Amanda
May 18, 2014 Amanda rated it did not like it
Removed; this review was for The Mediterranean Caper.
Jorgen Schäfer
Feb 22, 2013 Jorgen Schäfer rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
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
...more
Timothy Hicks
Jun 20, 2016 Timothy Hicks rated it liked it
Shelves: series
On my first experience reading the Dirk Pitt adventure series, I read Arctic Drift, where I made the comment that the Dirk Pitt protagonist is like Jack Reacher for the oceanographers and environmentalists.

But digging into another adventure novel, Pacific Vortex, I think a better comparison would be that Dirk Pitt is like the oceanic Indiana Jones, where legends resurface and are investigated (though I don't recall Dirk ever yelling out, "This belongs in a museum!" - oh well, guess you can't hav
...more
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
...more
Barbara ★
Dec 17, 2009 Barbara ★ rated it liked it
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
...more
Jen
Aug 15, 2013 Jen rated it did not like it
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
Lee
Apr 28, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: iown
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
...more
Tim
Oct 30, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Scott Porch
Jan 16, 2009 Scott Porch rated it liked it
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
May 25, 2012 Zeek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle, adventure
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
...more
Terry
Jul 21, 2013 Terry rated it liked it
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
Nov 26, 2007 Peter rated it liked it
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
...more
Jay
Jul 29, 2013 Jay rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
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 Dağlı
Feb 15, 2015 Aslı Dağlı rated it it was ok
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
...more
Maggie Olson
Feb 25, 2012 Maggie Olson rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
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
...more
Patrick Gibson
Feb 18, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it liked it
Recommends it for: preposterous action adventure lovers
Shelves: testosterone
“Let’s start at the very beginning.” You can sing along if you want too. “A very good place to start. When you read Cussler you begin with Raise the Titanic.” I know… how about a Dirk Pitt Musical? Never mind. So, this was the first Pitt novel—but not published until a few books later after ‘Titanic’ became a beach monster twenty-five years ago. Before the author devised his ‘theme songs’ of combining multiple plot lines, he focused on writing pure action. This skimpy book feels like he could ha ...more
Rob Cassapi
Mar 10, 2016 Rob Cassapi rated it really liked it
A fun read and a great start to the series. a bit short compared to the rest of the series but it's nice to see where it all began. Clive Cussler is the master of swash buckling suspense!
Bouchra Rebiai
While not my first Clive Cussler book, this was certainly my first Dirk Pitt book. I'd only read a few of Cussler's NUMA Files books before this. I liked Medusa, but I found the first two in the series clunky and too slow for my liking, up until things heated up towards the end.

However, the sense of action in this book was there right from the beginning. This, I believe, is not only due to the course of events, but also because the descriptions aren't too detailed and it doesn't take a lot of ef
...more
Dyana
Apr 18, 2016 Dyana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad this was a quick easy read because the writing isn't up to the standard of later books. This is the 1st Dirk Pitt novel but was published much later than it was written. I guess Cussler never intended for it to be published. It reads like a movie script. I read it as a back story and because I like to read series in order. It is an action adventure under the high seas. Our swashbuckling hero, Dirk Pitt, is the special projects director for NUMA (National Underwater & Marine Agency). ...more
Ron Collins
Jan 18, 2016 Ron Collins rated it it was ok
At about 30% read my impression at this point is that this is a poorly written novel. The next Cussler novel I read better be better than this one or it'll be the last. The scenes and situations lack depth - poorly described. There's just no picture forming my mind as I read.

Now at 80% read I'm really struggling to complete this very poorly written uninteresting novel. I can't seem to read more than a couple of pages at a time. Examples: At one point recently a runway went from being asphalt in
...more
Ron
Dec 21, 2015 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pacific Vortex! (Note the exclamation mark) is a stirring action adventure story about the Hawaiian Vortex (no exclamation mark) and the various freakish details that make it possible.

Dirk Pitt (not "dark pit", dear reader) is an over-and-underwater James Bond replete with a select collection of naked femmes fatale, some damsels in various states of distress and undress, a kitbag of natty gizmos, some punchy mates, a nemesis with an army of faceless and readily slaughtered minions, and an impre
...more
Kathy Jackson
Apr 18, 2016 Kathy Jackson rated it really liked it
OK, this is more my style - a sunken sub in a zone of the Pacific that is akin to the Devil's Triangle in the Atlantic. How could that not be fun? What could possibly be causing this? The difference between the two aquatic dead zones is the fact that the Pacific Vortex never affected planes - only ships. Ah, yes, an important clue.

The book is 179 pages - I thought it started off slowly and I find it hard to believe Dirk could have fallen for Summer when I think he encounters her two times throug
...more
Teo Hoppe
Oct 06, 2014 Teo Hoppe rated it really liked it
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
...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 24 books)
  • The Mediterranean Caper (Dirk Pitt, #1)
  • Iceberg (Dirk Pitt, #2)
  • Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #3)
  • Vixen 03 (Dirk Pitt, #4)
  • Night Probe! (Dirk Pitt, #5)
  • Deep Six (Dirk Pitt, #7)
  • Cyclops (Dirk Pitt, #8)
  • Treasure (Dirk Pitt, #9)
  • Dragon (Dirk Pitt, #10)
  • Sahara (Dirk Pitt, #11)

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