Pacific Vortex! (Dirk Pitt, #1)
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Pacific Vortex! (Dirk Pitt #1)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  9,462 ratings  ·  298 reviews
Dirk Pitt's first, most terrific adventure! 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 a...more
Mass Market Paperback, 270 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Bantam
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Raise the Titanic! by Clive CusslerTreasure by Clive CusslerPacific Vortex! by Clive CusslerIceberg by Clive CusslerThe Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler
best clive cussler book
3rd out of 9 books — 10 voters
The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumFight Club by Chuck PalahniukThe Godfather by Mario PuzoThe Road by Cormac McCarthyLonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
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Community Reviews

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
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...more
I did not read this entire book. I wanted to like it because I love the concept of Dirk Pitt, but I can't get past his view of women.

As early as page 27 of the book, Dirk gets angry because a woman has had the audacity to still be in mourning over a husband that died 9 years previously. For this crime, he slaps her. When she asks him why he hit her, he responds with the following:

"Because you needed it, needed it badly," he snapped. "That torch you carry around is as worn out as an overcoat. I...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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
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
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.

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
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
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
Jul 29, 2013 Jay rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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...more
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
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
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...more
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.
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.
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.
If your a Clive Cussler fan, this is a must read this is where we first meet Dirk Pitt and you can see the changes from choice of drink to friendships.
Jul 16, 2013 Dana is currently reading it
We are not off to a good start...
Jul 01, 2012 C rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: abandoned
I'm going to have to admit I semi-abandoned it 3/4 through. By "semi-abandoned" I mean I put it down and went back to the book I really wanted to read, but curiosity will probably make me pick it up again later - or at least, a different book in the series. This one is due tomorrow and requested, so I might as well pass it along and find a book in the series that readers have rated higher.

Typical action movie in a book, it follows the usual formula:
Strange event happens, folks are about to inves...more
D. B.
Sep 12, 2009 D. B. rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: sequestered jury members, armchair skin divers, people who think Ian Fleming is too hoi-polloi
Shelves: fiction-lit
Clive Cussler's brand of pulp fiction falls somewhere inbetween the realistic grit of Dell potboilers and the ridiculosity of more over-the-top techno-thrillers. His perennial protagonist Dirk Pitt has no extraordinary abilities, (other than a supernaturally stupid name) and even comes across as a bit of a prude in this, his first canonical adventure.

Every writer puts a little bit of themselves into their work, and most writers can only write best about what they know; in Cussler's case, he know...more
Christian Orr
I just read this book for the third time (first time in 1986 at the tender age of 11, then again in 2004), and true to form, just like Cluve Cussler's other vintage Dirk Pitt novels, it is nearly impossible to put down, fast-paced, fill with action, intrigue, mystery, oceanographic technical wizardry and the wonder of the sea, romance with lovely ladies, and laugh-out-loud humor (especially in Pitt & Giordino's banter wth one another and their defiant and smart-alecky remarks to the villains...more
This was the first adventure with Dirk Pitt that Cussler ever wrote. The book is about this state of the art nuclear submarine named Starbuck that disappeared in the Pacific Vortex... this kind of Bermuda Triangle type place. Dirk is brought aboard to investigate... as the book progresses Pitt learns that there is nothing unnatural about the losses, its a pirating business run by a man named Delphi. He uses his fathers invention of a human gill for his pirates to swim up on boats that happen to...more
Aug 26, 2013 Betelgeuse rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: chi sogna un’avventura misteriosa tra le correnti oceaniche.
Shelves: avventura
La storia è un’avvincente avventura con un pizzico di mistero, che intriga il lettore fino all’ultima pagina.

Il protagonista, Dirk Pitt, è un mezzo Indiana Jones dei mari, affascinante seduttore di donne ed esperto nel trovare vie d’uscita da situazioni di emergenza disperate. Il suo ruolo come direttore della NUMA è sicuramente meritato, poiché conosce i mari e le forze che li governano come le sue tasche. La sua unica mancanza sono le doti diplomatiche, in quanti si dimostra sfrontato. Se deci...more
heerlijk boek om te lezen. Een aanrader voor iedereen die van water en actie houdt.
Dit is niet mijn eerste boek met Dirk Pitt en ik hoop ook niet de laatste. Op naar het volgende boek van Cussler. Zeker een van mijn favorieten.
Clive Cussler is geboren in 1931 te Aurora Illinois en opgegroeid in Alhambra California. De laatste plaats was voor hem het belangrijkste in verband met de zee waar het aan lag.
Cussler ging twee jaar naar de universiteit toen de plicht riep en hij naar Korea ging voo...more
David Roberts
I am reviewing the novel Pacific Vortex by Clive Cussler which is a very good book which I bought from a car boot sale. This book which has recently been reissued in Britain is the first story in the Dirk Pitt series although not the first published. Mayday was the first published. In this story we see how Dirk & Giordino first met. At the beginning Dirk is in the navy and is given the task of finding a Russian nuclear submarine that has disappeared in the Pacific. They do find the sub but w...more
Kathryn Lee Hamilton
Jul 07, 2007 Kathryn Lee Hamilton rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: no to many
Clive Clussler has the very popular Dirk Pitt series, and... I don't understand the popularity at all. Sometimes a book can get clouded by too many of the main characters thoughts and emotions and becomes irritating... well that is definitely not the case here. Dirk Pitt has no genuine emotions, thank god his friends and supporting characters do, but it is basically like reading a video game.
To illustrate my point, in the Last few pages of this book, and in other books to come it is revealed th...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...
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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