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Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam
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Dragon Sea: A True Tale of Treasure, Archeology, and Greed off the Coast of Vietnam

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  17 reviews
When Oxford archeologist Mensun Bound—dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Deep” by the Discovery Channel—teamed up with a financier to salvage a sunken trove of fifteenth-century porcelain, it seemed a dream enter­prise. The stakes were high: The Hoi An wreck lay hundreds of feet down in a typhoon-prone stretch of water off the coast of Vietnam known as the Dragon Sea. Raisin ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 8th 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 160)
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Gwen
Perfect read for my trip to Vietnam. I finished the last few pages as the bus I was on pulled into Hoi-An, the city where supposedly some of the artifacts were on display from the story.

One man's account of a true story. This book takes place over about 2 years time and is about the finding of and recovery of sunken ships that may or may not have valuable artifacts on them. They are hoping they do have valuable artifacts because the selling of the items at the end is ultimately what finances the
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Simon Ph.D.
I had a very hard time connecting with this book. It tells the story of a $14 million treasure hunt for ta15th century Vietnamese sunken ship full of porcelain located off the coast of Vietnam. The author tries hard to build an exciting story around the dive and subsequent auction by introducing the historical significance of the finding. Yet, what is lost is not history surrounding the invention of porcelain in China or its manufacturing process spill into Vietnam, but the essence of what makes ...more
Michael Bradham
Read this book 5 years ago, kept it around, read it again.
More than a glimpse into the world of deep sea treasure hunting. The delicate balance between commercial and archeological motivations made for a twisting, surprising plot. Some history of Vietnam, Vietnamese ceramics, and individuals involved. Pope writes of his individual journey, in relation to the wild task of salvaging a deep sea shipwreck with a team. Illustrations of ships and diving bells helped show how wild saturation diving is.
Deborah Joyner
I'm not sure what about deep sea diving has appealed to me - but you can also refer back to my review of Shadow Divers: the true adventure of two Americans who risked everything to solve one of the last mysteries of World War II.

In this diving tale, Pope is recounting the difficulties of a saturation dive (where the divers live at deep sea pressures for weeks on end) for the ceramics cargo of a junk found off the shores of Vietnam. The major problem? Thing had to be done with archaeological appr
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John Machata
Liked the historical references and everyday events. Did not find the archeology meets commerce fascinating. Worth reading.
Mike Rogero
An enjoyable enough read which tries to get into the personalities and the psychology of the variety of characters which make the rasing of the Hoi An Horde an interesting tale of salvage and artwork.

The breadth of what Mr. Pope was trying to cover, from the history of the times, the manufacture of varieties of stonewear and porcilin, economics and politics of both the ancient past as well as current, left everything touched on, but not really deeply covered.

It is a good sea yarn, but which sk
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kelli
So nice to find a book taking place in Vietnam that is not about the war. I really loved this book except that as it was wrapping up, I realized there was nothing about the history of the ship and ceramics except a tiny afterword. Maybe he couldn't steal Menson Bound's Thunder, but it would have been nice for the drama of the recovering the cargo to coincide with the drama of revealing the archaeological details of the ship.
Suzy
The premise here was different from other dive-related books that I've read - and intriguing. The book described the excavation of a shipwreck in the South China Sea as the joint effort between an academic archeologist and an entrepeneur. Obviouly conflicting interests. In places a tad more technical on the marine stuff than I could follow, but overall held my interest and raised some good questions.
Kellylynn
Deep sea archeology of the coast of Vietnam. This was a very intriguing read. I was pulled in from all sides the history of the ceramics being excavated, the details in the scientific process to do so, the struggle of a combined archeological and financial expedition.
Paul
As an archaeology buff, and a antiquities collector, I was mostly interested in this book for the tales of ancient salvage, but I really got into the dangers of deep sea diving, and I found the book to be well presented with engrossing writing.
Tim
Sep 10, 2007 Tim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: aspiring deep sea divers
follows the story of one of the largest porcelain hauls from the seabed in history. that part gets really boring, however it also contains a good history of deep sea diving. discusses the techmology, the blood, the gore, and the bends.
Randy
Not quite fluff, not quite coffee table veneer but a good summer break for the beach or porch with coffee, ice cream or beer enriched by overtones of helium submersion diving including wisps of pirates, dragons, and dead bodies.
Jonathan
I have always enjoyed tales like this. I read a lot of stuff about Mel Fisher, in the day. Didn't know that much about ceramics from Vietnam, this tells you enough, that you can feel the importance of the find.
Jeff
Great book about the clash between archaeology and treasure-hunting in the depths of the South China Sea. Reminiscent of another great book that I read, "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson.
Amanda
This book is amazing! I love archaeology and I always thought underwater archaeology was fascinating and terrifying. This book does it so well. It feels like an amazing documentary.
John
Deep sea ceramics recovery off Vietnam coast
colleen
read 05.13.07
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