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The Mediterranean Caper

(Dirk Pitt #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  19,589 ratings  ·  752 reviews
Dirk Pitt rides a tidal wave of intrigue in this classic Cussler. 

On an isolated Greek island, a World War I fighter plane attacks a modern U.S. Air Force base--a mysterious saboteur preys on an American scientific expedition--and Dirk Pitt plays a deadly game of hunter and hunted with the elusive head of an international smuggling ring.

 
Mass Market Paperback, 391 pages
Published April 6th 2004 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published January 1973)
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Corina Kluge The first book written for the series would be Pacific Vortex as that is the one Clive Cussler wrote first but published later. This is the 2nd book t…moreThe first book written for the series would be Pacific Vortex as that is the one Clive Cussler wrote first but published later. This is the 2nd book that was written. (less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  19,589 ratings  ·  752 reviews


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Edward Lorn
Dec 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Donald Trump supporters
Recommended to Edward by: A lapse in judgment
Fuck this book with a spiked baseball bat soaked in concentrated lime juice.

Our hero Dirk Pitt slaps a crying woman because she's still sad over the death of her husband. He then proceeds to tell this thirty-year-old woman that someone should have bent her over their knee and spanked the grief out of her long ago. And then they have sex.

To recap the order of events:

Slaps her.

Says she deserves to be treated like a child.

Fucks her.

All this within six minutes of meeting this woman.

34 pages in an
...more
C.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I have always loved books and reading, before I had a nightly routine of one-hundred annually and author gender and genre preferences. In bargain bins I came upon novels by Clive Cussler and acquired most of the “Dirk Pitt” tales, except this second volume. I was relieved to land “The Mediterranean Caper” at my favourite charity in July! It is more enjoyable than two stars seem. I have loved since his début, “Pacific Vortex”, the highly inventive variety of puzzling premises Clive conceived of f ...more
Allison
This was my first foray into this adventure kind of novel. At least I think that's what it was. It was ok, but pretty mindless entertainment. I feel like I just ate an entire bag of chips or something completely empty of nutritional value.

It had its exciting, action-filled moments, but the characters... I had some problems with their lack of depth and the outright sexism really bothered me. I suppose I've been lucky not to read anything before that this blatantly objectifies females, and even m
...more
William
I don't mind some objectionable items but mistreatment of women is one thing I can't abide. Thankfully there was only a small amount of this at the beginning. I am at a loss as to why authors feel that a misogynistic attitude is a must in action books. Dirk Pitt is a dick! This shows in his cavalier and demeaning attitude toward women and in his over the top arrogance. The book was long on action and short on believable plot. Needless to say, Dirk Pitt rises up and saves the day. I am not sure I ...more
Michael
A cover blurb on another Dirk Pitt novel compares the hero of Clive Cussler's novels to James Bond. The comparison is an apt one, especially when it comes to the first two novels in the series The The Mediterranean Caper Dirk Pitt 2 and Iceberg Dirk Pitt 3.

In the same way that Fleming used Bond as a way to comment on the ways in which masculinity could and should be defined, Cussler defines what is masculine through the opinions, actions and attitudes of one Dirk Pitt. For example, in Caper, Pit
...more
Bob O'G
Sep 28, 2014 rated it did not like it
I am openly admitting that I am violating some rule by reviewing this book because I did not finish it. I read 150 pages of this nonsense before giving up. I purchased it because Clive Cussler is on every bookshelf of every book retailer in the country and I guess I was curious. Here's a few reasons why I could not stand this drivel. This book contains a recurring character in Cussler's work named Dirk Pitt, which is a name so contrived I can't believe a human being let it escape his thought ban ...more
Maxi Bransdale
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was having a conversation with my dad the other day about the first ‘serious’ book I read. You know, that moment when you graduate from The Famous Five into more adult fiction. I racked my brains and came to the conclusion that it was Mr Cussler that first welcomed me, at the tender age of eleven, into the wonderful, and often mystical, world of adult fiction. So coming back to this book is sentimental for me. I have a lot of fond memories of the Dirk Pitt novels, not in the least because they ...more
Amanda
May 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Roopkumar Balachandran
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
NUMA undertakes an expedition in Mediterranean sea in search for a fish which could link to the evolution of mammals and also believed to be an extinct species 200 hundred millions year ago. The expedition was sabotaged, our hero Dirk Pitt is sent to investigate. A World War I biplane attacks the nearby Brady airfield, Pitt cleverly completes the puzzle thrown by his adversary through his wit and dare devilry.

A lot of unexpected twist in the story, three characters one is Bruno von Till who is b
...more
Scott Rhee
For manly action/adventure, one can’t lose with Clive Cussler. His books are the literary equivalent of a testosterone overdose. Some may call it toxic masculinity, I just call it a good time.

Okay, so his books—-especially his early stuff—-aren’t the most politically correct. They’re actually, to be honest, downright cringe-worthy at times, especially when it comes to Cussler’s track record with female characters. What few exist in his books are basically relegated to whores or secretaries. Occa
...more
Duzzlebrarian
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Don't waste your time reading this one. The plot is fine, typical beach reading, but... There's fine line between machismo and misogynistic kak, and this particular book crosses it. It's the difference between a dog pissing to mark his territory, and a dog pissing on you to mark his territory. I like Cussler's stuff, but if I'd started with this one I would have developed a permanent sour opinion for him. Thank God it dawned on him that women can read too, and changed a few things later in the s ...more
Jane Stewart
2 ½ stars. Not for me, but it might be good for teen boys and adults in that kind of mood.

STORY BRIEF:
A group of scientists are looking for a fish that may exist in the Mediterranean Sea. They thought it was extinct. Someone is sabotaging things. Dirk Pitt is assigned to help them. Some bad guys are nearby doing bad things.

REVIEWER’S OPINION:
I enjoyed the Lee Child books about Jack Reacher, and I thought this author might be similar. Although I’ve compared Jack to a comic book hero, I find Dirk
...more
Jorgen Schäfer
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adventure
Clive Cussler’s The Mediterranean Caper starts out just as Major Dirk Pitt arrives on an island near Greece to investigate a series of mishaps on a science vessel looking for a rare fish. The arrival coincides with the attack of an old World War I war plane attacking an US Air Force air field. Dirk Pitt can drive the old war plane off with his own non-combat plane, but is now drawn into a strange fight seemingly about fish.

The second book in the Dirk Pitt series keeps up the story of the James B
...more
Leah Murphy
This was my 2nd Dirk Pitt book (Dragon was my first) that I picked up after realizing that the BF owned enough of the series that I could read it in some semblance of order. Though I know it doesn't make a huge deal of difference with these novels, I still did find it more enjoyable to start at least close to the "beginning".

These are a mix of what I like to call my "Guilty Pleasures" and something more substantial, as even though they are easy reads, they have enough accurate and new informatio
...more
Barbara ★
Damn I just love Dirk Pitt! He's not a hottie, heck according to Cussler, he's not even handsome; regardless, he always gets the girl. He's just like MacGiver, from that old TV show. Give him a toothpick and a high heeled shoe and he can get out of any death-defying scrape imaginable. Dirk is quick on his feet and even though he always gets caught, his unconventional tactics will amaze you. This time he and Al Gordino are sent in to Greece to help one of NUMA's research vessels that have been sa ...more
Matt
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads, adventure
A lazy Sunday afternoon at a U.S Air Force base on a quiet Greek island is shattered when a WWI-era German fighter attacks and then finds itself in a dogfight with a WWII-era seaplane. The Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler was the first published book featuring Dirk Pitt and started off a four decade long series of books that sold millions of books and multiple times on the bestseller list.

Dirk Pitt and his best friend Al Giordino, heading to the Greek island of Thasos on a special assignment
...more
Kirsten
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
I am a big Dirk Pitt / Clive Cussler fan, so I decided to re-read his books from the beginning. I also decided to try and get an audiobook if possible.

This, being the first published Dirk Pitt novel, one had to accept that there would probably be some rough spots. This became very obvious. I didn't remember such blatant sexism and male chauvinism. Maybe that's because I was younger when I read it. I don't know.

Still, I gave it 3 stars - I love the character of Dirk Pitt and the sheer inventive
...more
Kay
3.5 Stars
Not my favorite by Cussler. But a very good read regardless.


Mark Harrison
Dec 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Second Dirk Pitt and same old story. Baddie with underwater secret hideaway and a hero who slaps women and thinks that is cool. I am told that the early books lead to a great series. Not convinced yet.
Jim Thomsen
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it
The first six Dirk Pitt books filled some lonely hours for me between the ages of 14 and 16, when I was in a Christian boarding school and bored out of my mind for long stretches at a time. They were fast, fun and forgettable, well-suited to whiling away long nights and eternal weekends.

I picked them up again for the first time in nearly 30 years, wondering if they still held up for me. The answer is "no," but is that because my reading tastes have evolved in my mid-forties, or is it because Cl
...more
Alex
May 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: series-i-dnf, dnf
Okay nope. Sorry, I just can't with this book. My policy has always been to finish everything I read. Even if it takes ages. Even if I genre hop, read something else, and then come back 5 years later, I still keep whatever I was reading previously on my "currently reading" pile, like a bloody squirrel hoarding nuts, and come back to it later. Anyone who looks at my profile can see this. I have no less than 8 books on my "currently reading" list, one of which is a long-ass collection of 60+ pirat ...more
Molly Jo
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-books
Clive Cussler books fall into the category I like to call "Brain Candy": completely entertaining and teaches me something completely new. If you've seen the movie Sahara, then you're already familiar with these characters. I LOVE that movie and was happily surprised to realize it was a book in a very extensive series.

Dirk Pitt and Al Giardino work for the National Underwater Marine Agency and have been sidekicks since their much younger days. The interplay and banter between the two is entertain
...more
Ken
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having started reading the Dirk Pitt series in chronological order, it's easy to see why this was the first to be published.

A fun gripping action adventure that you'd expect from a novel written in the early 1970's, some of the dialogue is very dated and I'd expect them aspects to disappear over the course of the series.

Theres a good conspiracy plot that is easy to enjoy and the obvious heros and villains.
A light easy romp.
...more
Sam Hacker
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I'm glad I started with Sahara rather than this one ...more
Isaac
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read in 2018.

Sometimes, the sucess of a book or series is a mistake. The result of clever marketing or even dumb luck. In 2018, it would be easy to point a finger at the formula laden, ghost written book shelf that belongs to Clive Cussler and guess that he might be such an author. But go back to 1973. Go back to this book (or Pacific Vortex, which was written even earlier)...

The success of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt is not a mistake. Even this book, that most fans admit is one of the weaker on
...more
Mike Crate
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: action-adventure
I originally read The Mediterranean Caper under the title Mayday and to be honest the word Caper should not be used in anything but a spoof, of course many would say the adventures of Dirk Pitt are firmly tongue in cheek:)
In this novel Dirk and Al come to the rescue of a US Airforce base under attack from what looks like a WW1 biplane, after fending off the attack with their own PBY they find themselves knee deep in a smuggling operation that has been ongoing for decades. Caught between the US F
...more
Nicholas Conrad
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
I enjoy Cussler and the Dirk Pitt series for their relatively mindless but quick and escapist adventure reads. Full disclosure- part of the draw for me is nostalgic as I read much of the series in high school. I’ve primarily read the later Dirk Pitt books and I was pretty shocked how different this one is.

As many have said, there is a heavy dose of cringey, misogynistic content in The Mediterranean Caper.

As someone who has watched all of the early James Bond movies, I can definitely see what Cu
...more
Lundos
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I remember reading a Dirk Pitt book in high school, though, which one escapes my memory. I've had this one lying around from my father for quite a while and I was in the mood for something different - both in genre and time frame.

And I can safely say that time has passed Dirk Pitt. While it can be entertaining to read about an alpha male James Bond wannabe, who always says the 'right thing' to women, Pitt instead comes off as uncharismatic, chauvanistic alcoholic.

The story itself is straight fo
...more
Jaime
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Ok, I’ve been reading Cussler on and off since the mid 90s, but never his early stuff. This book was published in 1972, so I’m going to attribute its general sexism to that. I’ve heard Pitt referred to by other readers as the “James Bond of the USA”. At one point the main character even introduces himself as Pitt, Dirk Pitt...ugh! But my lame teenage heart is going to guiltily be entertained by the swashbuckling (yeah, I said it) antics of Dirk and his sidekick Al. There’s no accounting for tast ...more
Jennifer
Oct 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
I cannot believe I read and enjoyed these books in my younger days.

Our MC is rude, egotistical, and of course, a 'mans man'. He slaps a woman after meeting he because she is still grieving her dead husband, and in Pitt's estimation, it's a waste. Then of course, he has sex with her. That's pretty much the way this book goes.

There are so many better bad books out there.
...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

Other books in the series

Dirk Pitt (1 - 10 of 26 books)
  • Pacific Vortex! (Dirk Pitt, #1)
  • 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)

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