Clive Cussler gives a great summer read

How I Read it

From June 1035, somewhere in North America, to August 2003, in

Washington, D.C., Clive Cussler weaves a riveting adventure,

including Vikings inhabiting North America long before Columbus, and


Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo and his submarine, Nautilus, as a

historical technological event.

The CIA, the FBI, the National Underwater and Marine Agency and

the notorious Cerbarus oil-monopoly all come together in “Valhalla


Rising,” a story about corrupt oil millionaires wanting to become

billionaires (sound familiar) by monopolizing America’s oil

consumption. Cerbarus, with bribes and other financial contributions

to several top government leaders, will not let any new energy

technology, individual or group interfere with its plans, regardless

of what means it must take, including mass murder.

They did not plan on our hero, Dirk Pitt and his merry NUMA

associates, however, innocently becoming involved in their diabolical


plan. Mr. Pitt is a crime syndicate’s worst nightmare! He makes

Spiderman seem like a school-crossing guard. Because this is

Cussler’s 16th Dirk Pitt adventure, very little character development

is necessary, allowing the author to concentrate his incredible

imagination on this exciting tale, making “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

seem like a vacation story.

Even though I didn’t read them during the summer, some other

recommended stories that meet my summer reading criteria are:


“Tell No One,” a mystery by Harlan Coben

“Bitterroot,” a mystery by part-time Laguna residents, Hal and

Mary Toliver

“A Painted House,” a family drama by John Grisham

“Empires of the Sand,” an adventure by David Ball.

* DOUG BOWLER is a native Californian, born in 1940 in Pasadena.

For the past 18 years he and his wife have lived in their

turkey/dairy farm in Laguna.