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Saying goodbye to Clive Cussler | 30th December 2014, 00:27  
I was introduced to Clive Cussler in my teenage years by my friend Dan. He'd been reading them for a while, and attempted on several occasions to convince me to check them out from the school library. I resisted, so he gave me the first book, Pacific Vortex, for my birthday - let's say my 15th for the sake of narrative (it was around then, as Atlantis Found was already out).

I was soon buying up the then 18 books in the series - the rest of the main Dirk Pitt series and the first two 'Numa Files' stories. Having completed the set within two years, I've bought in hardback every book in those series, plus the newer Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Fargo series - usually on the release day - I have 56 novels in all.

Until now. Havana Storm, the 23rd Dirk Pitt novel and the 7th since authorship of that series moved to Cussler's son Dirk was published in the UK in late 2014, and I haven't bought a copy.

I believe that the best books were the earliest ones. This is a claim even I doubt, having not re-read any of them, and so in fact having not read any of what I consider the 'originals' for ten years. I felt at the time that the story had 'jumped the shark' with the introduction of the teleport suitcase and the main character's surprise adult children in Valhalla Rising, and generally feel that the main series has become more and more generic since.

There have been a few standout books since then - the first few in the Oregon Files series, and the first Isaac Bell book (The Chase - also the only 'recent' book with only Cussler's name on it). There have also been some that were terrible (Corsair really annoyed me). I've kept going though, because it's something I do, and with the expectation that there will at some point be an end... but that seems less and less likely. Other authors, such as Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy, who also use named 'co-writers', have both continued publishing after their deaths, and I certainly expect now the Cussler brand to be continued, as clearly it's still making money at four books a year.

For me though, I think it's time to check out. I'll probably go back to the early books and have another read at some point, but I'm in no rush (and they are in storage for now anyway).

Goodbye Clive Cussler. It was fun.

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