I really intended to write this post much sooner than today. As you know, there has been some stuff going on with Steem, so for that reason it kept getting pushed back farther and farther.
I can't allow that anymore, so today you get to learn or reminisce about a legend.
It all started with Cyclops. Growing up, I was never much of a reader. My sister and dad would devour books like a swarm of locusts. In fact, I think my dad still reads three or four books a week when he isn't busy playing "No Man's Sky".
It was never really exciting for me though. In fact, it still isn't. That isn't to say I don't find books interesting, but for me, reading is a lot of work and I tend to do it very slowly. It isn't uncommon for me to go in spurts where I read two or three books over several months and then don't touch one again for half a year.
As a young boy, when I did read, I was always drawn to the fantasy, adventure, and science fiction books. Steel Magic by Andre Norton was one of my favorites along with the Chronicles of Narnia series and any of the Tom Swift books by Victor Appleton.
Early in college I was an English Literature major so I spent a lot of time reading American classics and British Literature but it still wasn't fun for me. It wasn't until five or so years later that "Cyclops" fell into my lap.
Literary critics probably wouldn't call every book that Clive Cussler wrote or co-wrote a work of art. In fact, many might argue the books are formulaic and in these social justice warrior days, the idea of two strong male heroes is probably frowned upon. Personally, what some may see as formulaic, I see as creative consistency, you always knew you were going to get a great story that kept you on the edge of your seat. Likewise, if you dig deeper into his books you will find many strong female characters "Remi Fargo" for example.
The way Cussler blended history, adventure, and treasure was beyond imagination for me. Where a normal book would take me several weeks to complete, I could finish a Clive Cussler novel in a matter of days. The heroes were always larger than life and the villains despicable beyond measure.
Cussler passed away at the end of February and my heart broke when I heard the news. As much as his main character Dirk Pitt was an adventurer in the books, Cussler was the same in real life. In his books, NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) was a government funded entity. Cussler made that dream a reality and established his own NUMA as a private agency for the purpose of discovering shipwrecks.
In fact, they discovered more than 60 shipwrecks including the RMS Carpathia - first ship on site to rescue survivors of the Titantic, CSS Manassas - first ironclad of the American Civil War, and the H.L. Hunley - the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel (American Civil War).
Besides the Dirk Pitt series of books, Cussler went on to create at least four other series including detective Issac Bell's historic mysteries, The NUMA Files about Kurt Austin (Dirk Pitt's successor), The Oregon Files about the crew of a "mercenary" ship with hearts of gold, and The Fargo Adventures about a husband and wife treasure hunting team.
Two of my most favorite Clive Cussler books are "Inca Gold" and "Sahara". You might recognize "Sahara" because there was a movie by the same name released in 2005 staring Matthew McConaughey. Personally, I think the book was better. Though based on the book, the movie takes some departures from the original source material and I really feel like they should be taken as separate entities.
Clive Cussler was also well known for his love of antique cars. He always found a way to weave one or two of them into his stories. Additionally, he collected them as well and if you find yourself in Denver, CO, you should check out his antique car museum, it is definitely on my bucket list!
Clive Cussler also wrote a handful of non-fiction and children's books.
Many modern day adventure authors such as James Rollins credit Cussler as being a huge inspiration to them. Clive was still releasing new books up until his death though many of them were co-written with other authors including his son Dirk Cussler. I hope these authors will carry on the legacy of Clive and continue to create amazing stories for future generations.
If you haven't had the chance, pick up a Clive Cussler book and hold your breath because you are sure to be in for one wild ride!