What I’ve Been Reading: Iceberg

What I’ve Been Reading: Iceberg


January 6, 2018

I’ve actually been reading more interesting stuff than this, but I was reading about four books at a time, and this happened to be the first one I finished: Iceberg by Clive Cussler.

This book, originally published in 1975, actually has a pretty good beginning. A luxury yacht in the Arctic gets incinerated and somehow gets embedded in an iceberg. The main character, Dirk Pitt, gets summoned from his vacation in California to help investigate the ship. Naturally, there’s way more to the story than some boat having an accident and getting turned into an iceberg. The story takes him to Iceland and, naturally, Disneyland.

Meanwhile, the story is about as far-fetched as a non-sci-fi book can get. I’ve seen Star Trek episodes that I find more believable. The story is comedic without really intending to be so, with misogyny, cross-dressing, transsexuals, etc. Clearly it was written in the time between when some of those things were unspeakable and when some of those things were totally acceptable in the public sphere; they were written when it was okay to portray those things as humorous and preposterous.

This is the third Dirk Pitt novel I’ve read (following Pacific Vortex! and The Mediterranean Caper), and I find the premise of NUMA, Dirk Pitt, etc. and the genre itself to be interesting. I’m interested to see if the character gets more updated as Cussler got into the 1990s and 2000s, since obviously a lot of the nonsense in the early novels hasn’t been politically correct for a long time. I think The Mediterranean Caper has been my favorite so far.

I’m about to finish Fool Moon by Jim Dresden. What have you been reading lately?

14 comments

  1. Comments: 1048
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Jan 06, 2018 at 7:03 AM

    Chief Joseph and the Flight of the Nez Perce.

    Recopmmended … way better than The Qur’an, which I’ve been battling, seemingly forever … just sayin’.

    I’ve read cliff note versions of this story many times as it is always the foundation story behind practically everything having to do with the Appaloosa horse. This is the full blown story of one of the great military retreats in the history of the world. Led by a guy who was by nature and position a political, as opposed to a military leader within his tribe. Who famously said at his surrender. “From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

  2. GKblue
    Comments: 245
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    GKblue
    Jan 06, 2018 at 8:05 AM

    I have read over a dozen Cussler novels, but got away from them.

    Lately, I have enjoyed reading Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series and J.A. Jance’s JP Beaumont series. These are detective novels that build the characters over time and often reflect back on prior story lines so I recommend you start at the beginning and work your way through them.

    • Klctlc
      Comments: 36
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Klctlc
      Jan 06, 2018 at 9:49 AM

      Agree. About 20 years ago I read them all. Loved them, but at some point the plots were all the same and just got so silly.

      I am still waiting for you to read a Robert Crais book. Similary to Michael Connelly ( which are the gold standard IMO) or John Connolly who add a very dark element to the detective series.

      • GKblue
        Comments: 245
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        GKblue
        Jan 06, 2018 at 10:04 AM

        Thanks for the heads up Klctlc. I will check out Crais.

      • mos12
        Comments: 29
        Joined: 8/15/2016
        mos12
        Jan 06, 2018 at 8:34 PM

        Robert Crais’ books are great. I have been reading the John Connolly books as well. Very good.

        • Klctlc
          Comments: 36
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Klctlc
          Jan 06, 2018 at 11:20 PM

          Glad to hear. How would you describe John connelly? I really don’t know of a comparison . Great story with a supernatural element. Dark (very dark sometimes) but about friendship/ love. Any comparable author?

  3. awnitsol
    Comments: 4
    Joined: 4/6/2017
    awnitsol
    Jan 06, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    In my humble opinion, no, they don’t get better. I’ve read a few and they all seem to follow a formula with just the names and locations changed. First couple were ridiculous but entertaining, but by the third I knew what was going to happen.

  4. Comments: 194
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    INTJohn
    Jan 06, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    I’m not any kind of a reader of fiction, novel type reads, perse’ any more and haven’t been for decades; this ‘Iceberg’ thing sounds like the authors attempt at getting in on the 70’s market of Human species wide disaster themes which grew out from surviving WW2 and then recognizing there was a lot of stuff in the World that could flat fuk us up……..

    Kind of started with Dr. Strange love in the 50’s; Star Trek as you’ve mentioned in the 60’s and peaked with stuff during the 70’s like the Poseidon Adventure; Towerring Inferno; China Syndrome, etc. ad nausea……… and this Iceberg seems to be an attempted spinoff from that era.

    Generally I’m reading scientific based stuff from – new discoveries from various parts of the planet regarding all things science, medicine, humanities, Earth; the universe, etc…….

    ……..and of course the occasional football/sports blog for comic relief.

    My mainstay book reads follow from a book I discovered some time ago titled
    “The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written”; The History of Thought From Ancient Times to Today by Martin Seymour Smith. I took upon myself the book read sojourn of reading & studying all 100 of these selections as well as some the author mentioned but did not make his ‘Top 100’……….

    Currently have been studying 2 books by Nietzsche “Beyond Good & Evil” and his ‘sequel’ “The Geneology of Morals”; Walter Kaufman’s translations.

    Good Stuff!!…………INTJohn

  5. Comments: 6
    Joined: 12/17/2015
    Gobluex2
    Jan 06, 2018 at 4:21 PM

    I really enjoyed and benefited from reading these three books:

    Last Train to Memphis – The first of a 2-part biography on Elvis, a likable and genuine, if not a bit insecure country boy who changed the course of American music and culture. A true original.

    American Slavery – the story of our nation’s peculiar institution. Thorough, and incredibly worthwhile.

    Why Buddhism Is True – provocative and somewhat misleading title aside, this is a very clear-eyed and accessible account of meditation and (secular) Buddhist philosophy of the mind.

    • Comments: 194
      Joined: 12/24/2016
      INTJohn
      Jan 06, 2018 at 9:03 PM

      Re “Why Buddhism Is True”:

      Interesting description and of course I couldn’t wait to google & do some research on it. Sounds like a good read that calls into question the basic American Cultural premise about “Pursuit of Happiness” and how it generally prevents us from being Happy but also that the pursuit of Happiness is a dead end street anyway………

      Nietzsche would love this book and on another note; so would Zhuang-
      Zi both of whom abrogate a more secular spirituality or in your term -a Secular Buddhism.
      Zhuang-Zi was a Daoist but not a mystic as was Lao-Tzu. More akin to a Natural Pantheist – Doaism but without the mystism. Both Nietzsche & Zhaung-Zi came to similar conclusions regarding, Morality, Science, Truth and ‘Life’ in general as it relates to Human fulfillment, however not on a collective basis but an Individual one. Both Nietzsche & Zhuang-Zi are for those who choose to live a fulfilling life as a Solitary Individual.

      A book I would recommend (similar subject matter to Wright’s) is “liberation as affirmation” the religiosity of zhuangzi and nietzsche by a friend of mine Ge Ling Shang; a philosophy professor at Grand Valley. I met him thru my daughter when she was working on her pre-med undergrad at GVSU. She was taking one of his classes and she’s says one day – Dad I have a professor from China who was in the war where you were. I’m like, Huh?
      She says – yeah he was in the Chinese army and in Laos by The Plain. She shows me his book which was required reading for the class and hell I was almost floored! I wanted to read it but she wouldn’t let me have it cause she needed it for her class. Eventually I met the guy and yes not only had we been in the same area but also at the same time and we both think in one particular skirmish we in fact may even have been engaged in direct fire on each other’s units postions!
      Small world dept………..

      Anyway he gave me a copy – signed autograph -“From one brother warrior to another………………Enemies No More.”

      If you like reading about Eastern Philosophical ideas but without the idealistic mystic stuff I think you’ll like it………….INTjohn

  6. Comments: 3
    Joined: 9/28/2015
    Asquaredroot
    Jan 07, 2018 at 3:43 AM

    I take it by reading Fool Moon, you’ve also read Storm Front. I really enjoyed Dresden Files, but aside from reading that entire series, haven’t read anything else from Butcher. Highly recommend reading them all if you enjoy the first 2 books. In general, they get better over the arc of the series.

    Similarly… Scott Lynch’s ‘Lies of Locke Lamora’ is a very good read in the fantasy/suspense vein. A friend who recommended it to me called it ‘Ocean’s Eleven in a fantasy setting’ . I didn’t think so half way through the book, but by the end, I was more or less in agreement. Am now halfway through the 2nd book in this series and immersed.

    Best fictional literature I’ve ever read: Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O’brian. Bar none.. no comparison. I don’t have words to convey the brilliance of these books.

    • Comments: 2334
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 07, 2018 at 12:19 PM

      Yep, I’m reading the Dresden books in order. Thanks for the recommendations.

  7. Comments: 1
    Joined: 4/21/2017
    crom80
    Jan 08, 2018 at 11:43 AM

    I’ve always read one book at a time. If I start to dislike or feel bored with the book I would just start reading a different one. Reading multiple at the same time is a new concept for me. Very interesting. Is it like watching several TV series during a given season period? Do you read a chapter for one book and then go to another book consciously?

    • Comments: 2334
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 08, 2018 at 7:06 PM

      It’s more of a question of practicality for me. I used to refuse to read multiple books, but as I got older and life got more complicated, I just can’t worry about taking a book with me at all times. I also never used to use bookmarks, and I would just memorize the page number each time I put down the book.

      I have a book in the bathroom (“Iceberg”), a book in my bedroom (“Blood, Sweat, and Chalk”) Jim , a book at work (“Fool Moon”), and a book at the football facility (“Do You Love Football?”), and all four are about to be switched out.

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