The Lost Post – 3

it was assumed he had died: where he’d been last seen there was a large crater

I tried to read another Clive Cussler book this weekend – why, you might ask? Well, I was on the boat, had only taken one book with me, and had finished it by halfway through the first day. As I have read practically every other book my father has on the boat (if you discount the ones about Winston Churchill this leaves about five novels) many times before, I finally had to resort to “Fire Ice” by the infamous Cussler. He wrote this one with another author, which might explain the (even for Cussler) unbelievable plot and atrocious writing. The blurb on the back goes as follows:

“On the shores of the Black Sea, Kurt Austin and the NUMA team discover an abandoned submarine base commandeered by a mining tycoon who claims Romanov ancestry. (You with me so far?) Backed by his incredible wealth, the tycoon has proclaimed himself Czar of Russia. (Still keeping up?) His determined to overthrow the already shaking Russian government (You with me, there at the back?) – and he has a terrifying surprise in store for the Americans that will ensure they don’t interfere. But standing in his way are Kurt Austin and the NUMA team…”

Dun dun duuuuuuuh! -suspenseful music plays-I seem to remember trying to read this book last time I was on the boat and giving up after the first chapter in disbelief. This was before I had read Sahara, and other works, by Cussler. This time I managed the first page. Why, oh why, do I keep doing this to myself? Am I really such a glutton for literary punishment? Am I expecting Cussler to suddenly produce a witty, insightful, and brilliantly crafted book? Or am I waiting till he crosses over to the other side and is amusing in his badness. I think it is the stubborn part of me that refuses to give up on people that makes me give him a second, third, fourth chance… I like trash as much (perhaps more) than the next person, so long as the next person isn’t Moose with her delight in god-awful films. I can appreciate pulp fiction with the best of them. I gleefully gobble every Phillipa Gregory romp I can get my hands on (throwing the last one out of the window was unintentional, I assure you, and had no bearing on my enjoyment of the book). They are my guilty little pleasures, the trash fantasy, the blindingly obvious science fiction, the historical romances, and I wouldn’t trade them for all the Booker winners in the world. Attwood aside, as a rule I get more enjoyment out of most trash than I do from serious ‘literature’. Just, what is it that keeps me coming back to Cussler? Am I that much of a masochist?

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