Review -- 'Arctic Drift' takes some suspension of disbelief

"Arctic Drift," by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 515 pages.

Everything you’ve heard about global warming is true, and it might already be too late to save humanity from mortal peril. The world is on a crash program to curtail its greenhouse gas emissions, driving gasoline prices through the roof. And Canada is about to declare war on the United States.

Such is the premise behind "Arctic Drift," the new adventure thriller penned by best-selling author Clive Cussler and his son Dirk. It’s the 20th novel starring Dirk Pitt, Cussler’s globe-trotting hero.

Fans of Cussler have been here before and know what to expect: exotic locations, ruthless villains and many narrow escapes and derring-do by Dirk Pitt, oceanography’s answer to Indiana Jones.


For the rest of us, "Arctic Drift" requires a certain suspension of disbelief. The threat of war between the United States and Canada — for reasons that are never fully explained — is so hard to take seriously that John Candy once starred in a comedy about it, "Canadian Bacon."

And the prose often packs the nuance of a monster truck. Cussler may be the only writer in America who can get away with a line like this: "Miller struggled desperately, then let out a final deep gasp as the icy hand of death beckoned him to let go."

Jack London, it isn’t. But Cussler’s fans come for swashbuckling, not word craft. That, he delivers.

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