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Monday, October 08, 2007

The Sea Hunters II

**** The Sea Hunters II by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo. Nonfiction.

Or if you want to get picky, it's a mix of historical fiction and nonfiction.

Like the first Sea Hunters (#13), it's the story of several shipwrecks. In each chapter, there's first a fictionalized historical account of the ship (or boat or plane or cannon) that demonstrates why it's important and describes how it was lost. Then there's the story of NUMA's search for the wreck. Some of the wrecks are famous: the Mary Celeste, JFK's PT109, and some I'd never heard of before.

The historical sections were just detailed enough to give a layperson (me, in other words) a good background in the wreck's history and significance, and because they were fictional accounts, with the emotional content necessarily absent from straight historical records, it gave me a reason to care about the wreck and about whether they would find it.

Because there are 14 sections, it should be obvious at a glance that there's not going to be enough detail on any one of the wrecks to satisfy a historian or salvage expert, or a serious student of either. Instead, it's meant for people like me, who find the whole thing absolutely fascinating, but who haven't read that extensively or actually done any searching for shipwrecks.

One thing I appreciated about the present-day sections is the lack of pretense. Cussler & co. can apparently be rude or juvenile, and there's no sugar-coating (or maybe there is, and they're actually worse than they sound), no attempt to make them appear all-wise, patient, kind, and infallible. Their failures are included, as is the frustration and discomfort of the time-consuming, often boring searches.


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I have both Sea Hunter books on my TBR shelf. I just need to make the time to read them. :D
Because of the way they're written--separate sections for each shipwreck--they're easy books to read a little at a time, which is what I did. Sometimes I'd read just one, sometimes 2 or 3, depending on my mood and how much time I had.

I've been trying to push them on my husband and sons, but so far, even though they seem interested in the stories I've been passing on, they haven't been inclined to pick up the books. *sigh*
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