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Clive Cussler, creator of the bestselling NUMA and Dirk Pitt series, presents his latest and most intriguing high seas action hero: the enigmatic captain of the Oregon, Juan Cabrillo. In his first feature-length adventure, it's up to Cabrillo and his crew of expert intelligence and Naval men to put Tibet back in the hands of the Dalai Lama by striking a deal with the Russians and the Chinese. His gambling chip is a golden Buddha containing records of vast oil reserves in the disputed land. But first, he'll have to locate--and steal--the all-important artifact. And there are certain people who would do anything in their power to see him fail...
- A FRESH IDEA FROM THE MASTER OF FORMULA
Clive Cussler's organization is a money machine. For years, it has churned out Dirk Pitt books with regularity. A few years ago, with Pitt aging, Cussler (or his business advisers) realized that someone new was needed. The first attempt was the creation of Pitt-Giordino clones Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala. OK stories, but too obvious. The appearance of Pitt's long-lost children at the end of Valhalla Rising seemed contrived, and it took a second novel to move them to being Pitt-Giordino replacements.
The attempt represented by Golden Buddha, however, works. Cussler's ghostwriter, Craig Dirgo, fleshes out a set of characters introduced briefly in a Pitt novel. Juan Cabrillo is the Chairman of the Board of The Corporation, a consortium of mercenaries who specialize in high-tech jobs that combine the old and new Mission Impossible. The Corporation moves about the world on board the Oregon, a state-of-the-art ship disguised to look like a rustbucket.
Part of the Cussler formula involves the recounting of an event from the past and connecting it to the activities of his heroes. Placing Pitt and Giordino in the scene has sometimes involved a stretch. Here the past event is the exile of the Dalai Lama from Tibet. The Corporation arrives on the scene in the most basic way: They are hired by the CIA to restore the Dalai Lama to power. Along the way, they must contend with larcenous art dealers and greedy multimillionaires, not to mention the governments of Russia and China. While some details seem unbelievable (hauling a 600 pound statue on a motorcycle? Not on any bike I ever rode), the story mostly works. Don't get lost in the large cast of characters--It's worth checking the playlist at the beginning of the book on a regular basis to see who's who. All in all, a good effort. Craig Dirgo is a better collaborator than Paul Kemprecos, though his books have been getting better. Still, I'll buy the next installment of the Oregon Files ahead of the next NUMA Files....more info
- A Good Yarn, Unravelling
Mr. Cussler's literary efforts have helped me across the Atlantic and Pacific and Indian Oceans numerous times. They are quick, fun reading stories, with usually some darn good research and writing to boot. Any of Mr. Cussler's books are entertaining. Yes, the topics may seem improbable, but that is what makes good entertainment...Jules Verne and H.G. Wells wrote with the same optimism. My criticism of Golden Buddha is the glaring inconsistencies that a good editor should have caught. For example - in one chapter, the ship Oregon is moored, dockside, Macau Harbor; a chapter later, the Oregon is at anchor; and 5 pages after that, the ship is again moored. It is these type inconsistencies that cause me to rate Golden Buddha less than it should have earned.
Mr. Cussler - your legion of fans is deep. We share your enthusiasm and optimism, but when your attention to detail slips, our unbridled support may start to wane....more info
- Fair to say a solid start
3-3.5 stars really. Okay, so, mention Golden Buddha to a bunch of Cussler fans (of which I am one) and some will say they loved it, others will roll their eyes. This is not a book with the intricate plot that we all know and love from the Dirk Pitt series. However, because we see the name "Clive Cussler" on the cover, we expect at least a worthwhile read. Here, I think, is where GB succeeds and the Oregon Files get off to a solid start. Sure, there are a lot of characters that are hard to keep track of and things seem to happen pretty conveniently and a little too well but if you keep pushing through, I think you will discover an easy read that you can settle into and enjoy.
The idea is a good one. An old tramp steamer crewed by mercenaries and literally a wolf in sheep's clothing. Add to that the premise of hiring "the Corporation" out to whoever is deemed worthy and you've got a very Cussleresque way of running a business!
GB starts off well, setting the scene and introducing us (again) to the Oregon, her captain, Juan Cabrillo, and her crew and what they do. Once the job begins to recover the GB, the intrigue and fun begins. Cabrillo and his crew know what's going on (planning and making contingencies within an inch of their lives) but their intricate plans really only become obvious as they occur. The quest for the fake Buddha had me puzzled until it became obvious the crew was stealing it to make some money on the side and spirit the original back to its rightful owner. The freeing of Tibet goes rather smoothly but is not totally implausible. Even by the end, I think the reader will find him/herself getting to know the massive cast of characters/crew members!
Conclusion? Don't take this as anything more than a fun, light-hearted read and consider yourself welcomed to the Oregon Files (and they get better)!
- Very Disapointed
I listened to this book on CD. I cannot comment on how it comes across in print. On the CD, it is a cross between Mission Impossible and Charlies Angels (albeit male angels). The reader must have used the same voice coach that was used in Kung Pow, the Fist of Death.
Everything works perfectly, there is no tension and the dialog is insipid.
I truely hope that this collaberation was just to get Mr. Cussler's name on the cover. It departs so much from his normal style of writing that I cannot see his hand in the story except in very few places.
One other disadvantage to the CD version, you don't get the list of characters at the beginning as you do in the paperback edition.
Thank goodness I got this at the public library and didn't plunk down hard earned cash for it. (Well, I guess my taxes paid for it.)
I'll give the next book a try and hope that it is much better than this one. If not, I'm going looking for another Dirk Pitt....more info
- Golden Budda
Clive Cussler has yet to write a bad book! Always a great adventure and interesting characters....more info
- Not as bad as I had expected
I had read several negative reviews and, thinking Cussler had just allowed a lesser writer to use his name to sell the book, I was expecting something really bad, but it turned out a fairly good read. I was looking more for escapism than great literature, and that's what I got.
The short choppy chapters and paragraphs, and the overpopulated cast of characters, were wearying, as other critics here have noted. More irritating was that none of the characters seemed very deep--I don't mean unrealistic, just two-dimensional. Eddie Seng did not seem like an Asian, Lincoln did not come across like an African American, Cabrillo did not seem Hispanic other than in name. The female characters especially seemed fetchers of coffee, or collectors of farewell letters and last testaments (Ms. Crabtree), or else just pretty bods to sleep with the enemy for information. (Oddly, none of the heroes seem to get anything going in this line, while Cussler generally has his hero at least flirt with a trophy woman.)
Also annoying were the blatant giveaways. "Rhee had no way of knowing it, but he'd just made the biggest error of his life." "President Putin had been promised the meeting would be worth the effort. Cabrillo would not fail to deliver." "And Winston Spencer had no way to know he had less than a fortnight to live." This frequently leaves the technology the only point of interest, since the reader knows how the chapter will end.
I did like, however, the fact that so much of the action took place away from the sea; this allows much more scope for sequels....more info
- A Sterling Start to a New Adventure Series!
I listened to the unabridged version of this story and found myself waiting for the next surprise. I was very impressed by the storyline and the variety of "characters" in the Corporation. Also, things didn't always 'go according to plans' as they do in some books. I have read or listened to all of Clive Cuussler's fiction and found this book to rank right near the top, ahead of most Kurt Austin adventures and even a couple of Dirk Pitt stories. I found the main characters to be very developed and skilled with many different abilities. Mercenaries with a conscience, Robin Hood on the high seas, Pirates for Profit and Humanity. There were points in the book where it looked like their plans were headed South, only to see that they had covered all the contingencies. I found this book to be a much better effort in the adventure genre than most recent entries, including Tom Clancy's latest terrorist infested effort. I await very hopefully the next effort in this series. I would strongly recommend this book to all avid readers of Cussler, Higgins, and Clancy....more info
- golden budda
good story content, flowed well start to finish and finally a good companion to dirk pitt series...more info
- Timid Tibetan freedom scheme
Clive Cussler with a heavy dose of Craig Dirgo collaborated on the only marginally satisfying action thriller Golden Buddha. They create yet another Impossible Mission Force type team called the Corporation. The Corporation, a group of well paid and highly specialized mercenaries is headed by chairman Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. The group is headquartered on the Oregon, a highly technologically sophisticated cargo ship disguised to appear as a rust bucket.
With the unofficial backing of the U.S., the Corporation is commissioned to restore the Dalai Lama back on the throne of Tibet, freeing the country from the yoke of Chinese oppression after 55 years. Part of the plot involves the pilfering of the Golden Buddha, a 600 pound jewel encrusted solid gold statue and icon and symbol of Tibetan freedom.
The plot marches forward inanely at times in a confusing manner branching off into too many tangents. The shallow character development give them a cardboard quality creating an action thriller that was not an easy one to finish reading....more info
- Golden Boredom
This is my first Clive Cussler and my last. It is juvenile and unbelievable. I read more convincing Superman comic books when I was 14. I actually laughed out loud when I read the conversation with Putin, it was that silly. I suppose this would be convincing if my IQ was only 64. I was so bored, that by the time I read half the book I was skipping entire pages and missed nothing. Save your money and buy something else. ...more info
- Golden Buddha-A Golden Bummer
If you like the Dirk Pitt series & the Kurt Austin series, don't bother reading this book! The action is NOT there, nor is the intrigue that is such a part of the Pitt/Austin series. This book was not as 'action-packed' as the two other series, and left me wishing the book to be over. I had to 'make' myself finish the book, and even then, my only comment was "That's it?!" It's definitely NOT the 'page-turner' type story that is such a part of the Pitt/Austin series. And, to be honest, I miss the 'cameo' appearances of the author in the Pitt novels....more info
- Certainly NOT a Dirk Pitt novel!
I have to say I've been a Clive Cussler fan for over twenty years. I've collected his books and even the films made from his books!
This collaboration could be made into a decent B film. There's a lot of action, sleight of hand movements, changes of location and costumes - but it's no Dirk Pitt book by a long shot, not even a NUMA File book. It's difficult to get involved with or care about the Oregon crew. They could be cardboard cut-outs, just going through the motions ... point A to point B via point C.
I give 3 stars for effort, but only wish it had been Dirk and company going after it. The lack of good-natured humor and caring of the Oregon crew members and depth of characterizations left me cold. I bought it to give the Oregon crew a try as I did for the NUMA files.
Usually, I can read a Cussler novel again and again through the years and enjoy it as if it was the first time. I have all of the Dirk Pitt adventures in hardcover and paperback. This book will be donated to my local library, as I did with the NUMA Files.
Sorry, Juan and Kurt just aren't Dirk! ...more info
- Horribly muddled
This is one of the most horribly muddled "thrillers" I've ever read. By the end, I wasn't sure who was "winning" or "losing," nor did I really care. Clive better quit sub-contracting out his writing. He should dump this cast of characters and concentrate on Dirk Pitt. ...more info
- Golden Buddha - Audio CD
The story is one of Clive Cussler's slower books. The coporation spent more time planning then engaged in action. I didn't enjoy the readers characters as I did the newer CDs....more info
- Great new series by Cussler!
Juan Cabrillo is a great new character for Mr. Cussler. The 'Chairman' and his crew are all highly intelligent people and are as daring as Dirk Pitt and Kurt Austin. As a Cussler fan, I have read and listened to all of his books that I own numerous times and always find something new to enjoy!...more info
- Great New Genre Cussler Has Created!
I just read through the first two Oregon books and was looking for the third in the series. I noticed from the reviews on it that Mr. Cussler has listened to the whiners and changed the series. What a shame! No, this is not a Dirk Pitt book. He is still doing those for people who need a mindless read. If you enjoy reading the exact same formula over and over and over and over, Dirk Pitt is still there for you. He's even been joined by Kurt Austin so you don't have to wait so long for a new book to come out. The Dirk Pitt and Numa Files books have their place and I enjoy them for what they are - good, simple entertainment.
But for those of us who appreciate something more, the Oregon series is a whole new revelation. It is Mission Impossible on the high seas. Mr. Cussler had created a whole new sub-genre to the adventure novel. Like a great movie, I have spent the past 2 weeks reading and re-reading Golden Buddha and Sacred Stone to get every last morsel that is in them. They are adventure books for thinkers!
I was surpised to read on here that this book had no suspense. It has tons of suspense! With all that is going on, you are always surprised at what pops up next. Yet, it all comes together eventually. Unlike the Dirk Pitt novels, you can't guess what is coming before you pick the book up. From cover to cover, the reader is kept guessing at what is going to happen to crew and how they will overcome the obstacles that crop up. Will they make it throught the sewers before the dye and the police catch up with them? Will they have to alter their plans due to the flooding? Will someone on the crew die in the escape? Suspenseful!
The Oregon Files books are the finest new series I've read in 10 years. I hope that Mr. Cussler and his publisher have looked beyond those who complain that they have to think to read this book and leave the other two series to them. You have something truly special here. Keep the Oregon Files as they are in the first two books. You do that and I'll buy every one you put out. (More than once too, because I'll be giving the books away for others to read.)
The books are perfect!
One suggestion though. How about a .lit version to keep on my computer? I'm running out of shelf space with all the physical versions I've bought!...more info
- You need a playlist to read this one
I am a HUGE fan of Clive Cussler and happily ran home with my latest Cussler treasure from the book store. Even better was the idea of a new Cussler novel with a whole new (but related) story line to Dirk Pitt and NUMA.
My first clue that all was not as expected was the fact that the first pages include a "Cast of Characters." Not including the main protagonist, the "good guys," included no less that 23 characters. No wonder a "Cast of Characters" is necessary. Other characters listed amount to ten more.
Following this story line was every bit as frustrating as reading government listings in the phone book. My favorite ever author does not even take time to let the reader get to know the characters, so following this massive list of characters was distracting and difficult.
Even the story line itself was not up to Mr. Cussler's usual standard. The crew of the Oregon must effect a re-patriation of the historic Golden Buddha statue in order that the Dalai Lama can resume control of Tibet. A terrific premise. But the book gets all caught up in the details of the plot, using devices not clearly explained, in settings not clearly laid out and with characters to numerous to keep track of. The plot amounts to, "get the statue, bring it to the Dalai Lama, everybody lives happily ever after." So what.
Mr. Cussler, please stick to what you do best. Get on with stories about Dirk Pitt and his new found family, and other NUMA goodies....more info
- GOLDEN BUDDHA
I normally enjoy the Cussler books, especially the Dirk Pitt stories. This one, however, is especially contrived and very confusing. There is virtually no character development, so keeping track of the various pieces of the plot is difficult. I felt like I was in the "fog of war", seeing hundreds of snippets and just hoping it all came together in the end. Will the real Clive Cussler please come back? ...more info
- clive cussler didnt write this book!!
The book can't have been written by Clive Cussler!! There is none of the quick witty banter, the touches of humor and fast pace story that Clive is known for. I think Clive just added his name to the book and let his co-author Craig Dirgo write the lion share of the book.
Case in point: Clive manages only 3~4 main charaters with 1-4 secondary charaters, Craig has 20-30 main charaters with more secondary/main charaters coming in every chapter.
The story starts out making the reader think that this is a small band of people, using a ship as a floating base, fighting to correct evil with NO goverment ties or is a shadow goverment agency.
But as the story progress, more and more charaters are introduced, every possible problem that can hinder the heroes in their quest to recover a stolen Golden Budda, is thrown in the story and soon this 'small' band of people fighting evil turns into a large multi-national agency with some ties to the goverment and/or is a arm of a shadow goverment agency.
I wish the author Craig had cut out about 40 charaters and stuck with the small band of people instead of dragging the story down with so many new charaters and so many details that the reader is hard pressed to keep track of much less care about.
I hope that IF Clive Cussler allows Craig Dirgo to co-write another book or a sequel to Golden Budda that Craig cuts down on all the extra details, charaters and prodding story line and makes the story more enjoyable to the reader.
I think I will stick with Dirk Pitt and Kurt Austin adventures from now on....more info
- Junk don't waste your time or money
Sorry Clive, you have finally lost me.
I have been reading you since 1978 and never missed a book. The last 3-4 Pitt started a downhill plunge culminating in this piece of pulp nonsense. This was so bad it prompted me to a first. I saw a new Pitt novel available and did NOT buy it.
I suffered through this book and it took me a month to finish it. I would like to list through the things about it that I didn't like, but it would be a shorter list to recap what I did like about it: nothing or maybe the fact that it ended even though it felt like it would never end.
I like "bigger than life" stories that flirt with the fringe of unbelievability, but this story never did even approach anything even remotely credible.
The crew of the Oregon can shoot up Chinese warships with no inplications, use "Mission Impossible" style makeup and fly across the water with a technology that would not even pass muster for a Star Trek episode. They can call in any resource from the US Government at will, and buy off any politician as needed.
If these guys had a magneto-hydrodynamic drive that used no fuel and energy they could all have been multi-billionaires on the royalities instead of risking their lives - no scratch that, of course they can take on any enemy with no risk - to be mercenaries.
No job is too big or impossible for Juan and his folks. I kept expecting Cabillo to tear off his shirt and expose his "S" before taking off on the next task.
No character in this made any sense at all - nor did the story. No problem was too great or too easy to solve. They should have added Roy O'Bannon to the crew.
A typical 1964 episode of Johnny Quest was more realistic than this story and that was a freaking cartoon!
All right there you evil alien Pod Being, who are you and what have you done with the Clive Cussler that I used to know and love? I think I'll go re-read Iceberg and Raise the Titanic then pretend that Clive retired....more info
- Hopefully This Series Will Improve!
Unlike Cussler's other series, I found this first story of the "Oregon Files" slow going at first and rather confusing. There are just too many things going on (no problem, I suppose, for multi-taskers!) and way too many characters to keep track of. Also, there's little to no character development even of "Mr. Chairman", Juan Cabrillo. The fact that he and his companions are mercenaries (with a penchant for good deeds that pay well) doesn't compare favorably with the NUMA heroes. However, the plots were intriguing and getting the golden budda out of the country was exciting and more like the roller coaster rides I expect from Mr. Cussler and co-writers. I look forward to the subsequent Oregon Files with high hopes. ...more info
- Chussler Does it Again
One of the Oregon Files, exellent as usual. Action packed. Unable to put down....more info
- Not Cussler's Best
I've read numerous Clive Cussler novels but this was my first involving the "Oregon Files". I have to say it's one of my least favorite Cussler books. Maybe Cussler was only a consultant and Craig Dirgo did the ghost writing. Whatever the case, compared to "The Chase", this book was weak at best. As typical with Cussler novels, the book starts out in the past to set up the plot, in this case about 50 years earlier when the Golden Buddha disappears. Then the Oregon and it's crew are hired to recover it. For starters, I felt the Oregon and it's technical gadgets were a bit over the top. The story sort of read like a deus ex machina as the crew of the Oregon seemed like it had a piece of technical gadgetry to respond to every situation. It was just too neat. The story had a few plot twists which kept it a bit interesting but there were just too many characters to follow and frankly I lost track of who all these people were. And I'm sorry, those 2 flight attendants who had to sleep with the rich software mogul who was trying to buy the Buddah, just didn't work for me. In the end it was an okay read but there are far better books to spend your time on....more info
- Cussler fans- don't waste your time and money
Mr. Cussler, please don't lend your revered name to such poorly written stuff as "The Oregon File" series. Your name on the cover, and your pic on the back may sell books to your loyal fans, but will quickly destroy our faith....more info
- Good Story / Poor Ending
'Twas a story that was as expected. Very little profanity. Nothing using the Lords name in vain. The ending left me hanging as the story just ended without any real ending. Up to that point seemed like a readable piece. Not what I expected after reading my first book of Mr. Cussler'.
Was somewhat of a dissapointment. But I still have several of his to read so am holding off any final judgment of this author....more info
- Cussler flubs finally.
I've read most of Cussler's works and most of them keep me on the edge of my seat. Not this one. It's got way too many characters to keep up with besides the standard Oregon crew. From some stage after the halfway point, I found myself almost dozing, as it was all predictable. Cussler tried to sew up a story that had a zillion subplots and characters. It was very jerky, to say the least. I was tempted to skip pages, which in itself, tells you something. Cussler didn't develop Cabrillo like he has done in other works. Maybe the problem lies with his partner. It definitely isn't like reading one he did with Jack Du Brul. If this was the first Cussler I read, I'd move on to another author....more info
- Saving Ancient Religious Object Causes Clash of Superpowers
Clive Cussler has written *yet* another exciting action-packed book on a contemporary subject, the theft of an ancient religious object which is also a work of art, the Golden Buddha. The book is filled with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader up at night, furiously turning the pages, wanting to know what happens next. This is the first book in a series in which Juan Cabrillo, along with expert men and women who reside on the ship Oregon, covertly engage in activities to make the world a better place and at the same time, make a huge profit for themselves. The Oregon looks like a rusty old freighter ship. Its deck is loaded with junk. Its wheelhouse is filthy and smelly, a fitting disguise for a ship equipped with the most modern computer technology ever devised, with communications and weapons systems to match. It also includes state-of-the-art underwater craft equally equipped with monitors, sensors, and computer technology to make the impossible ... possible.
The background is set: it is March 1959, the Dalai Lama prepares to leave the summer palace. The Dalai Lama escapes to India where he plans to reside safely, until the time comes when peace returns to Tibet and he can take his rightful place as religious leader of his people. During the 13th century, the Tibetans received a Golden Buddha, as a gift commemorating victory over the forces of Kublai Khan. The statue weighed almost 600 pounds and was jewel encrusted. It was given to the first Dalai Lama in 1372 and remained in the monastery in Tibet, until the Dalai Lama escaped to India, where it was safely transported. Unfortunately, the Golden Buddha disappeared in modern times, at the airport in Manila, Phillipines, when it was to accompany the Dalai Lama to the United States to be put on display.
A secret art auction was taking place in Geneva, Switzerland ... with only seven bidders, all of whom had arrived by invitation only. A California billionairre was the client of one of the highest bidders. Another client with an interest in the Buddha was a wealthy drug lord named Stanley Ho who lived in Macau. He was among the noveau riche whose wealth was obtained from obscure sources. He was trying to legitimize his standing in the community and was holding a party which the social elite were attending. One of these two clients purchased the *real* Golden Buddha ... Of course, there was a mix up. The Corporation was hired to retrieve the *real* statue and return it to its rightful owner, the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately, an exact replica of the Golden Buddha existed in the local temple of Macau and had disappeared. It was rumored that the *real* Golden Buddha had a secret compartment, with important records. The United States collaborated with the Russians to help resolve this disappearance. These two super powers created distractions and territorial disputes with the Red Chinese ... using their desperate need for oil to their advantage. Only, the mysterious secret compartment within the Buddha contained information of a magnitude no one suspected.
Clive Cussler puts the reader through their paces in this fast-paced engaging hard to put down novel. He adds a cast of believable characters with interesting eccentricities. He includes political intrigues and economic resources in the mix, along with a rock band, the Minutemen who were hired to capture the Golden Buddha ... The contemporary theme of freeing Tibet along with returning the Golden Buddha to the Tibetans is the vehicle on which the reader will experience the roller coaster ride of a great reading experience. This is a highly recommended book. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]...more info
- Every Author (or coauthor) writes a flop now and then
This book is bereft of the usual Clive Cussler techno-craft as well as lacking a well thought out plot. Instead this "thriller" reads like a series of "Mission Impossible"tm 30 minute television plots strung together with a rather boring story line.
Character development is stilted as well - none of the characters were well developed, and when any character development was actually done, it appeared to be as a after thought while the current "mission impossible"Tm 30 minute story was unfolding. In fact, I kept expecting each of the characters to die as they were so poorly developed.
I'm a great fan of Clive Cussler's writings...I've enjoyed each of them from the beginning. This one is a loser. Unlike the previous works (including two cowritten by these two authors), I won't be keeping this book and rereading it like I have the others. It's into the dustbin with "Golden Buddha"
Clive -- you can do better. If you are going to use a coauthor, spend some time working the plot with them. Life's too short to turn off your readers....more info
- Another great read from Cussler
This was another great adventure for Juan Cabrillo and the Oregon. ...more info
- This one bites the dust
Here are the facts. I never write reviews and I am a huge Cussler fan. I have read everybook published by Cussler and yes over the last few years they have tailed off some. But this one just blows. I kept rubbing my belly and praying that it would end. A huge waste of time and paper. Dirt and Al would have been able to take care of this business before breakfast....more info