Cussler, Clive: Inca Gold
(researched by Neil Ligon)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Clive Cussler. Inca Gold. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994. Copyright: Clive Cussler British First Edition: Clive Cussler. Inca Gold. Thorndike, Me., USA: G.K. Hall; Bath, Avon, England: Chivers Press, 1994.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
First edition published in cloth.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
274 leaves, pp. [1-12] 13-16 [17-18] 19-31 [32-34] 35-149 [150-152]153-244 [245-246] 247-424 [425-426] 427-453 [454] 455-528 [529-530] 530-537 [538-541]
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
The book is neither edited nor introduced. There is a publisher's advertisement for other Clive Cussler books just before the title page. The book is also dedicated to the memory of Dr. Harold Edgerton, Bob Hesse, Erick Schonstedt, and peter Throckmorton who were "loved and respected by everyone whose lives they touched."
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
black and white plate illustrations found facing pages 13, 153, 247, 427, 455 pg. 12 caption "INCA SEAGOING VESSEL" pg. 152 caption "THE DRAKE QUIPU" pg. 246 is a two part illustration, the top showing a cut-away view of a mountain with the caption "CERRO EL CAPIROTE" and the bottom caption "CROSS-SECTION OF UNDERGROUND RIVER" pg. 426 is a map of the Sea of Cortez and surrounding land on the Mexico-California border pg. 454 is a drawing of a hovercraft with Dirk Pitt and Rudi Giordino with the caption "THE WALLOWING WINDBAG" There is no artist name accompanying any of these illustrations; however, the back of the title page states "Designed by Levavi and Levavi"
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
The book's wide margins, large print, and large pages make the readability quite good. The pages are unstained and have held up flawlessly thus far. 91R. Book size: 234 mm by 155 mm; Size of text: 193 mm by 112 mm
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
The book is printed on wove paper. The paper is slightly off-white, and there has been no discoloration or apparent wear of any sort. Illustrations appear on wove paper, also.
11 Description of binding(s)
This binding is different because the binding itself covers only the spine and 34 mm onto both front and back covers. There it ends, revealing the cover itself for the remaining 127 mm. Material: trade cloth, criss-cross grain Color: the binding itself (spine and first 34mm) is dark blue, the book itself is medium red Stamping: light yellow Transcription of the spine: INCA GOLD [By] CLIVE CUSSLER| SIMON & SCHUSTER
12 Transcription of title page
The title page itself spreads over two pages. Page 1: CLIVE| CUSSLER| Simon & Schuster Page 2: INCA| GOLD| A NOVEL| New York London Toronto Sydney Tokyo Singapore Title page verso transcription: SIMON & SCHUSTER| Rockefeller Center| 1230 Avenue of the Americas| New York, New York 10020| This book is a work of fiction. Names characters, places and incidents are| either products of the author's imagination or are used ficticiously. Any| resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely| coincidental.| Copyright 1994 by Clive Cussler| Dirk Pitt is a trademark of Clive Cussler| All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions| thereof in any form whatsoever.| SIMON & SCHUSTER and colophon are registered trademarks of| Simon and Schuster Inc.| Designed by Levavi & Levavi| Manufactured in the United States of America| 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1| Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data| Cussler, Clive.| Inca gold: a novel/Clive Cussler.| p. cm.| 1. Pitt, Dirk (Fictitious character)-Fiction. 2. Incas--Antiquities--| Fiction. 3. Smuggling-Fiction. I. Title.| PS3553.U75I53 1994| 813'.54-dc20 94-6577| CIP| ISBN: 0-671-68156-7
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
N/A
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
The book also comes with a dust jacket. The front of the dust jacket is black with Inca Gold written in gold lettering with red bordering, Clive Cussler written in red with gold bordering, and a picture of a gold Incan mask separating the name from the title as the major features. The back is a picture of Clive Cussler with a 1936 Pierce-Arrow and Travelodge trailer which his hero drives in the novel. The inside flaps of the dust jacket describe the general plot of the novel and tells that Clive Cussler lives in Colorado. The dust jacket was designed by Paul Bacon and the photograph was taken by Paul Bacon, also.
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Library Guild release Doubleday Book Club release Library Edition (book on tape) -cover art similar except "Clive Cussler" written in gold instead of red and "Simon and Schuster Audio" written on cover; in tape form
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
My research in Publishers' Weekly and the National Union catalogue data uncovered no other printings or impressions of the first edition.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Archway Paperbacks 1998 (abridged because adapted for young fans) Pocket Books 1995
6 Last date in print?
The book is still currently in print as of February 21, 2000.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
550,000 books were produced in the first printing according to Publishers' Weekly. The book stayed on the best sellers list from May 9, 1994 until August 8, 1994 and its highest ranking was number 2.
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
N/A
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
I could find no advertising for Inca Gold in Publishers' Weekly and can only explain this absence of advertising on internal problems around this time period with Simon and Schuster.
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
Clive Cussler was interviewed for an article in the July 11th Publishings' Weekly.
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
After the poor reception of his book-turned-movie Raise the Titanic!, Cussler has vowed to avoid movie deals.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Translation into Danish: Cussler, Clive. Jagten pa inkaguldet. Kobehavn: Bogsamleren, 1995. Translation into Portuguese: Cussler, Clive. Ouro Inca. Sao Paulo, SP: Editora Bestseller: Circulo do Livro, 1997. Translation into German: Cussler, Clive. Inka-Gold: roman. Munchen: Goldmann, 1995. Translation into French: Cussler, Clive. L'or des Incas: roman. Paris: Grasset and Fasquelle, 1995. Translation into Italian: Cussler, Clive. L'oro dell'inca: romanzo. Milano: Loganesi, 1994. Translation into Spanish: Cussler, Clive. Oro Inca. Buenos Aires: Atlantida, 1995. Translation into Polish: Cussler, Clive. Zloto Inkow. Warszawa: Amber, 1994.
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
In my reading in Publishers' Weekly, I came across no indications of serialization.
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
This novel was a part of the Dirk Pitt series and thus all books before it involving Dirk Pitt are prequels and all books involving Dirk Pitt after it are sequels. Prequels: Cussler, Clive. Cyclops. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall, 1987. Cussler, Clive. Deep Six: A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984. Cussler, Clive. Dragon: A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990. Cussler, Clive. Iceberg. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. Cussler, Clive. The Mediterranean Caper. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. Cussler, Clive. Night Probe! Toronto; New York: Bantam Books, 1981. Cussler, Clive. Pacific Vortex! Boston, Mass: G.K. Hall, 1985. Cussler, Clive. Sahara: A Novel. Boston, Mass: G.K. Hall, 1993. Cussler, Clive. Vixen 03. New York: Viking Press, 1978. Cussler, Clive. Raise the Titanic! New York: Viking Press, 1976. Sequels: Cussler, Clive. Atlantis Found. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1999. Cussler, Clive. Flood Tide: A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997. Cussler, Clive. Shock Wave: A Novel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Clive Cussler was born on July 15, 1931in Aurora, Illinois, the only child of Amy and Eric Cussler. His father Eric was a German immigrant who came over after fighting in World War I on the side of Germany and cleared immigration despite a war injured leg. Clive's mother was born Amy Hunnewell in 1901 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Clive's parents met in Chicago at a dance club in 1929 and were married on July 10, 1930, just a little over a year before Clive's birth. In 1937, Clive almost died of pneumonia, having to live in an oxygen tent for a few days until he recovered (Cussler 24). Eric, concerned with his son's health, transferred to Alhambra, California, where Clive would live for the remainder of his school days. After graduation from high school in 1949, Clive enrolled at Pasadena City College. He did well, but, after two years, enlisted in the Air Force to fight in Korea. Just before he left, though, he met his future wife, Barbara Knight in October of 1951. After returning from service, Clive married Barbara in 1955 in Pasadena, California. Just after the birth of his daughter Teri, he moved on from his ownership of a gas station to one as an advertising manager for a supermarket called Richard's Lido Market, and thus his career in print was begun. His son Dirk was born in 1961and his daughter Dana followed. Cussler penned his first novel, Pacific Vortex while working for his own publishing company, but could find no publisher who was interested. The second book he wrote, Mediterranean Caper, also attracted little interest, Clive was able to get a copy of both scripts on the desk of agent Peter Lampack who signed him and got Mediterranean Caper published. Iceberg followed in short order and his break through work Raise the Titanic!'s sale to Sphere Publishing finally guaranteed his place as a best selling author. When the work went to paperback, Bantam Books outbid all other publishing houses and won not only Raise the Titanic! but also bought The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg. Bantam kept Clive under contract until they were outbid by Simon & Schuster on the novel Deep Six. Clive has written for Simon & Schuster since. As of 1998, Clive resides in Paradise Valley, Arizona in the winter and Telluride, Colorado for the rest of the year. As for the central character of his novels, Dirk Pitt, Clive admits a large autobiographical influence on the character. Dirk Pitt was named after his son and the last name was acquired because, "my wife and I fought like pit bulls over a name [for our son]" (Cussler 73). Pitt was thirty-six years old in the first novel as was Clive, and both were 6'3'', 180 lbs. Like Pitt, Clive has a tremendous antique car collection (83 of them at last count). Pitt also works for NUMA, a marine exploration agency founded by Clive in real life 1979. Dirk Pitt was named after his son and the last name was acquired because, "my wife and I fought like pit bulls over a name [for our son]" (Cussler 73). However, Pitt today is only forty years old. The main source of information for this biography: Cussler, Clive and Craig Dirgo. Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed. Pocket Books: New York, 1998.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Clive Cussler's Inca Gold was received much like his other previous works: it was noted to be wordy and poorly written by some reviewers, while others saw it as a enjoyable action story. Cussler himself says, "I hate to write, I love to research" (Jayroe), and the critics of Inca Gold noticed. Many reviewers were quick to mention his action-packed plot and archeological details. Some reviewers saw this attention to detail as a strength, one commenting, "Cussler weaves Inca legends and lore in a spellbinding tale" (Fredericksen 111). Even some who did not care for the book as a whole mentioned the Incan details as a strength (NY Times Book Review 39). However, some reviewers were not impressed, like Joe Collins who commented, "Cussler is one of those writers who gleans tons of information and then feels obligated to include all of it" (Collins 1404). The reviewers' opinions of Cussler's detailed descriptions of Incan culture and artifacts was mixed. The secret of Inca Gold's success is its action-seeking hero Dirk Pitt. Reviewer Jean Hanff Korelitz admits, "Helicopters are chopping and guns blasting steadily from the get-go. You'd have to go far to find a more all-boy hero than Dirk Pitt" (Korelitz X08). Another reviewer called Pitt "a skin-diving Indiana Jones with a James Bond attitude" (Library Journal 4/15). Here lies the novels appeal, and is the reason one reviewer said the novel's "entertainment value meets the gold standard" (Publisher's Weekly 3/28). Even the harsher critics recognized the draw of Dirk Pitt and his surreal adventures and do not dismiss the novel altogether. However, many critics found flaws that hindered the novel or, in some cases, made it a miserable read. The New York Times Book Review had years earlier shown its animosity towards Cussler's prose in a review of Raise the Titanic, in which they stated, "Seldom has a book with such an exciting idea been so poorly written. Cussler is the cliché expert nonpareil." Inca Gold did not escape the NY Times Book reviewers without similar criticism. Callendar laments: "But the writing! Mr. Cussler has revived the cliché and batters his reader with choice specimens" (Callendar 39). The review continued its condemnation: "In the Cussler style, virtually every noun has to have a modifier" (Callendar 39). Others, too, found fault in the writing, though the other criticism was seldom as harsh. Joe Collins' much subtler criticism says, "Cussler fans are already familiar with his gift of hyperbole, and readers discovering the author for the first time should take his breathless approach with a grain of salt" (Collins 1404). The recognition of Cussler's poor writing style and his propensity for exaggeration is clearly noted by reviewers. The last major complaint of critics concerns the role of women within Inca Gold. One critic states, "There aren't many women here, despite the fact that the featured females are variously employed as undercover customs officers, highly regarded archeologists and even members of Congress. Typically, Cussler renders one of these paragons of achievement as 'a very attractive woman when dressed and made up? the inside of her one-piece black lycra swim suit?nicely filled by an hourglass figure with an extra twenty minutes thrown in for good measure'" (Korelitz X08). Critics' awareness of the book's exploitative view of women, combined with the verbose writing style, seem to relegate Inca Gold to a light read devoid of most literary merit but appealing to its male audience. Callendar, Newgate. N Y Times Book Review. May 22, 1994. p 39. Collins, Joe. Booklist. Volume 90, April 1, 1994. p 1404. Fredericksen, Grant A. Library Journal. Volume 119, April 15, 1994. p 111. Jayroe, Walt. "Clive Cussler." Publishers Weekly. July 11, 1994. Korelitz, Jean Hanff. "Inca Gold." The Washington Post. June 12, 1994, p X08. Library Journal. April 15, 1994. Publishers Weekly. March 28, 1994.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Clive Cussler's Inca Gold was received much like his other previous works: it was noted to be wordy and poorly written by some reviewers, while others saw it as a enjoyable action story. Cussler himself says, "I hate to write, I love to research" (Jayroe), and the critics of Inca Gold noticed. Many reviewers were quick to mention his action-packed plot and archeological details. Some reviewers saw this attention to detail as a strength, one commenting, "Cussler weaves Inca legends and lore in a spellbinding tale" (Fredericksen 111). Even some who did not care for the book as a whole mentioned the Incan details as a strength (NY Times Book Review 39). However, some reviewers were not impressed, like Joe Collins who commented, "Cussler is one of those writers who gleans tons of information and then feels obligated to include all of it" (Collins 1404). The reviewers' opinions of Cussler's detailed descriptions of Incan culture and artifacts was mixed. The secret of Inca Gold's success is its action-seeking hero Dirk Pitt. Reviewer Jean Hanff Korelitz admits, "Helicopters are chopping and guns blasting steadily from the get-go. You'd have to go far to find a more all-boy hero than Dirk Pitt" (Korelitz X08). Another reviewer called Pitt "a skin-diving Indiana Jones with a James Bond attitude" (Library Journal 4/15). Here lies the novels appeal, and is the reason one reviewer said the novel's "entertainment value meets the gold standard" (Publisher's Weekly 3/28). Even the harsher critics recognized the draw of Dirk Pitt and his surreal adventures and do not dismiss the novel altogether. However, many critics found flaws that hindered the novel or, in some cases, made it a miserable read. The New York Times Book Review had years earlier shown its animosity towards Cussler's prose in a review of Raise the Titanic, in which they stated, "Seldom has a book with such an exciting idea been so poorly written. Cussler is the cliché expert nonpareil." Inca Gold did not escape the NY Times Book reviewers without similar criticism. Callendar laments: "But the writing! Mr. Cussler has revived the cliché and batters his reader with choice specimens" (Callendar 39). The review continued its condemnation: "In the Cussler style, virtually every noun has to have a modifier" (Callendar 39). Others, too, found fault in the writing, though the other criticism was seldom as harsh. Joe Collins' much subtler criticism says, "Cussler fans are already familiar with his gift of hyperbole, and readers discovering the author for the first time should take his breathless approach with a grain of salt" (Collins 1404). The recognition of Cussler's poor writing style and his propensity for exaggeration is clearly noted by reviewers. The last major complaint of critics concerns the role of women within Inca Gold. One critic states, "There aren't many women here, despite the fact that the featured females are variously employed as undercover customs officers, highly regarded archeologists and even members of Congress. Typically, Cussler renders one of these paragons of achievement as 'a very attractive woman when dressed and made up? the inside of her one-piece black lycra swim suit?nicely filled by an hourglass figure with an extra twenty minutes thrown in for good measure'" (Korelitz X08). Critics' awareness of the book's exploitative view of women, combined with the verbose writing style, seem to relegate Inca Gold to a light read devoid of most literary merit but appealing to its male audience. Callendar, Newgate. N Y Times Book Review. May 22, 1994. p 39. Collins, Joe. Booklist. Volume 90, April 1, 1994. p 1404. Fredericksen, Grant A. Library Journal. Volume 119, April 15, 1994. p 111. Jayroe, Walt. "Clive Cussler." Publishers Weekly. July 11, 1994. Korelitz, Jean Hanff. "Inca Gold." The Washington Post. June 12, 1994, p X08. Library Journal. April 15, 1994. Publishers Weekly. March 28, 1994.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Inca Gold does not reinvent the novel or even deviate from its author's formulaic writing style. It relies on the author's name, his persona, a collection of recurring characters, and, most importantly, the American males' insatiable appetite for action novels. Many critics abhor Cussler's writing style and others dislike his macho subject matter, but Cussler's loyal readers continue to buy his Dirk Pitt novels, making these books consistently successful, and, as in the case of Inca Gold, making some best sellers. The first element of Inca Gold which drove sales was the author's name recognition. Clive Cussler, though not as widely known as bestseller mainstays Tom Clancy and Stephen King, had made a name for himself before the release of Inca Gold. With 100 million copies of his novels currently in circulation and the ten novels appearing on the weekly best seller's list prior to the release of Inca Gold, Cussler had an established fan base and received the title "Grand master of the American action/adventure novel" (www.numa.net). Many critics even recognized him as the American version of Ian Flemming and saw his character Dirk Pitt as "the Navy's own answer to James Bond" (Korelitz). One of his novels, Raise the Titanic, had crossed medium lines and was made into a movie, like those of noted authors Tom Clancy and Stephen King. Book publishers recognized this popularity with readers and were quick to exploit it. On the cover of the first edition of Inca Gold, Cussler's name appeared in a similar sized font to the title of the book, much like the font ratio used on the cover of Crichton's Andromeda Strain. Also, in smaller print underneath the title was the statement, "By the author of Sahara," which was Cussler's previous, and quite successful, novel, showing the desire to play off of Cussler's previous success. Inca Gold also benefited from Cussler's larger than life personality. Upon the founding of NUMA, his underwater exploration organization, Cussler took some of his book profits and funded and participated in various hunts for undiscovered shipwrecks, garnering him attention from national media organizations like National Public Radio. This free press helped book sales, because it gave Cussler appeal that many authors did not possess. His adventurous life rivaled that of his books' hero much like Ian Fleming had with James Bond. As proven by the success of The Sea Hunters, a non-fiction novel which told of his own sea adventures, readers wanted to read about Cussler as well as his hero, Dirk Pitt. Since the character was loosely based on Cussler to begin with, readers could have the benefit of reading a fast moving novel while retaining some element of intimacy with the author. Were this not enough, Inca Gold included a cameo by Cussler himself, who aided Pitt in figuring out just where the treasure must have been buried. Thus, the novel drew on Cussler's reputation as an explorer to sell more books. Cussler's classic car collection also helped add to the author's mystique. His massive collection contained eighty cars, among them a 1936 Pierce-Arrow and a Travelodge Trailer which appeared as Pitt's car in Inca Gold. Again, this harnessed the selling power of Cussler's persona with Inca Gold. Since Cussler's fans were already waiting for the "publication of a coffee table book about his car collection" (www.numa.net), publishers played up this element and adorned the back cover with a picture of Cussler next to the Pierce-Arrow and trailer. This had a similar effect as Ian Flemming's picture on the cover of You Only Live Twice, where he posed with a pistol much like Bond, since both tied the author's persona in with the central character and plot of the novel. Though Inca Gold profited from its author's name recognition and charismatic personality, it was Cussler's knowledge of the field of sea exploration and air force technology that kept the book successful. Writing about an occupation in which he also participated in, Cussler showed a mastery of terms and technology that made this often far-fetched adventure plot at least scientifically plausible. Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino's dive into the sinkhole to save two other explorers included such detailed descriptions as, "He was wearing a full EXO-26 face mask from Diving Systems International with an exothermic air regulator good for polluted water applications" (Inca Gold 43). Though virtually no readers would know whether this description was correct or not, their knowledge of Cussler's expertise in this area would allow them to believe the details and move smoothly into the plot while also making the book as realistic as possible. Other authors like Tom Clancy and Michael Crichton use the same technique. In Patriot Games, Clancy was praised for his "knowledge of military tactics and hardware" (Sherman 5), information an insider of sorts alone could possess. Though Clancy did not work as a military man as his main character Jack Ryan did, he met with CIA officials and other military insiders to become part of the world he wrote about (Sherman 5) and became knowledgeable enough to give lectures to the CIA on occasion (Sherman 3). A closer parallel to Cussler's Inca Gold would be Crichton's Andromeda Strain. Here Crichton used his previous training as a doctor to create a book which, "reads like a thoroughly scientific report on which all life depends" (Reet 5). Crichton's experience as a doctor gave him the ability to describe the horrid plague in scientific detail and thus make the book, despite its somewhat far-fetched plot, believable. Probably the closest parallel to Cussler's Inca Gold, though, is Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice. Ian Fleming's earlier work as a spy provided validity to his portrayal of the spy industry, despite the fact Bond, like Pitt, is hardly a true example of his profession. Inca Gold also uses the recurring character of Dirk Pitt to entice readers. Since Cussler's earlier books containing the character Dirk Pitt were popular, Cussler could count on many of these fans to read the next Pitt book. The technique of recurring characters was not unique to Inca Gold, either. Many of Tom Clancy's novels featured Jack Ryan and Ian Fleming's James Bond had long since been a recognizable character in his books. However, unlike most of the Tom Clancy novels, Inca Gold referred to the book's hero on the cover. The appearance of "A Dirk Pitt Novel" just above Cussler's name on the front cover of Inca Gold, showed the publisher's desire to sell the book based on its familiar main character. This cover closely resembled the covers of Ian Fleming books which had James Bond's name somewhere on the front. The reason for the prominent display of Dirk Pitt on the front of the book serves the same purpose as the display of Bond's name had years before. First, the character himself was very popular with readers. One reader explained Dirk's appeal, stating, "Dirk is a combination of James Bond, MacGyver, and Indiana Jones and deserves to be in the movies" (tekirisma@juno.com). Even one critic who did not like Inca Gold admitted, "You'd have to go far to find a more all-boy hero than Dirk Pitt" (Korelitz). The appeal of Dirk Pitt fiction goes beyond Pitt himself, though. Like the Bond series, Dirk has an entourage that accompanies him in his adventures. These characters give the reader a sense of familiarity while also allowing them additional characters to relate to. In Inca Gold, Al Giordino returns as Pitt's faithful sidekick and serves as the never-say-die co-adventurer who saves Pitt from death numerous times during the story. Admiral Sandecker and Rudi Gunn also appear in the book to help tie Inca Gold to the rest of the books in the Pitt series. Most importantly, though, Congresswoman Loren Smith returns as Pitt's girlfriend and serves her role as the captured woman in distress, just like the Bond girls dutifully had. Also, like the Bond girls, Loren Smith had gained a following among the Pitt and was included in descriptions of major Pitt players, showing just how essential she had become to reader following. Inca Gold became successful because it presented it had a well-known author who was eccentric but knowledgeable in his field. However, all Cussler books included these elements, leading one to wonder what made this work more successful than his other novels. Readers often commented on the descriptions of Incan artifacts, an element that was not present in any of Cussler's previous works, but this seems far too trivial a reason for the book's greater success. Some readers even believed this to be his best work (tekirisma@juno.com). More readers, though, thought the book almost identical to his other books and found the same flaws. So, it did not seem that the content of the book was the reason for its new level of success. Just before the release of Inca Gold, a controversy sprung up concerning the James Bond movies. On April 11, 1994, current Bond movie lead Timothy Dalton officially quit as James Bond, creating a national media frenzy over who the successor would be (http://jamesbond.simplenet.com/remingtonsteele/brosnan). Both Entertainment Tonight and Hard Copy ran polls in April and May on who the new Bond-man should be, and on June 7,1994, Pierce Brosnan was named the new James Bond (http://jamesbond.simplenet.com/remingtonsteele/brosnan). Since Dirk Pitt was not only in the same genre as James Bond but also had been frequently called Bond's successor, this sudden jump in interest concerning the Bond role could have helped out Inca Gold. Inca Gold was released in early May in the middle of this excitement, and had all but dropped off the best seller's charts by late July, seeming to tie at least some of its success to the James Bond controversy. Clive Cussler's Inca Gold enjoyed success because it had a famous author who produced an admirable hero and good set of supporting characters for the readers to follow. The tie between the James Bond movie controversy and Inca Gold book sales could quite easily be a coincidence, which leaves the success of Inca Gold over other Cussler books a mystery. Still, few can doubt the appeal of Dirk Pitt and his action packed adventures for the American public, showing why Inca Gold had all the elements to be a best seller. Korelitz, Jean Hanff "Inca Gold." Washington Post. June 12, 1994, X08 From class home page: Reet, Brian Van. Crichton, Michael: The Andromeda Strain Maloney, Joseph. Fleming, Ian: You Only Live Twice Sherman, John. Clancy, Tom: Patriot Games other websites www.simonsays.com www.bradland.com/cussler/clive/index.bml www.numa.net www.ianflemming.org/mkkbb/guide/piercebrosnan/ www.mcs.net/~klast/www/pb_road.html
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