Clive Cussler is an author from Aurora, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He has been writing books for more than forty years and is a popular name in the world of thrillers. He particularly uses his experience in the field of underwater exploration as an influence for many of his books.
Order of Dirk Pitt Series
|1||The Mediterranean Caper||1973|
|4||Raise the Titanic!||1976|
|20||Treasure of Khan||2006|
Order of NUMA Files Series
|13||The Pharaoh's Secret||2015|
Order of Isaac Bell Adventures Series
Order of Sam and Remi Fargo Adventures Series
|5||The Mayan Secrets||2013|
|6||The Eye of Heaven||2014|
|7||The Solomon Curse||2015|
Order of The Oregon Files Series
|6||The Silent Sea||2010|
|10||The Emperor's Revenge||2017|
Order of Lacey & Casey Series (Childrens Books)
Order of Clive Cussler Non-Fiction Books
|1||The Sea Hunters||1994|
|2||The Sea Hunters: True Adventures with Famous Shipwrecks||1996|
|3||Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt Revealed||1998|
|4||The Sea Hunters II||2002|
|5||Built for Adventure: The Classic Automobiles of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt||2011|
|6||Built to Thrill||2016|
He is an American author who is best known for writing adventure novels, many of them based around nautical exploration, or at least involving similar themes. This is mainly due to Cussler’s love of underwater exploration and the fact he was the actual founder of the real-life National Underwater and Maine Agency (NUMA), which he based a series of novels around.
Clive Cussler is particularly famous for his series of books featuring Dirk Pitt, an operative with the National Underwater and Marine Agency or NUMA, an organization that Cussler himself formed. The organization has discovered a variety of shipwreck sites. His work has particularly inspired a few films.
Clive Cussler was born in the city of Aurora in the US state of Illinois in July 1931. However, although he was born in Auroroa, his family moved west, and Cussler actually spent his formative years in the Californian city of Alhambra, which is in the Los Angeles County region of the state. After leaving high school, Cussler stayed in his home state of California to attend Pasadena City College. However, he sent two years in further education before enlisting for service in the United States Air Force, where he served in the Korean War in the engineering side of things.
After being discharged from the United States Air Force, Cussler, via a stint in the advertising industry, turned to writing, almost by chance. While his wife worked nights, he would often find himself alone of an evening with nothing to occupy his time after his children were asleep, so he turned to writing to fill his time. Needless to say, looking at his success over 50 years down the line, it was not a bad decision. However, while Cussler started what was, at the time, a hobby in 1965, it wasn’t until 1973 that his first book was published. That book, The Mediterranean Caper, was the first book to be published in the Dirt Pitt series (although not the first chronologically – that honour falls to Pacific Vortex, which was published in 1983).
After the success of The Mediterranean Caper, and Iceberg, the second book in the Dirk Pitt series, Cussler kept up writing solely the Dirk Pitt series of books until the late 90s, when he created The NUMA Files series of books (although he did write a couple of non-fiction books earlier in the ’90s). The NUMA Files were based around the fictional character of Kurt Austin, although NUMA itself is a very real thing, having been created by Cussler as an underwater investigation unit. There is often a crossover between Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series and The NUMA Files series of books, mostly with character making appearances in both series, with Dirk Pitt himself making appearances in several of The NUMA Files series. Serpent, the first book in The NUMA Files series, was published in 1999, and Cussler actually co-authored it with Paul Kemprecos. As well as Kemprecos, Cussler has also co-authored several books in the series with Graham Brown.
In 2003, Clive Cussler then created another spin-off from the Dirk Pitt series of books called The Oregon Files. Again, this would have a nautical slant, as it focuses on the crew of the Oregon, a high-tech ship which takes on undercover missions for various agencies in order to stop high-profile criminals, as well as attempt to defeat terrorists. The first book in The Oregon Files series of books is Golden Buddha, which Cussler co-authored with Craig Dirgo. Cussler has also worked with Jack Du Brul and Body Morrison on The Oregon Files series.
In 2006, Cussler authored his first children’s novels, The Adventures of Vin Fiz, and he followed that up in 2010 with The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy.
While continuing the Dirk Bell series, The NUMA Files and The Oregon Files, Clive Cussler created yet another series of books, this time set in the early part of the 20th century, featuring a character called Isaac Bell. Unlike the majority of other books written by Clive Cussler, the Isaac Bell series of books do not have a nautical theme, although they do retain Cussler’s love for gadgetry and over-the-top plots. The first book in the Isaac Bell series was published in 2007 and was called The Chase. Cussler authored this on his own, but has collaborated with Justin Scott on most of the series.
And just when you think Cussler couldn’t create any more adventurers, in 2009, the first book in the Fargo Adventures was published, which was called Spartan Gold. It features Sam and Remi Fargo, who are treasures husband-and-wife treasure hunters. Cussler has co-authored books in the Fargo Adventures series with Grant Blackwood, Thomas Perry and Russell Blake.
Clive Cussler Awards
In 2017, Clive Cussler was awarded a lifetime achievement award from Strand Mystery Magazine. With a forty-two year career, over sixty novels and a millions of fans worldwide, this award is very deserved. He was awarded at a cocktail party in front of a group of his peers, The Strand Mystery Magazine is a magazine that posts previously unpublished works from great authors of the past as well as new works of fiction from up and coming authors. In addition to writing tips, articles and interviews with masters of the craft.
Chronological Order of Clive Cussler Books
In the Dirk Pitt series, the first novel would be The Pacific Vortex followed by the Mediterranean Caper. Following on from that, the rest of the Dirk Pitt book series can be read in the same order as the publication order.
All of the other Clive Cussler book series, such as the Isaac Bell Adventures and the Oregon Files have the same chronological order as their publication dates.
Clive Cussler Books Made Into Movies
Two of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt novels have been made into movies. The 1976 novel Raise the Titanic! was made into a film in 1980. Richard Jordan stars as Dirk Pitt while Jason Robards starred as another character whom has appeared in many of Cussler’s novels, Admiral James Sandecker. The movie was critical panned and was a box office failure.
It would not be until 2005 when another Cussler novel was adapted into a movie. His 1992 novel Sahara was adapted into a movie with Matthew McConaughey starred at Dirk. William H. Macy appeared as Sandecker. Steve Zahn played Al Giordino, Pitt’s long-time sidekick. Penelope Cruz and Rainn Wilson were also in the movie. The movie was tepidly received by critics and failed to make back its budget and promotional costs. There were also concerns over how the filmmakers bribed the Moroccan government to use some sites for shooting the movie.
Best Clive Cussler Books
There are a number of prominent books that Clive Cussler has written over the years:
Raise the Titanic: This 1976 book entails the discovery that the Titanic, the famed ocean liner that sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in 1912, has a rare mineral in its wreckage. This is believed to be the only source of such a mineral to power up a top secret defense program. This leads to Dirk Pitt and the United States defense department deciding to find a way to raise the massive shipwreck to the top of the ocean to salvage the mineral.
Dragon: This 1990 Dirk Pitt novel entails terrorists looking to take back nuclear bombs as a means of destroying the United States. This comes as a desire from the terrorists to bring Japan back to its former glory from before the time the United States bombed the country in World War II. The story has a prologue about a B-29 bomber that was to carry a third nuclear bomb to Japan being shot down off of the Japanese coastline. This novel marks the first time Cussler himself makes an appearance in one of his own stories.
Plague Ship: Written in 2008 with help from Jack Du Brul, Plague Ship is a book in the Oregon Files series of stories. This book features Juan Cabrillo as he looks to find out who could have destroyed a cruise ship and who spread an Ebola-like plague on board. This leads to the discovery of an extremist organization looking to try and make much of the world’s population sterile. The extremist group is believed to be a thinly-veiled version of the controversial Scientologist organization.
Clive Cussler FAQs
Q: When was the author Clive Cussler born?
A: The author Clive Cussler was born on July 15th 1931 in the American city of Aurora, Illinois.
Q: What was the first book Clive Cussler had published?
A: The first book Clive Cussler had published was The Mediterranean Caper, the first novel to feature Dirk Pitt, which was published in 1973.
Q: Is NUMA a real organization?
A: Yes, it is. The National Underwater and Marine Agency is an actual organization founded by Clive Cussler for the purposes of “preserving our maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.” Cussler went on to base some books about the organization which in turn help fund NUMA.
Q: How many shipwrecks has NUMA discovered?
A: NUMA is always active, but as of this writing that have discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites.
The most notable of the discoveries is The Carpathia which is most famous for being the first responding ship of the Titanic survivors.
Q: Is Clive Cussler in any of his books?
A: Yes, he is. What started as a joke for his editor that was never removed, Cussler is now a frequent character in his stories. Sometimes he is a minor character while other times he is something of a “deus ex machina” in that he gives the main character a key piece of information to move the story forward.