Thousands of years ago, the Persian king Xerxes the Great was said to have raided the Treasury at Delphi, carrying away two solid gold pillars as tribute. In 1800 Napoleon Bonaparte and his army stumble across the pillars in the Pennine Alps. Unable to transport them, Napoleon creates a map on the labels of 12 bottles of rare wine. And when Napoleon dies, the bottles disappear....
Treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo are exploring the Great Pocomoke Swamp in Delaware when they are shocked to discover a World War II German U-boat. Inside, they find a bottle taken from Napoleon's "lost cellar". Fascinated, the Fargos set out to find the rest of the collection.
But another connoisseur of sorts has been looking for the bottle they've just found. He is Hadeon Bondaruk - a half- Russian, half-Persian millionaire. He claims to be a descendant of King Xerxes himself. And he wants his treasure back.
©2009 Clive Cussler; (P)2009 Penguin
BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) A non stop action packed packed treasure hunt that left few if any loose ends and kept me wanting to listen for what was coming around the bend.
Plot: I almost gave the book four stars because I like to reserve 5 for books I couldn't put down, but at the end of the day this was one of them. A husband and wife team wind up following clues, with historic references to Napoleon, the Spartans and Xerxes all the while trying to dodge, outsmart and stay one step ahead a vicious Ukrainian mob boss that is on the same trail. If you like the movie National Treasure or the Dan Brown books (Angels & Demons or Da Vinci Code) I would put this in that same category.
Narrator: I think Scott Brick does a very good job, as he does with the other Cussler books he reads. He is a solid narrator that I find few flaws with a very rarely take issue with any of his voices. I don't believe he has the range or difference in tones that some other narrators do, but all in all I enjoy his work.
I have listened to every Clive Cussler book ever published. Spartan Gold is absolutely phenomenal! I realize that Grant Blackwood likely provided the historical research and National Treasure-like treasure hunt premise, but the book also followed the classic Cussler format. Start with a historical event, then fast forward to current day, eventually tieing all the pieces together masterfully. One chuckle, was the part of the sleuthing that had Remy determine a trigonometric solution by seeing a lady on crutches. This was just too much of a stretch; however, the premise of the plot, and the ingenous use of image-based riddles, all linked to Napolean's life, was quite engaging. A one-day "couldn't put it down" adventure...
I own every Cussler book written until he started sharing the story-line with someone else. The book is Cussler-esque but not on par with Atlantis Found, Treasure, and others. It's OK fluff, some exciting and imaginative moments, elementary plot, and read well. If you like his newer books then you won't be disappointed. If you are an old fan (NUMA and Dirk Pitt era) you will be let down.
Sentient Being, Planet Earth
This is a great listen. Suspence with musical magic. Perfect for a break at the office or on the road.
I had a hard time finishing this one. I found the characters completely uninteresting. A wealthy couple running around the world playing amateur archeologist with their macbook and iphone (lots of apple product placement references in the book). Yeah right. Some of the historical references were interesting although I admit that I didn't double check them to see if they were real. The plot is not terribly complicated--a linear treasure hunt story. Personally I did not feel very entertained at the conclusion. I was happy that it was finally over. Don't think I'll be reading any more of this series at least.
Clive Cussler (et al ) and Scott Brick have teamed up to bring to life the wild and wacky adventures of the Fargo's. OK OK there is alot of stretching going on here, but if you are into world trotting adventures and twisting plots, this is for you. Brick does a fine job here. Always fun to bring Napoleon into the picture. Recommended.
I wanted to like this book. It started out pretty good with the Napoleon/Nazi connection, but just became a monotonous string of action with no character development and no point.
The heroes could have killed the bad guys a hundred times and didn't. The bad guys could have killed the heroes a hundred times and didn't. These treasure hunters travel all over the world and every scene is the same. They show up, the bad guys chase them, they get away and then end up in some other remote section of the planet and it starts all over again. I tried to get through the book by listening to it at triple speed on my i-Pod, but it was just too tedious. I'm about an hour from the end and I just can't take it any more. As far as the characters are concerned, I hope they all die.
Apparently they don't because there is a sequel.
Scott Brick did a good job narrating but he couldn't save it.
I like Clive Cussler, but this was not what I expected. Too many, and I mean way too many, escapes from impossible situations. A few holes in the plot. The story was linear - each chapter followed the main characters from one place to another to another to another to another.
Nobody gets that lucky that often and professionals that often unprofessional. There were too many cases were our heros should have just gotten shot by the "professionals" and what ever they had in treasures been taken. Also I loved the history lesson the author did not spend enough time developing plausible scenarios how our heros get out of sticky situations.
I too am a fan of Cussler going back to "Raise the Titanic." Some of his more recent, collaborative works have left much to be desired but this one I enjoyed. I like the new "heroes," Sam and Remi Fargo and the story was imaginative. I am particularly fond of Cussler's work when he delves back into ancient history for an event that might or might not have occured and has his modern day protagonist discover/find/interact with the artifacts and story left from history. Anyway, I liked it. It is not a mind bender but it was entertaining and worth my time.
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