Author Topic: Clive Cussler's Plague Ship  (Read 4117 times)

Offline ChefXenu

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Clive Cussler's Plague Ship
« on: July 03, 2009, 22:57 »
So after months and months of reading nothing but books on NRMs, suicidal and homicidal cults, terrorist groups, apocryphal literature, politics and civil religion, and a little Gandhi and William Penn, I decided to take a break and do some recreational reading.  My mom gave me a copy of Plague Ship saying basically that it pertains to my interests.

The book is about a merry band of honorable mercenaries who operate from the Oregon, a ship any of James Bond's enemies would covet.  In appearance a dilapidated and barely seaworthy freighter, the Oregon is actually loaded to the gills with advanced technology and carefully concealed weaponry.  The main characters are mostly former cold-warriors and ex-military, with a few nerd-mercenaries who make the magic happen.

After accidentally finding a cruise ship full of corpses they uncover a plot by an evil mind-control cult to unleash a virus on the world.  The cult, known as the Responsivists, has strange sci-fi overtones including the belief that aliens are influencing humanity's thoughts.  The Responsivists are lead by an actor named Thom.  There are a wide variety of shenanigans, car chases, boat chases, battles and brawls and gore aplenty. 

Some of the quotes from the founder of the cult in the book sound eerily like David Miscavige's rants at his IAS and other "Psych busting" events.

I'm not a Clive Cussler fan really, I think I might have read a book or two by him in the Navy, but I guess I didn't find them memorable.  This one, however, is a keeper and will have residence on my shelves as long as I am graced with maintaining my library.  I've spent the last two days just sitting on my porch reading this and enjoying the unseasonably nice weather.  Summer is my least favorite season and always gets me down, so this has been like getting my battery recharged, and if the weather holds I may read a second novel, hopefully one which doesn't constantly remind me of Scientology.
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Clive Cussler's Plague Ship
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2009, 01:59 »
Oh, you should have suspected that it would remind you of scientology, when she said it pertains to your interests.   :D 

If you have the nice weather to read a second novel, I recommend Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, if you haven't already read it.  (It didn't remind me of scn when I read it.)  It involves 2 families, the Shaftoes and the Waterhouses, in two periods of time, and an assortment of other colorful characters.  It shifts back and forth between the time around World War 2 and present day, and once you get used to the shifting times, parallels between the ancestors and descendants become apparent. 

Wikipedia gives a better synopsis than I can right now (it's late) so I'll quote some of it here:
It concurrently follows the exploits of World War II-era cryptographers affiliated with Bletchley Park in their attempts to crack Axis codes and fight the Nazi submarine fleet, alongside the story of their descendants, who are attempting to use modern cryptography to build a data haven in the fictitious state of Kinakuta, a small nation with geographical and political parallels to Brunei.

There's more about it here: which doesn't give any spoilers.  To me, it was one of those "books you can't put down."  If you like that one, you can go on to read The Baroque Cycle, a trilogy that follows the ancestors of many of the characters from Cryptonomicon, and is most definitely historical fiction, with the accent on fiction, and is quite enjoyable.  I had to read some biographies after I read it, though, to find out more about the real people behind the characters in the novels - to sort the fiction from reality.
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Offline Stutroup

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Re: Clive Cussler's Plague Ship
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 10:15 »
A book that I'll re-read every couple years or so (if I'm in the mood for it) is Snowcrash.  It's a cyberpunk book about ... basically, a hacker versus a cult.

When i learned about Scientology, it seems plausible that the book is at least somewhat inspired by the Sea Org.  The cult in the book is based on an oil tanker, which floats around the world to co0nvert people.  And it's all about mind control.

I still think it's a fun read, although now it seems way to based on an exaggerated (in some extents) Scientology xD