DOASKDOTELL BOOK REVIEW of Walt Becker’s Link and Clive Cussler’s Atlantis Found

 

Author (or Editor): Walt Becker

Title: Link

Fiction? F

Publisher:  William Morrow, Avon

Date: 1998; 2000

ISBN:  ISBN

Series Name:

Physical description:  paper 416 pgs

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Review:

Book Review of Walt Becker’s Link

Link, by Walt Becker, published William Morrow, New York, in 1998, ISBN 0-0380-73161-4, LOC 98-24615; reprinted by Avon in 2000, 416 pages.

 

Also Clive Cussler’s Atlantis Found.

 

            You don’t find a lot of novels with bibliographies, but this one’s is extensive. Becker, better known as a film and television director and screenwriter, has spun an elaborate “pseudo-science-fiction” tale in the manner of Michael Chricton (especially as in Sphere).  The locations are exotic: Mali in African, Lake Titicaca, Tiahuanaco and the Alitplano of Bolivia and Peru in South America. The characters are numerous and not particularly well drown; the action is non-stop (with many end-chapter “page turners”) in a manner reminiscent of Indiana Jones.  The suggestion at the end that a doomsday nuclear warhead could be powerful enough to shift the Earth’s poles (The Hab Theory) is chilling.

            But what is most interesting is Becker’s science.  He definitely has a message, that he wants us to take seriously the idea that something more than evolution and chance accounts for the Dawn of Man (in 2001-speak).   So it could have been a divine insemination.  Really, he summarizes his views with a brief but effective postscript, in which he mentions a few examples like the Peri Reis maps and the Great Year based on the Earth’s precession. Throughout the book, he presents the accounts of the Great White Ones, tall, blond, hairy men who supposedly visited many parts of the world during pre-history, as well as the Dogon, who carried a legend apparently about Sirius (as previously recounted in Robert K. G. B. Temple’s The Sirius Mystery (1976)).  

            Indeed the anecdotes, the curious parallels among different civilizations and their astounding astronomical knowledge, bear serious examination. There have been many studies of these, as well as counter-studies showing how the Egyptians must have built the Pyramids by hand, or how the Chaco culture assembled and then tore down itself systematically over five decades, never mind the Maya, and all the curious legends about Atlantis and the Basques.  Indeed, it may be no less astounding that a culture could dedicate its populace to building the Pyramids, the Nacza Lines, or to the Chaco structures.

            Becker also proposes an interesting idea: that over time, things deteriorate unless some overriding consciousness intervenes, possibly an anti-evolution (as well as religious) idea. Indeed, there are recent reports that man may have arisen simultaneously at different points around the world. 

            All of this deserves very systematic cataloguing in a knowledge basis, and then Hollywood should really take it on.

 

Atlantis Found, by Clive Cussler. New York, Berlkey, 1999 (originally G. P. Putnam in hardcover), ISBN 0-425-18014-X.

 

Okay, here’s a novel with a least two cataclysm-purification scenarios and an extensive exploration of the legend of Atlantis.  (For discussion of Disney’s Atlantis movie, see(this).)  Cussler proposes that Atlantis actually was underneath present day Antarctica, and was perhaps the world capital of a sophisticated, if authoritarian culture called the Amenes. (Disney claims that it is near Cuba). I’m not sure whether a huge comet really could have slammed into the world 9000 years ago and created the pole shift that created the Biblical flood and presented today’s alignment of poles relative to continents. The other proposal, how it might soon happen again, I must let the reader find out—but the idea was proposed in a 1970s book called The Hab Theory.

 

His other idea, that a neo-Nazi group could try to recreate the Flood (I’ll give that away) to set itself up for world domination, is an idea that goes beyond fluffy, genre entertainment and  proposal that I personally might take quite seriously and not think to be “funny.”  Psychologically, it reinstitutes the idea that only “superior people” should flourish and be cared about, and this not what Ayn Rand intended to propose with Atlas Shrugged (1957).

 

So, here we have a genre thriller with big ideas and a kind of tongue-in-cheek don’t-take-me-too-seriously action paradigm, with a James Bond character, in this case, Dirk Pitt.  Now Pitt is supposed to have excelled at everything manly and military (Eagle scouts, Air Force Academy, NUMA (the fictitious National Underwater and Marine Agency)—and according to the narrative seems to display almost no sexuality.  Maybe that’s Okay under don’t ask, don’t tell.  Actually, I know a few younger men in the military who are a bit like this character.  (So I don’t know if Pierce Brosnan would be happy with the role in the inevitable movie.)  But Cussler seems to indeed duck the deeper questions (“what does it mean to be a man??”), as if he were not qualified to answer them.  He is, after all, a corporate entertainer.

 

For a discussion of Sahara, go to this movie review.

 

 

           

 

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