"THE SEA HUNTERS: TRUE ADVENTURES WITH FAMOUS SHIPWRECKS"
By Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo (3 hours, abridged, Simon &
Schuster Audio, $18)
The authors are the kind of men who seem driven to piece
together old mysteries of the sunken variety. Unlike their
landlubber contemporaries, they engage in searches that almost
always involve some personal jeopardy and considerable expense.
Different from the treasure hunters of my acquaintance, they
seem to reap no tangible rewards for their efforts other than
writing about their finds and the momentary notoriety that
accompanies the risk-taking involved in such pursuits.
So it is the armchair adventurers among us who really benefit
from what they do. Not only do we learn more about the sea and the
kind of individuals who are willing to dive into the unknown, we
also get to reduce or eliminate the speculation regarding these
mysteries as new data is uncovered. And the way these marine
explorers have offered their facts is very entertaining indeed.
In the four parts given here, George Grizzard is the voice of
Clive Cussler, and James Naughton narrates the dramatic material
involved in each of the searches. The projects include the
steamboat Lexington, which caught fire and sank in 1840; the
Confederate submarine Hunley, which was swamped after it sank the
Union frigate Housatonia blockading Charleston in 1864; the troop
transport Leopoldville, which was torpedoed by a U-boat off France
on Christmas Eve, 1944; and the so-called lost locomotive of Kiowa
Creek, which disappeared in 1848.
The dramatizations in each of these stories is what make the
dangers involved in finding the wrecks seem worthwhile. That, of
course, is an emotional evaluation. Intellectually, one has to
assume that most of the dramatic stuff was gleaned from all the
research that took place before any of the on-site hunts ever began.
So when you get to the core, it's the adventure that drives the
men who do it, and for the rest of us to listen to what they've
Simon & Schuster Audios may be found in bookstores.
A novel by Danielle Steel (6 hours, abridged, BDD Audio, $24.95)
Often the thing that makes the difference in our lives is
timing, bad as well as good. For Hiroko Takashimaya, choosing to go
to California in August 1941 was auspicious in one way and terrible
Actually, she didn't make the choice. It was her father -
thoroughly modern Masao - who wanted her to study in the United
States. Masao, a university professor in Kyoto, Japan, with a
passion for new ideas, was determined to free his daughter from the
mind-numbing bonds of her Japanese heritage, and he decided that
America was the place to do it. …