M. Heitkemper

M. Heitkemper

Saturday, May 7, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Spartan Gold, By: Clive Cussler With Grant Blackwood

So I've found myself very busy these last few weeks; been over a month since I posted here.  So I thought I'd break the silence with a book review.  And here we go...

There are NO SPOILERS in this review.

Spartan Gold; An adventure novel from start to finish. 

In way of classic “good-guy against bad-guy” this was a truly fun book to read.  It brings to mind stories like the adventure movies National Treasure, or even Indiana Jones.  There’s plenty of adventure and almost limitless suspense all the way to the end.  The story follows a treasure hunter couple, Sam and Remi Fargo,  (who have had their fair share of adventure in the past) as they set off in search of what they believe is Napoleon’s lost wine cellar.  They are unsure of what treasure truly awaits them.  Meanwhile, a ruthless Russian millionaire/mobster is on their heels every step of the way, trying to reach the treasure first.  The Fargo’s find themselves in much tougher situations than they have ever encountered before and are pushed to their limits to find a priceless treasure.

Expertly written, I really enjoyed reading this book.  Cussler does a superb job of intertwining history and fiction.  The theme was very entertaining, and for the most part believable.  At times, I’ll admit I was lost in some of the reasoning that the Fargos placed with the clues.  I frequently asked myself, “Man, is this couple really that educated on their history?  They seem to know everything, and no resource appears to be out of their reach!  Not to mention, they can outsmart a blood thirsty Russian mobster who has managed to make himself a man feared by just about everyone over the past two decades.  The Fargos are basically Batman and Robin, without the masks and capes.”  But before you take this as a knock to the characters, let me ask you this:  What more could you really want in a hero?  The Fargos are a fun pair to root for in their quest.  And call it luck, or destiny, or straight forward skill; whatever it was, if the Fargos didn’t have it, I’m sure I’d be reading a book where the bad guys win.    

Here’s the downside of my review.  And I know I’ve already said the book was expertly written, but I have to point out one thing that frequently annoys me in many books; at times there is far too much detail.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cussler (the author) was perhaps a master chef at one point in his life.  Reason being, he spent nearly a half page describing the Fargo’s meal, not once, but twice in the book.  And I’m talking all the way down to the spices used in the marinade.  And must we not forget the way the fish was cooked.  Did I really need this information?  I get it; the Fargos know how to pick a good restaurant.  Also, I was furthermore forced to wonder; Maybe Cussler did some architecture work in the past after his stint in culinary school?  After all, he has a profound habit of describing buildings right down to their core.  I, having worked in construction for many years, followed this easily.  But I can’t help but wonder if the lesser educated in that field would have even cared? 

So there you have it, my good thoughts and my bad on Spartan Gold.  Overall, I’d give it an 8 out of 10 on a scale of my own that doesn’t actually exist.  I’ll probably be handing my copy off to one of my friends to enjoy, and I do recommend that others pick it up and enjoy it as well. 

Thanks for reading.
Review By:  Michael Heitkemper


  1. Sounds good to me! I love books like this and Cussler is an excellent author!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Brian!