Why can’t I learn this lesson? Some books shouldn’t be re-read if you want to continue to remember them fondly. But maybe it’s better to have ripped the band-aid off so you don’t recommend them and regret it later?
When I was in middle school, I discovered the books of Clive Cussler. They read like a cross between Robert Ludlum and Indiana Jones. A dashing hero, his best friend, obscure bits of history woven into a densely plotted adventure, classic cars, and while they’re all stand alones, there are always callbacks to earlier installments. I LOVED them. Novels like Sahara and Treasure were read many times.
I recently picked up a couple of Cussler’s novels on my Kindle because they were on sale and I remembered really enjoying them. Raise the Titanic is old enough that it was published before they found the old girl. The second book I picked up was Atlantis Found. It was a much later installment that was published after I stopped reading the series.
I decided to read Atlantis first since it was new to me. I was HORRIFIED at the amount of racism, homophobia, misogyny, etc., that practically slapped me in the face. It was in every little aspect of the book – character descriptions, interactions (both dialogue and actions), everything. I wondered if they had all been like this and I just hadn’t noticed or if Cussler had just fallen down the Fox News brainwashing hole that has swallowed up so many. I mean, surely I would have realized what I was reading? Nope. If anything, Titanic was worse. A lot worse.
I did a little research and learned that Clive Cussler died several years ago now, but books are still being written under his brand name by different authors, including his son. Please do not spend money on these books. The interesting ideas behind the adventures are totally obscured by the bad stuff.