Sunday, June 28, 2009


Tsunami by Gordon Gumpertz
Durban House Press, 2008
trade paperback, 304 pages
ISBN-13: 9781930754805
not recommended

Synopsis from cover:
Deep in the mid-Pacific an ancient undersea volcano comes to life. Leading scientists predict the volcano will subside and go dormant, but seismologist Dr. Leilani Sanches is alarmed. Her advanced computer model shows the volcano will build to a monster explosion and trigger a tsunami massive enough to wipe out the Southern California coast.....
Coast Guard Commander Dave Steel believes she is right and becomes her ally in a race against time. Leilani and Dave meet the violence of nature and the violence of their enemies head on....
My Thoughts:

One would think that a novel about a underwater volcano potentially erupting and causing a huge tsunami to hit the Southern California coast would be enough subject matter for any novelist to tackle. Gumpertz, however, decided that was not the case.The science at the beginning deceived me into thinking the whole novel would be just as good. Hint: it's not. This is because he chose to introduce other competing plot threads and some romance problems that basically took over most of the novel, ruining a book that started out strong. (Apparently, Durban House, the publisher of this title, may be a vanity press.) Really, the big moment a reader of any book called Tsunami is anticipating was basically treated almost like an after thought compared to the attention given to the other, frankly insipid plot threads.
I was going to give Tsunami a so-so rating, but honestly it's not recommended.


The container ship Moro Prince, bound from Manila to Los Angeles, had enjoyed three days of smooth sailing. opening

"Let's take a look." Lani clicked the mouse and replaced the satellite view with a full-color, real-time simulation of Seamount Gilman, the undersea volcano. The equipment hummed while she and Gus studied the computer-generated model of the volcano, the ocean around it, and the ground beneath. Everything seemed to be playing out as her hypothesis predicted. The worse could happen. pg. 4

"I know you were a star at Princeton when you came to SciPac for your PhD. But you're inexperienced and you're not a trained oceanographer or volcanologist. You simply don't have the background that gives me a high degree of confidence in this theory of yours." pg. 6

Lani said, "when we go down tomorrow, I'll be looking for fissures and major cracking along the side of the mountain. Bulging or other signs of weakness. See if there's lava flow as well as ash, and whether it's coming out of the top or a hole in the side." pg. 19

"They can be bought like anybody else. With the kind of money we're offering, no problem. The governor and the mayors of all the beach cities are going to release statements saying everything's okay. When we get through with her, Leilani Sanches is gonna wish she was back on the beach doing the hula hula." pg. 42

"We've got to stop the flow," said the other FBI man, Assistant Director Albert Lewis. "Otherwise there'll be a lot more dead cops." He pulled a small black gun out of his pocket and placed it on Admiral Carson's desk. "Here's one of the little b*stards. Deadliest street weapon we've ever come across." pg. 46

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