Press & Reviews

Best of Times, Worst of Times (Sunday Times Magazine)

72 Hours

“As nerve-tingling as any Hollywood disaster movie…. Frank Pope’s marvellous book navigates the technical details and twists and turns of this rousing story with great clarity and all the nailbiting tension of an Alistair MacLean thriller.” John Harding, Daily Mail (full review)

“Gripping stuff, and highly recommended reading.” Andrew Speissbeck, Warships International Fleet Review

“All the twists and turns of a gripping thriller and yet the tale is true.” Military Machines International

Praise for Dragon Sea:

Clive Cussler  “It takes a writer of extraordinary talent to tell a story like the one we find in DRAGON SEA, but Frank Pope is one. This masterful recreation of the salvaging of the Hoi An hoard is as exciting as it is suspenseful-a thoughtful and gripping true thriller.”

Nicholas Evans “Treasure and typhoons, conflict and greed, plus a cast of intriguing characters and a weighty issue at its heart – Frank Pope’s tale has all the ingredients of a classic thriller. But it’s all true. A stunning debut.”

New York Times Review of Books – “An engaging account that delves into the ethical conundrums of marine salvage, the deadly physics of the deep ocean and the roiling waters of professional subterfuge.” see full review

Daily Express - “High octane adventure… gripping.” see full review

Giles Foden in Conde Naste Traveller - “An amazing tale involving rival treasure hunters, greedy investors and brave divers – and, of course, the ever-capricious ocean, always ready to upset the best-laid plans.”

NPR  - “If you’ve ever dreamed of diving into pirate-infested seas in search of sunken treasure of eye-popping historic and monetary value, then stoke the fire, brew a cuppa and settle in with Dragon Sea…” see full review

Library Journal - “Filled with the fascinating stories of the large international crew of archaeologists, scholars, divers, businessmen, and treasure hunters, Pope’s tale defines the environments, personalities, and dangers that now accompany underwater archaeology, where the stakes are tremendously high… the book has enough excitement and danger for even Indiana Jones…” see full review

Kirkus - “(The) emotional energy comes from the clash between disinterested academic research and profit-driven commerce; midway through the trip, Bound and Ong Soo Hin found themselves at odds. Readers will find themselves whipping through the last 100 pages, eager to know how-or if-those tensions were resolved. Has “make me a movie” written all over it.” see full review

Publishers Weekly - Pope’s strength in detailing the Hoi An story comes from his fascinating in-depth portraits of the main players in what became an unprecedented and expensive recovery effort: Ong Soo Hin, a Malaysian businessman who helped launch the project; Mensun Bound, the director of Oxford’s Maritime Archaeological unit; and Dilip Tan, the operations manager under “nightmarish pressure” to finish the project. Pope expertly shows how the same ocean that can terrify and enrich can also “lay bare the very nature of man.”

 

Profile of me in ICON magazine, published December 2008: ICONmag-Dec2008


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