Identify this book.
March 1, 2006 12:49 AM   Subscribe

Identify this book: My friend recommended a book to me. Except he doesn't know the title, or the author. It's about spelunking. It's fiction. He thinks it takes place in Italy. He says the main character has/had relationship trouble, and ended up with a Volvo (he thinks) that reminds him of her, so he is always kicking it. But mostly it's about exploring caves, and scuba diving through underground rivers. He recalls one particular part where the character(s) were dropping ink or power packets into the water to determine the water speed/exit points. If this sounds familiar, please let me know. Thanks.
posted by gummo to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
Best answer: Shibumi, by "Trevanian" (psuedonym of Dr. Rodney William Whitaker).
posted by orthogonality at 1:08 AM on March 1, 2006

Yeah, I think it's Shibumi too. The exploring caves part is only a small portion of it though - it's a global spy/assassin romp. God I loved that book when I was 15. Wonder if I still have it.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:08 AM on March 1, 2006

I read that way back when, but I don't even remember any caving in it. Mostly, what I remember is his killing his 'dad' in the Army prison with a pencil, and the sex.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:12 AM on March 1, 2006

That's funny, mostly what I remember is the Basque friend, and the sex scenes--particularly, being intrigued by the author's mention that a technique for stealing paintings, described in a previous book, had to his chagrin actually been used after the book was published. So the things done in the sex scenes weren't described accurately and please don't try them at home.

I read it 15 years ago too; I wonder how it would hold up on a re-read.
posted by Tuwa at 7:32 AM on March 1, 2006

It's got 144, four star+ reviews on Amazon, so he's targeted a particular type of reader like a scud missile. The reviews are hilarious.
posted by mecran01 at 7:44 AM on March 1, 2006

Response by poster: I'll have to check it out. And I'll run that name by him and see what he thinks. Thanks.
posted by gummo at 8:16 AM on March 1, 2006

Heh. I too knew exactly what book you were talking about, even though I read it thirty years ago, and I swear didn't like it much. But still, the sex, the car bashing, the Basques, and the caving stick to my memory.

He was more famous for writing The Eiger Sanction and its follow-up The Loo Sanction which were fun reads back in the day when I (and the rest of the country) was obssessed with spy novels.

The Eiger Sanction was made into a movie with Clint Eastwood, of course.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:20 AM on March 1, 2006

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