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9780375403460

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea

Kinder, Gary

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9780375403460: Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea

4 cassettes / 5 hours
Read by Bruce Davison

"The Central America was as sensational a shipwreck in its century as the Titanic was in ours."
-- The Washington Post

Bestselling author Gary Kinder tells, for the first time, an extraordinary tale of history, maritime drama, heroic rescue, scientific ingenuity, and individual courage.   Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea is the riveting true account of death, danger, and discovery on the high seas in the dramatic search for America's greatest lost treasure.

In September 1857, the side-wheel streamer S.S. Central America, carrying five hundred passengers and tons of gold from the mountains of California, sank in a hurricane off the Carolina coast.  Lost in legend for more than a century, the tragic story resurfaced in 1989, when Tommy Thompson, a brilliant ocean engineer, sailed into Norfolk harbor with more than ten tons of pioneer old.  Using a combination of oceanography, computer science, and information theory to sift through historical records and penetrate the deep sea, Thompson's team had recovered the mint-state coins, antique bars, and sparkling gold dust from 8,000 feet below the surface of the sea - proving wrong everyone who said it couldn't be done and establishing mankind's first read working presence on the deep ocean floor.  It was, as Life magazine proclaimed "The greatest treasure ever found," and its dollar value has currently been estimated in the hundreds of millions.

This AudioBook is a copiously historical record of the disaster, rendered in chilling detail with diaries from the survivors and eyewitness accounts, as well as newspaper reports from the worst peacetime at-sea disaster in American history.  It is a chronicle of the technological breakthrough in which deep-sea robots were developed to perform complex work.  Ant it is an incredibly exciting adventure story of how a team of scientists and engineers, the Columbus-America Discovery Group, battled massive storms, technological challenges, and intrusive salvages on the open seas to find the lost treasure.  

It is a fascinating story both of the power of the human will to succeed and of technological triumph.

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Review:

The full horror as the mighty Central American, a ship carrying almost 600 people and a wealth of gold, sank in a "perfect hurricane" in 1857 is brilliantly re-created in the audio version of Ship of Gold. Gary Kinder's book cries out for audio interpretation due to its abundance of dramatic descriptions from that hellish night. "The hoarse screams of 500 men rose as she began a slow watery spin--the water turning faster and faster and faster until the swirling vortex sucked the men into a suffocating darkness with the once majestic steamer." Bruce Davison delivers Kinder's rich, descriptive narrative with appropriate drama and flair. It is truly a delight to hear this incredible story read out loud. The chilling testimonies of passengers and crew are also convincingly re-enacted by Davison, who assumes the voices of frightened young women, exhausted crew men, and the steadfast voice of the brave Captain Herndon as he fights to keep his ship afloat. Davison is rather soft spoken, which makes for a pleasant listening experience, especially because the tapes run for five hours.

It really is impossible not to become fully engrossed in this fascinating story of a ship's demise, and the subsequent operation to recover her treasure some 130 years later. (Running time: five hours, four cassettes) --Naomi Gesinger

From the Publisher:

"The truly fascinating tale of the first successful deep-water ocean salvage operation is a tribute to good, old-fashioned American ingenuity and grit - with a big does of Titanic-like adventure to book.

Kinder's well-told tale of the Central America recovery . . . is one of the great scientific adventure stories of our time."
--Kirkus

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