Ghosts of the Titanic

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9780380724727: Ghosts of the Titanic

A member of the team that discovered the Titanic on the ocean floor recreates the final day of the ship in vivid detail using new technology to peer deeper into the ship than anyone has ever looked. Reprint.

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Review:

In his introduction to this book, James Cameron, the director of the hit movie Titanic, remarks that the 1912 sinking of that great ship has yielded more books than all but two other historical events--the life of Christ and the death of John F. Kennedy. Considering that vast ocean of print, it may come as a surprise that there's much left to say about the unfortunate vessel and the iceberg that sent it to the bottom of the Atlantic.

But Charles Pellegrino finds an unexplored niche with Ghosts of the Titanic, which mixes the memoirs of survivors with learned speculation on the fate of certain of the ship's passengers--some of them shot to deter a rush on the few lifeboats--to reconstruct just what happened on that fateful April night. Pellegrino also offers an intriguing look at the science behind recent forensic investigations of the Titanic, which have enabled scholars to model the minute-by-minute disintegration of the ship as it slipped into the depths--for, he argues, instead of the "traditional (and mythical) 300-foot-long 'gash' or 'split,' the Titanic was felled by a series of punches, stabs, and bullet hole-like punctures" that allowed 24,000 metric tons of water to enter the ship within minutes of its collision. Along the way, Pellegrino offers asides on such strange phenomena as the deep-ocean bacteria that are slowly devouring the wreckage, and glimpses of the odds and ends (including the well-preserved remains of a last lamb supper) that the ship has turned up.

While it's almost certainly not the last word on the subject, Pellegrino's book should appeal to Titanic junkies everywhere. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Dr. Charles Pellegrino is the author of twelve books, including Unearthing Atlantis and Her Name, Titanic. He is a paleontologist who designs robotic space probes and relativistic rockets. In his spare time, Pellegrino writes mindbending technothrillers. Jan de Bont, the director of Speed and Twister, has recently signed on to direct the film adaptation of Pellegrino's Dust. Dr. Pellegrino lives in New York.

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