Skip to main content

Cannonball Read #37: Something's Alive on the Titanic by Robert Serling

This could have been an awesome book. It could have been creepy and weird and disturbing and downright scary. Unfortunately, Robert Serling decided not to go in that direction. Instead he decided to focus primarily on showing off all of his scientific knowledge about diving gear and less on making his damn horror book...scary. Or interesting.

Something's Alive on the Titanic is a story in two parts--the first is the story of a crew of divers in 1975 (nearly a decade before the real discovery of Titanic by Bob Ballard) who discover evidence that the ship went down with millions of dollars of gold bullion aboard. They decide to locate the ship and remove the gold. Unfortunately, a great deal of unpleasantness occurs (SPOILER ALERT: Giant shark! Giant squid! Giant primitive dinosaur fish! Inexplicable machine malfunctions! Hurricane!) which dooms their expedition. Twenty years later, the American Navy (along with the sole survivor of the 1975 expedition) set out to steal the bullion, and shockingly they run up against unpleasantness as well! (Oh noes, broken flashlights! How terrifying!)

The whole thing was kind of lame...when I read a horror story, I really don't need 6 pages on the intricacies of deep-sea diving suits. If I wanted to know about deep-sea diving suits or remote controlled submersibles, I'm sure there's a non-fiction book or Jacques Cousteau documentary or something I could watch.

My friends and I have discussed the idea of writing a "zombies on the Titanic" movie--I guess that's sort of what I'd hoped this book would be and was extremely disappointed. I don't recommend this to anybody, really, unless you are really REALLY into the Titanic.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…

CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…