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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.

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