A SHIP IS DYING by Brian Callison


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The total Disaster Novel, devoted entirely to the seventeen minutes in which a British cargo ship strikes a phantom object during a gale and sinks in the icy North Seas. The form is familiar (John Hersey's Hiroshima out of a day in the life of Leopold Bloom) and Callison has no new bells to ring--but the suspense-horror is bloody tight, Sailors left and right are crushed or cooked, blown about by compressed air, enact heroic rescues, find themselves locked into closed rooms or cages, achieve moral victories, or simply try to save their pet parrot or dog. One Chinese sleeps through the entire sinking while enjoying a wet dream. Callison has hit upon a lively device that helps him avoid the dull spots that marred Trapp's War (1976), but this is strictly genre stuff.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1976
Publisher: Dutton