ABANDON SHIP! by Hal Butler


Email this review


Butler is the author of a number of undistinguished sports biographies and a contributor to the now defunct Coronet and the muscle-flexing True, so this assemblage of 17 disasters at sea is right up his melodramatic alley. Mercifully, he spares us yet another recreation of the Titanic and the Lusitania, but the wreck of the Birkenhead (1852) off the coast of Africa, the raging fire which swept the Noronic (1949) as it lay docked in Toronto harbor and the long ordeal of the Flying Enterprise (1952) which foundered and sank in the British Channel despite the superhuman efforts of her captain who would not abandon the ship--these provide hysteria aplenty. In each case the catastrophe provoked either blind courage or animalistic viciousness from the captain, crew and passengers and stories of self-sacrifice and endurance alternate here with horror tales of cannibalism and women and children shoved under so that the strong might survive. Butler wrings every drop of terror and pathos from the storms, sharks, flames, collisions and delirious survivors.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Regnery