Review of Titanic: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Greatest Shipwreck—fanatics will learn something new; curious will get thorough overview

Dr. Michael S. Sweeney’s Titanic: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Greatest Shipwreck was advertised in the April 2012 issue of National Geographic, which of course I had to own since it had been well publicized that it would contain new photos of Titanic’s wreck. Although I’ve read more books on the disaster than I can recall, this one looked appealing, and since I had my Kindle on me and could order it and be reading it in under a minute (can we say “impulse buy,” anyone?) I decided to pick it up.

I first visited the NG website so procure my copy, but there it was only available for devices I didn’t own. A few people on that website had noted they found it “disappointing” and felt they had been “ripped off” because of its length, but deciding (like I usually do) that I was going to make up my own  mind, I went to Amazon and found it – for a few cents cheaper – on Kindle.

In response to those people who found it disappointing and felt they were ripped off due to its length, I have only to say that if they’d bothered to pay attention, the line of books from which this comes is National Geographic Shorts: Quick Takes on Hot Topics. So right off the bat, I’m rendering those complaints invalid. If they’d wanted a longer work, they shouldn’t have purchased something that very clearly states “SHORTS” on its cover.

That said, I found this little work – which took me only an hour to read – engrossing. In three fact-filled, entertainingly-rendered chapters, the book provides overview of that fateful night, an introduction to a few of its passengers in all three classes, a down-and-dirty explanation of the prevailing theories over the years and where those theories stand now, and a history of even the earliest searches (right after she sank – bet you didn’t know that, right?) for the wreck right up until today.

What makes this book different and a must-own for anyone interested (obsessively or mildly) in the wreck is the section which reveals the contents of some passengers’ recovered suitcases, shedding light on their stories before sharing their fates. I found this portion alone worth my $3.82.

Those who are intimate with the wreck in its stories will undoubtedly learn something new; those who don’t or just want a surface knowledge should find this the only book they need.

You can purchase National Geographic’s Titanic: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Greatest Shipwreck for Kindle here:; it’s also available for Nook and Sony and the other formats where you normally purchase your e-books for those formats.

And if you want to have some REAL fun, play the Titanic Adventure Game over at the National Geographic site here:

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of the New England Horror Writers. Follow her adventures at

Posted on April 29, 2012, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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