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Abandoned Ship: An Intimate Account of the Costa Concordia Shipwreck
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Abandoned Ship: An Intimate Account of the Costa Concordia Shipwreck

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  282 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
On January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia — a thousand foot long luxury cruise ship, twice the size of the Titanic — ventured into shallow water and smashed into the rocks of a tiny island off the coast of Italy, throwing the four thousand passengers and crew members into a state of chaos. The captain and officers all abandoned ship, leaving the few remaining castaways to f ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published January 13th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published December 30th 2012)
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Jan 14, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
A captivating, heartfelt memoir of the tragic events on the night of January 13, 2012. Written from first hand experience, Benji and his wife were aboard the Costa Concordia as it hit land and began it's descent into the sea. He displays how the staff was untrained and not knowledgeable about the emergency procedures. Benji, his wife Emily, their family, and many other people were stranded on this cruise ship after the life rafts were deployed. Being stuck on a rope for hours worrying about whet ...more
Mar 19, 2013 Jjudyfl rated it really liked it
I won this book from GoodReads. thank you. I'm not sure how to react to a book like this. As with any well-written book, I felt like I was there.
I read what I expected to find here, the play by play of the sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship , and how 2 brave passengers, Benji Smith, and his new wife, Emily, physically survived being abandoned by the boat's captain, officers, and crew. They were misinformed, mistreated, misguided, and abandoned in so many more situations than just that si
Margaret Sankey
May 27, 2013 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
This horrifically confirms what I already thought about discount cruise ships--they're the perfect storm of badly trained staff, unaccountable crew, bad procedures and lurking disasters, all under a flag that prevents you from ever getting satisfaction or redress. This is an inside account of the Costa Concordia travesty, and Smith is well aware that if he'd been with infirm people, or children, or just a little less lucky, things could have been even worse. All the organizations who are suppose ...more
Jan 04, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
This book is a compelling first-hand account of the Costa Concordia disaster. I bought this book and read it from cover to cover in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Benji Smith tells the story of how he and his wife escaped the sinking ship and were abandoned by nearly everyone they hope would help them. The story is a very personal journey, an exploration of some of the highs and lows of humanity in response to this tragedy, and some of the lessons we might learn from it. The author' ...more
Apr 20, 2013 Marcus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author spends too much time grinding axes. There is about 10-15% of this book that is about the events, and the rest is the author describing how wonderful he and his wife are, amd how un-wonderful everyone else in the world is. And throws in some self-satisfied atheism for good measure.
Jenny Karraker
Apr 23, 2013 Jenny Karraker rated it it was ok
This book told the story of Benji and Emily's experiences when their honeymoon cruise turned into a disaster when the ship crashed on rocks and sank. It seems they were more upset by the lack of help they received from both the Hong Kong and US embassies than by the actual experience itself. The boat sank on a holiday weekend, and people at the embassies didn't want to be disturbed or bothered by helping their fellow countrymen. In contrast to the professionals (embassy personnel, police, cruise ...more
Cayt Landis
Mar 16, 2013 Cayt Landis rated it really liked it
I won this book from a giveway on Goodreads.

I remember hearing about the crash of the Costa Concordia and thinking about what it would possibly be like to go through something so traumatic. I was very excited to read this account since it would put me right in the middle of it. I also received the CD Isle of Lucidity by Emily Lau, music based on the shipwreck. It is a lovely CD and goes well with the book. I recommend listening to them together, as I did.

Abandoned Ship: An Intimate Account of th
Matthew Timion
Jan 02, 2013 Matthew Timion rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
When I read books I want them to have meaning. I want them to affect me. I want to feel something.

At first, and I will be the first to admit, I didn't know what Benji Smith was doing with this work. I thought to myself, "why is he talking about the waitress? Why so much time talking about the musician? Why a chapter about his kids and former religion?" I kept reading anyway because I knew this story was about a shipwreck.

And it was. The actual shipwreck was only a part of the story. If you are r
Ty Wilson
Jan 31, 2013 Ty Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, memoir
I remember when the Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Italy. I remember seeing the picture of the liner laying on its side in the water. I remember being stunned that a ship that size would sink in today's world. But as I am not an avid news watcher, I never paid that much attention to the details of the disaster. I heard vague reports of either alcohol or drug use by the captain or the helmsman...or whoever drives one of those cruise liners. I won this book in a First Reads giveaway and had ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Laurel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!
I'm not quite sure how best to say this, but I think everyone should read this book - it's a memorial for those that died, it's a beautiful story, but I think most importantly that it really just deserves to be read.

People need to know, to understand, to prevent. Or, at the very least, to be aware of the kind of apathy and indifference that is out there. The kind we don't see when we don't need to see its polar opposite.

Dammit, I've been reading the last half of this book for the last 2 hours s
Emily QQ
Jan 19, 2013 Emily QQ rated it it was amazing
I understand why some people who are looking for a nautical novel/ship wreck review would find this book disappointing; this book is much more than just a ship wreck story. It is a well-written memoir about a very personal journey following a traumatic experience. Benji Smith, the writer, offers an insider view to the complicated and fascinating world of adventure, misfortune, and finding meaning amidst all these chaos.

This is the essential story without the media hype. He even discussed severa
Feb 04, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, memoir
Thank you Goodreads and Benji Smith for the gift of this book which I received in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. This memoir by Benji Smith details the harrowing experience that he and his new bride, Emily Lau, endured when the cruiseship Costa Concordia wrecked off the coast of Italy on January 13, 2012. While there has been lots of information about this shipwreck in the news over the past year, Smith presents a very eye-opening, firsthand account of what went on before, during and after th ...more
Karen (Kew)
Apr 13, 2013 Karen (Kew) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riveting account of the tragic sequence of events at the time of the sinking of the cruise ship, Costa Concordia. I remember hearing and feeling shocked about the news on the media at the time so when I saw this book I wanted to read about the personal experiences of those involved. It was particularly traumatic for the author and his family, because they were included among the hundreds who were left behind when some of the life boats either failed, or couldn't be used because the crew had not ...more
Mar 17, 2013 Krista rated it did not like it
Ok- I do not usually write a review on a book that I did not finish, but this is an exception. This book deeply saddened me. I do understand that this man went through a horrible ordeal, but I found the book to be just a bitter diatribe on how he is angry at everyone. I was saddened at the many opportunities that he had to help others on the ship and he seemed to just let them fend for themselves. I was even more saddened about his spiritual journey. He openly admits his lack of a need for God. ...more
Jennie K
Jan 07, 2013 Jennie K rated it it was amazing
looking forward to reading this .may take it on my next cruise !!

A compelling and fascinating account of a dreadful tradgedy.
Benji certainly made the events come alive for me & although some of his writing could have done with editing I can understand why he wrote the book the way he did .Overall it was enjoyable reading & yes Benji the cats did kill the mice !
Mar 13, 2013 Peggy rated it it was amazing
This book is a first person account of the sinking of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy on January 13, 2012. Very well written and captivating. I almost felt like I was there. The author and his wife were on their fourth day on the ship. They were on their honeymoon. This book not only covers the shipwreck but also the complete lack of assistance given them by the U.S. and Chinese embassies (the author's wife is from Hong Kong) in the aftermath of the disaster. They had no money, no pas ...more
Nov 15, 2013 Karen rated it it was ok
Recommended to Karen by: BookBub
This was another BookBub book. I download these books for free (or next to free) for times when I need something to read and can't get to the library. These are books that would not usually cross my radar and in the case of this book, there is probably a good reason people are not talking about it!
It is an account of the author's terrible experience as a passenger on the Costa Concordia and the events that happened to him and the other passengers in its aftermath. The events are worthing knowing
Mar 27, 2013 Debbie rated it liked it
having cruised many times, I was interested in learning more about the Concordia accident. I liked this book, but by the end, felt that the author had made his point too many times. Once they made it off the ship, no one wanted to help the survivors. yes, individuals helped them, but the cruise line, the US govt and the Italian govt all came up short. This was drilled into my head over and over. But overall, I'd recommend the book, especially if you've cruised or plan to.
Rene Worsley
Oct 11, 2016 Rene Worsley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book ... Thoughtfully written about an amazing tragedy.

I remember reading and hearing on the news about the cruise ship that sank ... And as I began to read this book I thought "what more is there to learn?" There is so much more!!! Mr. Smith tells such a complete and amazing story. It certainly makes you realize the world is not out there waiting to help you out ... You are your own destiny. Thank you Benji & Emily for sharing your story!
Mar 15, 2013 Carrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
Well, I grew up with Benji so this was pretty interesting to read! The story is harrowing and I'm sorry people had to live through it. The information about the Embassies and police not helping them was incredibly frustrating. However, I do wish the book had photos, a little less Mormon-bashing, and a bit fewer f-words.
Laura Schrillo
Mar 17, 2013 Laura Schrillo rated it it was ok
This event was a terrible tragedy. I was disgusted by the reponse of our embassy. However I did not enjoy reading this book. The author is so negative about everything from Italy to the mormon church it was stressful reading about the event and everything else through his negative perspective.
Apr 13, 2013 Leslie rated it it was ok
I thought that although the experience of the ship wreck was very interesting, I thought that there was too much repetition and too many irrelevant side stories. I also didn't connect well with the characters and I thought that the ending was too drawn out.
Jan 28, 2014 Heather rated it liked it
Most people remember watching the half submerged cruise ship Costa Concordia as it lay on its side after the captain went off course to take the ship closer to a small island. The captain ran the ship aground and 32 lives were lost in the partial sinking.
The book Abandoned Ship by Benji Smith is the story of the events leading up to the tragedy and the terrible circumstances some of the survivors found themselves in once they were rescued from the ship.
Benji and his wife Emily were on their hon
Jan 24, 2013 Vizma rated it it was amazing
For years, I have read accounts of the Titanic because I am fascinated about what happened - how it all went wrong and people’s behavior (both good and bad) in the situation. But it is an event that happened ages ago and I never stopped to think about how the survivors fared in the minutes, days, weeks, months, etc. after the shipwreck.

This memoir about the Costa Concordia shipwreck experience shares with us what the survivors went through. Their lives are turned totally upside down and they ar
Red Letter
Take a peek at what our readers had to say...

Alila "Smith includes far too much detail and repeats the wrongs done to them again and again, to the point that I lost all feelings of sympathy for their plight." Grade: D-

Rochelle "Benji decided he would write this story himself. And he did so capturing the intensity of the moments as they fought for their lives on the ships, and the exasperation and desperation as they fought their ways home." Grade: B+

Ninian "I think that writing this novel so soo
Feb 16, 2013 Claire rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Well... This book was AMAZING!!!! There is so much in it that I didn't know because the media just wanted sensationalist stories and not the harsh truth, which Benji and Emily (yup, we're on a first name basis now) tried, multiple times, to get out there. Into the world and stuff.

Beyond that, this is a well written book, and really, everyone (in the US and China at least) should read it to learn about how our government(s) failed the survivors of that shipwreck. And the Carnival Cruise liner, an
Judith L
Jul 23, 2013 Judith L rated it did not like it
This self-published book by the author depicts his personal account of the Costa Concordia shipwreck in 2012. His writing leaves much to be desired. What could have been an exciting narrative depicting escape from a shipwreck, became a trial to finish. The whole story was done in a flat short chapter style with remarks like - "Dear Reader" and who types THE END in a novel today? I just read a newspaper account of the sentencing of the first round of officers brought to trial from the ship and th ...more
Anthea Moffatt
Oct 21, 2013 Anthea Moffatt rated it did not like it
This book was a disappointment,the sinking of the Costa Concordia was a tragedy and there is no doubt that for those involved it would have been incredibly traumatic experience.

Unfortunately Benji's account focused on the lack of support they received from their respective embassies,the cruise line and even the media in the days after the sinking.

His interactions with various media outlets come across as attention grabbing. He networked with other survivors, and I feel that it was a pity that he
Mar 26, 2013 Crissy rated it really liked it
Very interesting book about the experience on the Costa Concordia. It covers from planning the trip to dealing with the stress after the incident. I've sailed several cruises and never had the experiences they did (before the sinking).

The book brings to light several issues that many people probably didn't think of, such as the hassel of trying to get a new passport or dealing with the press.

While it's not the most moving book I've ever read, there were times I couldn't put it down. Benji did
Mary Ann
Mar 06, 2013 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
An excellent read! Benji writes of his new wife Emily & himself & what happened aboard the Costa Concordia cruise ship and its shipwreck. He is very forthcoming & reveals their very personal emotions, as well as what they did to save themselves. Almost as shocking as the shipwreck itself, were the behaviors of two Embassies - from the greatest countries in the world - the USA & China. Actually, to me, it seemed worse, due to them surviving the shipwreck & then to have this ha ...more
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