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Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea (Viagens Radicais)

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,932 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
Bestselling author Gary Kinder tells, for the first time, an extraordinary tale of history, maritime drama, heroic rescue, scientific ingenuity, and individual courage. This is the riveting true account of death, danger, and discovery on the high seas in the dramatic search for America's greatest lost treasure, the S.S. Central America.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published May 11th 1999 by Vintage (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 04, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. It's about a ship that sank in the mid-1800s off the coast of the Carolinas on its way back to New York from the California Gold Rush and the search to find it and retrieve the treasure. It sat there--almost 2 miles under water and about 200 miles off the coast--until the late 1980s. The author does a great job of interweaving the stories of the lives of the people on the ship and the sinking of the ship with the story of the scientist ...more
Jul 26, 2008 Rose rated it it was amazing
On September 9, 1857, the sidewheel steamer "Central America", which was carrying passengers from the Panamanian port of Colón to New York, encountered hurricane winds and savage seas off the coast of the Carolinas. Although a sturdy ship, her sails were quickly shredded and a leak in one of the seals around the paddle wheels prevented her boiler from functioning. Captain William Herndon exhausted every means to save the stricken ship and its passengers, many of whom were on their way home from ...more
Scott Rhee
Feb 15, 2014 Scott Rhee rated it really liked it
"Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea" by Gary Kinder reads like a Clive Cussler novel but is actually nonfiction.

Kinder tells an exciting well-researched story about the 1857 sinking of the Central America, an American passenger ship, off the coast of North Carolina. Roughly 400 people perished, and several millions of dollars worth (adjusted) of California gold was lost in treacherously deep waters. It was apparently the worst maritime disaster until the Titanic, and until the 1980s, no one knew
Jan 05, 2010 Dlora rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Sarah lent me this book along with the companion pictorial coffee table book America's Lost Treasure and said I'd like it as much as Shadow Divers. That was almost true. Ship of Gold tells two stories--one of the dramatic sinking of the steamship Central America carrying passengers and gold from the goldfields of California the other story of Tommy Thompson and his amazing search to find and recover it in deep ocean water off the east coast. Gary Kindle talked about "shaping the story," which I ...more
Jan 23, 2009 Pamela rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The historical background story was fascinating, and the tenacity and genius of Tommy Thompson was amazing. However as a history major and trained archivist, I thought the research and findings made by Bob Evans were astounding. It's amazing all the little stories that were tied together with this tale (such as Mark Twain) and how small historical clues gave Evans the knowledge he needed to guide the search. By the end I couldn't put the book down so that I could find out what happened. Now I re ...more
Rob Lofland
Feb 01, 2015 Rob Lofland rated it liked it
Riveting re-telling of the doomed ships' final days and the crew's desperate attempt to save it. This event would have been a fine book in itself.

But the book is far too reverential towards Tommy Thompson. He's a clever fellow and it truly is amazing what his team accomplished in the late 80's, recovering the SS Central America. But I really didn't need a full background biography through his early professional life, all the while flying around in his "Stupendous-Man" cape solving problems that
Feb 13, 2016 Christiane rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, disaster
The book begins with an absolutely riveting account of the sinking of the gold-filled ship Central America in 1857 in a terrible storm somewhere off the Carolina coast. As in many similar accounts of disasters, we are introduced to a wide-range of individuals, not sure who will survive the harrowing sinking and who will drown; I began reading this on my vacation on a cruise ship and actually had to stop and finish back on land, as the description of the ship foundering in the storm was so vivid! ...more
Dick Reynolds
May 18, 2015 Dick Reynolds rated it it was amazing
Author Gary Kinder spent over ten years researching and writing this book about the shipwreck of the S. S. Central America about two hundred miles off the coast of North Carolina in a severe hurricane. He devotes the first eighty pages of the book telling how the ship’s passengers were carrying gold which had been found in California during the famous 1857 Gold Rush. The ultimate tally of lives lost came to 565 while 149, mostly women and children, were saved. Kinder takes advantage of the surv ...more
♥ Marlene♥
Jun 19, 2013 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it it was amazing
Finished it this morning. Had a few pages left and had to read it. last night I could not stop reading. That is what is so amazing about this non fiction book, it sometimes reads as a thriller.
At the start you read about the sinking of the ship and learn more about the people on the boat. Then we were in this century and it was about a guy called Tommy. (At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to read any more to be honest but Oh I am so glad I did.

Never in my dreams would I expect to like a book th
Michael Gerald
Dec 21, 2014 Michael Gerald rated it liked it
The true story of a ship, filled mostly with workers and miners from California and the gold they were carrying, that sank in the 19th century. It is also about the scientific search and recovery of the wreck in the 1980s.
Aug 08, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it
On September 12, 1857, the SS Central America sank about 200 miles off the east coast of the USA in over 8,000 feet deep water. It was heading from Panama to New York City. On board were 578 people and over two million dollars worth of gold that was coming from the San Francisco gold rush.

This book provides many details about the ethos of the gold rush, the passengers that got on board, the unfortunate hurricane that they sailed into, the many heroic things they tried to do to save the ship, th
Melissa Jill
Jan 10, 2016 Melissa Jill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This is the true story of a ship wreck from 1857 and the discovery of that same ship 130 years later. I loved how the author wove the two stories together and it was completely riveting from beginning to end. You can't beat a real life adventure story!
Richard Jr.
Sep 24, 2015 Richard Jr. rated it it was amazing
Those of us who grew up following the Second World War can truly empathize with the dreams, schooling, frustrations, innovations, and successes of Tommy Thompson in his quest to find the 'ultimate' ship wreck in the Atlantic, the remains of the SS Central America carrying 22 tons of California gold. This book is a story of the dream that requires commitment at the highest level to make it happen. A dream that requires the person to innovate, calculate and communicate his dreams to others in the ...more
Jan 01, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. The pace of action is constant. The salvation achievement was awesome. The author's words hold and grab one's attention - till after midnight! If our Newport Beach public library had not had it, I learned there are 542 copies on ABE starting at $3.43 and including free shipping.

Author Gary Kinder did a super job weaving together two struggles that occurred centuries apart: that of the "Central America" passengers and crew to survive, a
Jason Blythe
Feb 13, 2012 Jason Blythe rated it liked it
Fascinating story about the recovery of gold off the East coast of the United States, the author provided great background of the ship carrying the gold and its passengers. The present day recovery process was also neatly detailed and overall satisfying book.
Aug 15, 2014 Rex rated it it was amazing
Amazing story (actually two stories) about the sinking of the SS Central America and the subsequent journey of Tommy Thompson to find and recover it and its treasure at 8,000 feet below the ocean.

The book is incredibly well researched and is one of the best nonfiction books I have read. Reads like a thriller/adventure. Highly recommended.

The book was published in 1998 and if you want to know more of that happened to Tommy and the treasure in the years after, read this Newsweek article from March
L.F. Falconer
Jun 29, 2014 L.F. Falconer rated it liked it
I have to admit, I had to force myself to keep reading this. There are two great stories here--one, of a ship which sank in the Atlantic in 1857, and two, of the man obsessed with finding it.

This book is glutted with facts and details and little side trips and people's backgrounds and histories and technical explanations that it nearly made it about as fun to read as an algebra textbook. Sometimes I slogged through it and other times I skimmed--neither option a good sign of an interesting read.
Julian Walker
Dec 09, 2014 Julian Walker rated it really liked it
A lost and legendary shipwreck, with people, possessions and gold in every form lost to history. This is the story of one man’s quest to outdo the navy, professionals and scientists and find the SS Central America, and to see if he can recover its lost treasures.

A well written tale of adventure on the high seas, with everyone’s favourite theme at stake, this was in itself a treasure.

Engaging and with an interesting slice of history as its backdrop, this is a very readable account of an extraor
Graham Page
Mar 20, 2016 Graham Page rated it it was amazing
This book was so thoroughly researched and meticulously written that in reading it I sometimes felt as if I was reading a Clive Cussler fiction novel (and I like those a lot.) Overall, there is a sad ending to this tale. The main character is now in jail and someone else is bringing up the gold. But this book ends 10 years ago after decades of search and the initial seeds of discovery and exploration and resolves with the future looking bright. You learn much about people and how greed and money ...more
Pegasaurus Horsfield
Nov 20, 2015 Pegasaurus Horsfield rated it really liked it
Another adventure on the high seas - having recently finished Dead Wake ( story of the Lusitania)' .This documents the story of the SS Central America in the 1850's a wooden paddle wheel ship that is full of passengers from the gold rush and tons of the gold that they found. Everyone helped when the boat hit a huge storm but even with a couple of boats coming near only a few passengers were saved, and so the Central America sank to the depths of the ocean. The bulk of the book centers around Tom ...more
Oct 25, 2015 Betty rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I first read this book about 2002, and it left such a strong impression, book that I actually reread part of it again last year. Ship of Gold is actually two stories in one. It was a fascinating and captivating book and I couldn't put it down. The first book tells the story of the ill-fated voyage of the SS Central America, a ship laden with gold from the California gold rush that sinks off the Carolinas in 1857. Then it continues with the story of Tommy Thompson, a young engineer, who envisions ...more
Drew Zagorski
Jun 01, 2015 Drew Zagorski rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Two compelling stories in one, Ship of Gold, was a great read from cover to cover and I couldn't put it down. The book tells the story of the ill-fated voyage of the SS Central America, a ship laden with gold from California, that sinks off the Carolinas in 1857. Then it weaves in the story of Tommy Thompson, a brilliant young engineer, who envisions a future of working on the floor of the ocean. Thompson gets involved in a treasure ship salvage project and that sparks his interest in locating o ...more
Richard Hartline
Jan 29, 2015 Richard Hartline rated it it was amazing
This book is a thrilling adventure of the '49 Gold Rush, a harrowing shipwreck, the trials of organizing and directing a world-class salvage expedition, and the recovery of gold and artifacts from a 19th C wooden-hulled, side-wheel steamer, "Central America," at a depth of 8,000 ft., 200 miles off the east coast of the U.S. The vision and extraordinary resilience of the expedition's leader, Tommy Thompson, relied on something uncharacteristic of most successful engineers: a belief in divergence. ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 16, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
In 1857, the SS Central America, a "side-wheeler steamer" sank, taking over 400 lives--and taking with it 21 tons of gold from the California Gold Rush. The book tells two entwined stories. That of the heroic efforts to save the ship and the struggles of the survivors, and over a hundred years later the tale of Tommy Thompson, a seemingly eccentric inventor, but one with the training of an engineer and the spirit of an entrepreneur who sees the recovery of the ship's treasures not just "as an en ...more
Elizabeth K.
Nov 15, 2009 Elizabeth K. rated it liked it
This is one of those books that while you are reading it, you are very aware of the fact that it is 1. good and 2. long. Boy, it's long.

I picked this up because it seems to appear with some frequency on "Best of " non-fiction lists or what have you. So there's this boat, the Central America, that sinks off the coast of the Carolinas during a hurricane in 1857, carrying passengers and transporting a crazy quantity of gold from the California gold rush. Maybe a fourth of the book (there's a little
Jun 24, 2011 hankmyfoley rated it it was amazing
If you have ever dreamed of finding sunken treasure, an act I spend a good portion of my day engaged in, then this book is certain to excite the adventurer in you. It is a well researched exploration of the final voyage of the side wheel steamer Central America and a detailed account of the modern day ROV (remote operated vehicle) arms race to finance and develop the technology to search for it. The author, Gary Kinder, spent ten years reserching and writing this incredibly detailed account, and ...more
Mary Harley
Jul 19, 2009 Mary Harley rated it really liked it
This book has two interesting parts - history and technology. In the first part, you read about the Gold Rush - how pioneers raced to the west coast to mine gold, and the lucky ones were rich enough to leave their wagons behind and take "the long way home" the Panama way. (Actually, this was before the Panama Canal, so the lucky rich ones lugged their trunks full of gold across the narrow strip of Panama, then boarded another ship bound for New York. Unfortunately, the ship in this story, the SS ...more
Aug 05, 2013 Larry rated it really liked it
This fascinating book tells the story of the ill-fated steamer SS Central America laden with California Gold Rush treasure bound for New York. The ship sank off the North Carolina coast during a hurricane in 1857. Gary Kinder relates both the stories of the travelers and of Tommy Thompson, the treasure hunter who painstakingly searched for the wreck over several years. As with the Titanic, many passengers survived. Upon rescue and arrival in New York, they told their harrowing stories to officia ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Karla rated it really liked it
This true story of a shipwreck, discovery and recovery is quite amazing. The first third of the book tells the harrowing story of a ship in the 1850’s struggling to carry it’s California gold rush gold back to New York City. Mr. Kinder has you holding your breath as a terrible Atlantic storm hits the ship and the passengers struggle to survive. The second third is far less hair-raising as it jumps back to modern day (the 1980’s) as a describes the person and processes used to possibly one day di ...more
Jan 17, 2011 Ellen rated it liked it
I would give this probably 3.5 stars. I think the story is super super duper interesting. The sinking of the historic ship itself and the stories of the people that were on it is enough to make it a great story. The tenacity and intelligence of the team that tried to find 130+ years later is incredible too! BUT I kept saying to myself..."Enough of your darn underwater shenangans!! Where's the LOOT!" So, I guess it was a bit long for me. AND I realized the problem I have had with most historical ...more
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Captain Herndon 1 15 Nov 28, 2007 01:41PM  
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