Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Futility or the Wreck of the Titan” as Want to Read:
Futility or the Wreck of the Titan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Futility or the Wreck of the Titan

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  357 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan is a novel which was originally written and published in 1898 by Morgan Robertson. This novel is the story of an ocean liner, called the Titan, which sinks in the North Atlantic ocean after hitting an iceberg. There are many similarities between this novel and the facts in the sinking of the Titanic fourteen years later. Morgan Robertson ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Filiquarian Publishing, LLC. (first published 1898)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Futility or the Wreck of the Titan, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Futility or the Wreck of the Titan

The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan WolfFateful by Claudia GrayPromise Me This by Cathy GohlkeBy the Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia GoyerHearts That Survive by Yvonne Lehman
Titanic's 100th Anniversary
18th out of 72 books — 111 voters
Ghosts I Have Been by Richard PeckNo Greater Love by Danielle SteelRaise the Titanic! by Clive CusslerTonight on the Titanic by Mary Pope OsborneA Matter of Time by Michael J.  Bowler
Fiction About The Titanic Legend
12th out of 16 books — 6 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,111)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Having been interested in the Titanic for as long as I can remember I had often heard of this story and the uncanny similarities between the Titan and the Titanic. It was only recently that I actually got hold of this book and read it though.

And let me say that I think it's almost a shame that this story will forever be linked to the sinking of the Titanic instead of being known for it's own merits. Because this is a very entertaining story.

So there are a few similarities between the Titan and t
Jan 14, 2012 W rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012-read
This book has been called "a nineteenth-century prophecy" due to its striking similarities to the actual wreck of the Titanic, which occurred fourteen years after this story was published. I had been wanting to read this book for some time to see for myself the "prophetic" story of an 'unsinkable' liner named the Titan which struck an iceberg in the Atlantic one April, whose passengers perished due to a lack of lifeboats. This book wasn't exactly what I thought it'd be, probably since I had book ...more
In this review I will discuss two things: 1) The story of the Titan as it relates to the wreck of the Titanic and 2) This 1994 reprint, and the author's actual writing skill, on their own merits.

1) Yes, this book was added to my "Titanic" bookshelf collection because of the similarities between the fictional and actual wrecks. I've done a bit of reading online about the original 1898 edition, and from what I gather, the following changes were made to most subsequent printings (beginning in the y
Alexandria Brim
It's the story of the grandest ocean liner to sail the Atlantic. She sails fast through the cold water on her maiden voyage. On a clear night, she ends up hitting an iceberg and sinking. Only a few people make it to the lifeboats and there is a great loss of life.

Sound familiar? The story was published in 1898, fourteen years before the Titanic sailed (and sank). After the Titanic disaster, this story was added to all those "spooky coincidences" list. But when you read the story, it's not an ex
Nov 04, 2009 Graceann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Titanic enthusiasts
Shelves: suspense
Written in 1898, The Wreck of the Titan (or "Futility," as it was originally published) contains some creepy similarities to what happened in April 1912. The Titan is described as the largest ship created, and unsinkable. She has watertight compartments and only enough lifeboats to satisfy the law, but of course they won't be needed because nothing can sink this vessel.

The book is very much a product of the Victorian era, from language to scenario. The publisher's foreword and introduction were
Joni Hartman
I have heard of this book for many years, since my oldest daughter became interested in the Titanic as a child. It was written in 1898, but only recently published in 1997 for the general public. It is an eerily similar story to the story of the Titanic, many say prophetic. That said, I was a little disappointed to realize that the main story did not really have to do with a shipwreck. I don't want to spoil the book for others who many be curious about it, but suffice it to say that there is a V ...more
This is an amazing book. It tells everything that happened to titanic but the coincidence in this book was that this book was published 14 years before the real titanic sank. Its every detail is the same thing that happened to the titanic. in the book the titan (the ship) was called unsinkable so was the titanic.they both were British owned vessels around 800 feet long and they both hit an iceberg and sank.In the book the titan sank at midnight on April 15 1997 400 miles from Newfoundland the ti ...more
The Wreck of The Titan - eerie Titanic Warning! I read this a week ago and loved the book! I meant to read this for a long time, but it wasn't til recently I was able to through kindle app. They have a free copy there. Different cover.

This book was written before 1900 and over a decade before the titanic disaster. I was blown away by the first chapter! Its very eerie reading the book and thinking what happened yrs later to another ship under similar name and under similar circumstances! When som
Marcos Tavares
Quem já procurou informações sobre a história do naufrágio do Titanic, provavelmente já se deparou com esse livro. Para quem não sabe, o navio que deu nome ao filme homônimo dirigido por James Cameron realmente existiu e veio a naufragar em sua viagem inaugural em 1912. A história da construção do navio e de seu destino foram contados de forma fidedigna no filme. Porém o que muitas pessoas não sabem é que, 14 anos antes, um autor escreveu uma história extremamente semelhante sobre um navio que s ...more
Morgan Robertson predicted how the Titanic would be built and how it would sink way before the planning of it's building. The size, the reputation, the voyages, the hitting of the iceburg, the witness' account and all the details are almost exactly the same. He even called the ship in his story the Titan. The ship that was said to be "unsinkable" and the sinking of it. It's incredible!
Kerry-Anne Gilowey
I learnt that it's terribly rewarding to read short books. Because I actually finish them.

I've always been fascinated by the Titanic story (since long before Jack and Rose became a thing), and I'd been meaning to read this for years. It was cute, but rather underwhelming - which might explain why it only became popular after the Titanic sank.
Marts  (Thinker)
A fictional tale about the tragedy of a mighty ship which the builders claimed would be unsinkable and indestructable. The vessel described was quite similar to the real life Titanic and so were the circumstances surrounding its design and demise... It must be noted that this novel was written about 14 years prior to the actual Titanic disaster...
Zach Wong
This book had predicted the sinking of the Titanic nearly fourteen years before hand. Describing it as a huge steamer with nowhere near enough lifeboats to support the entire passenger body. I started reading this out of curiosity and at first, it talked a great deal about what would happen and was promising. However, the entire story shifts gears into that of a cheap dime store novel that deals very little with the sinking. The sinking is dealt with in two short chapters and the rest of the boo ...more
Aundrea Lopez
First off, this book was unerving in its similiarities to Titanic. Spooky. However, I'm not the first person to mention that, and I don't think the author had the RMS Titanic in mind either, snickering to himself, "Let's see them wrap their heads around this 102 years from now." So, I will leave out my comments toward the Titanic allusion and comment on the story from his stand point. I really liked this story. I admired Rowland for his persseverance, intellect, will to survive, and especially h ...more
Standard short fiction for the time period, Futility has been sung as the "prophecy" book of the Titanic. True or false, the biggest similarities are that it was the largest ship of the day, Named Titan, strikes an iceberg, and sinks. The true meat of the story is of the survivor, who manages to survive on the iceberg, fight a polar bear, and keep a small child alive. It just so happens that the little girl is the daughter of his long lost love and her father has died on the ship. The latter hal ...more
Ken Doggett
The book, written around the turn of the 20th century, contains four short stories, all having to do with ocean-going ships. The writer seemed to be an expert on naval jargon and procedures, and his descriptions do give you a good idea of how the Navy might have functioned at the time. The writer's talents, however, were not at all on a par with at least one other leading Science Fiction writer of the time, namely H.G. Wells. As many readers already know, a couple of these stories seem to eerily ...more
R.A. Graves
It wasn't exactly a blockbuster, but in all honesty, I enjoyed the read, and I didn't expect to. I had heard negative reviews of the book, and now I can't even remember where. Thankfully it didn't taint my overall impression as I read.

One area where I do feel negatively is the language; the book is well over a hundred years old and I was expecting confusing terms and phrases- there was some of that, but there was something else about the language and I can't decide if it was poor voice and struc
Fora da sua curiosidade como surpreendente precedente da tragédia do Titanic — e nom só nas qualidades "infundíveis" dos paquebotes, mas na irresponsabilidade dos armadores, as asseguradoras, etc — é umha novela que serve como exemplo perfeito da literatura de finais do XIX. Suficientemente bem escrita como para que a força da tensom narrativa nom caia sobre o próprio acidente do barco, mas na negociaçom com as companhias asseguradoras e que isso nom signifique um demérito para o leitor. Escrita ...more
Dick Baldwin
Aug 23, 2008 Dick Baldwin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dick by: John Newland
Shelves: fiction, male-authors
People have made a case over the prophetic aspects of this book, and it is true that there are some coincidences relating the fictional Titan to the real life Titanic. But a careful look at the time in which this was published originally in 1898 and reissued after the disaster in 1912 shows that Morgan Robertson's book was merely the result of well-researched fiction. Iceberg sinkings were not uncommon, and it was no stretch to envision the largest ship ever built and then add the plus value of ...more
Not what I expected, but a great story. Full review coming soon.."Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan" by Morgan Robertson was not at all what I expected it to be. I had seen references to the story many times in other books about the RMS Titanic. It is speculated that "Futility" acts as a sort of prophecy that predicted the sinking of the Titanic. It was written a few years prior, and the fictional ship the Titan and the real Titanic have many similarities. One being that both ships were brande ...more
The Wreck of the Titan sounds like a derivative story. Here are a couple excerpts of the first chapter that highlight the similarities between the ship in the book and the Titanic:

"She was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men. In her construction and maintenance were involved every science, profession, and trade known to civilization....

"From the bridge, engine-room, and a dozen places on her deck the ninety-two doors of nineteen water-tight compartments could be close
I first learned about this book back in grade school when studying history and the wreck of the Titanic. I was told how this book eerily predicted the wreck of the Titanic 14 years earlier than the actual sinking of the Titanic (published in 1898?). When I started reading, I was surprised by how quickly it jumped to the liner's collision with an iceberg. Only thing different between the Titan and the Titanic was that the Titan blindly smashed a smaller ship through a fog then hit the iceberg a d ...more
Did J.P.Morgan use this book as a guide to murder businessmen who opposed his plans for the Federal Reserve Bank or is it all a coincidence? I don't know, read the book and form your own opinions. This is a great read, the story has everything you could possibly want... love, deception, a man dosed with drugs, and even a bare knuckle braw with a polar bear. I recommend reading this book.
The story of 'The Wreck of the Titan' is used in one of my lessons because of its similarity to Titanic, although this book was written a full 14 years before the Titanic sank. To me that was the only interesting thing about it. The story is strange, unpleasant even, as were the characters.
There are two more stories in the book, but I can't be bothered to read them.
Jeff Stiles
I listened to this book on CD. The actual novella was very good and it was interesting that there were some details very similar to the Titanic that sank 14 (I think)years later. The story, though, was not so much about the ship as it was about surviving the wreck.
The remainder of the audiobook consisted of memoirs of the author by himself and by some of his acquaintances. This was interesting to listen to as it was biographical and about the "writing life". Hardships as well as successes were d
As it has been said before, this book wouldn't even be noticed much less still in print if it hadn't been for the Titanic and it's similarities between it and the fictional liner Titan. While the similarities are remarkable, they barely warrant reading this grovel. The sinking of the Titan gets about 2 or so paragraphs (it basically hits an iceberg and falls over). The action, if one is so bold to call it that, that takes place before and after is pure drivel and unabashed melodrama. There where ...more
Aaron Kuehn
While doing some research in advance of seeing the Titanic exhibit in Las Vegas, I learned about this book, written in the 1800s, that essentially tells the story of the Titanic decades before the reality.

The eBook edition that I got for the Kindle has this story (I would categorize it as a short story, not a book) as well as four others. All deal with sea/navy life.

I enjoyed them all. They felt very contemporary and were told with what at the time must have had the feel of science fiction. Writ
Carlos Reges
Lo leí solo porque supe de él cuando escuché un micro radial sobre la novela que predecía el hundimiento del Titanic. Sí, tiene algunas semejanzas, pero se basa más es sobre lo que le sucede a Rowland que sobre el hundimiento del barco en sí. Además, los conflictos del protagonista se sobreponen ante la tragedia en la cual casi todos murieron, excepto "un puñado de sobrevivientes".

Esperaba ver mayores acciones de la trama, pero como más de uno estará pendiente de los detalles similares con respe
Yeah, I only looked into this because of the whole predicted-the-sinking-of-the-Titanic myth surrounding it.

But was this ever a let-down.

Heck, this story is barely even about "the wreck of the Titan." The Titan sinks within the first half of the story, and the rest is about the general aftermath.
(Can't even feel sorry for the people on-board when the ship does sink. The Titan straight-up runs through another ship during its journey. So it's more like divine retribution once the iceberg does show
David Bertasso
Interesting. The story isn't that fantastic. However, it is an interesting read because it describes a wreck like the Titanic, but was written 14 years earlier. Quick, short story.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Band That Played on: The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with the Titanic
  • Titanic Affair
  • The Sinking of the Titanic
  • And the Band Played On: The Titanic Violinist & the Glovemaker: A True Story of Love, Loss & Betrayal
  • Hide and Seek
  • Cold April
  • Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism
  • Birthday (Ring, #4)
  • Hellblazer, Vol. 1: Original Sins (Hellblazer New Edition, #1)
  • The Story of the Titanic As Told by Its Survivors
  • Pintu Terlarang
  • Lifeboat No. 8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss, and Surviving the Titanic
  • Something's Alive on the Titanic
  • James Cameron's Titanic
  • Museum of Terror, Vol. 3
  • Suspect Zero
  • Trapped On The Titanic
  • Last Dinner On the Titanic Menus and Recipes From the Great Liner
The Pirates The Grain Ship Where Angels Fear to Tread and Other Stories of the Sea Morgan Robertson: The Man Sinful Peck

Share This Book