Jerry Smith's Reviews > Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew

Ghost Ship by Brian Hicks
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's review
Jul 30, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: history, mystery, 2009-read
Read in July, 2009

The Mary Celeste story has become something of a nautical legend. So much so that facts have become distorted in repeated tellings so as to make it more interesting or mysterious. For example the ship was found a week after the last log entry therefore tales of warm meals still on the table are not true!

This book is interesting in that it builds the story of the MC and the time it was sailing to really give you a picture of that period in history. Indeed the facts of the life of the ship and the crew are presented chronolgically through the disappearance, the salvage hearing and the subsequent life of the ship right up to its eventual demise. This is done before any attempt is made to assess what actually happened.

It is a relief that the author presents his assessment of the crew disappearance in startk, common sense terms. Of course, nobody will ever know for sure, but Hicks' explanation seems entirely logical and reasonable given the evidence. It is refreshing to read a book that is so grounded in this way. There is a cursory nod to some of the more outlandish theories, but I, for one, and delighted not to hear anymore outrageous theories about Atlantis, Men from Mars, time space vortex anomolies and other such occult theories including streching the Bermuda Triangle all the way to the west coast of Africa!

This doesn't distract from a story well told and feeling like there is a rational explanation doesn't make it any less fascinating.

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