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The Poseidon Adventure

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  7,452 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews

Paul Gallico's classic novel, The Poseidon Adventure, is the exciting story of a luxury ocean liner that capsizes after it is struck by a colossal tidal wave, leaving its survivors to fend for themselves and find a way out. The blockbuster movie remake of this story is sure to make a huge splash and lure readers into this compelling and dramatic novel.

Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 4th 2006 by Arrow Books Ltd (first published January 1st 1969)
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May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie with my friend Linda, and an obsession was born.

We played "Poseidon Adventure" with our Barbies. We played "Poseidon Adventure" with the Deitch boys from across the street. (Even though they had not seen the film, in our crazed madness, we forced them to play all the male roles.) I even saw the movie en espanol on a trip to Spain. (Didn't understand a word of it. Didn't matter. I had it memorized.)

My dad, never one to miss an opportunity for education, came home with a presen
Aug 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, fiction
Normally, I don't mind when a book is turned into a movie. A movie, even a bad one, usually brings a book a much wider audience. For instance, I was enticed to read All the King's Men by seeing the trailer for the Steven Zaillian-directed remake. The book is now among my favorite novels of all time; the movie is crap (I've never seen the original movie).

I will make an exception for Poseidon, which is among the stinkiest pieces of garbage I've ever had the misfortune of sitting through in the th
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: disaster
Afloat North Atlantic, SS Poseidon turned upside down because of tsunami due to undersea earthquake. Unlike RMS Titanic, the story of SS Poseidon is fiction and managed to inspire only 4 movie adaptations unlike the former that inspired 20 movies both in TV or wide screen. In fact, when American novelist Paul Gallico (July 26, 1897 – July 15, 1976) released The Poseidon Adventure in 1969, it did not generate much interest as it was seen as a lame version of the RMS Titanic story.

But I liked the
Apr 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, library
Most are probably familiar with this story about a group of people in an upside-down cruise ship thanks to the classic adventure movie that's based on it. The book is more salacious and brutal than its famous film adaptation.

There's a heavy focus on the thoughts and discussions of the characters, sometimes at the expense of what's actually happening on the ship - I had to re-read more than one action scene to understand what was going on. This would have been more acceptable to me if the themes
Neal Shusterman
Okay... confession here... When I was 11, my father took me to see the original Poseidon Adventure at the Beekman theater in Manhattan. I loved it. I was obsessed with it. I think that perhaps my adult fascination with cruise ships was strongly influenced by it. The idea of a cruise ship turning upside down was so damn surreal, terrifying and compelling creatively, I couldn’t get it out of my mind as a kid. Back when I was twelve, I read the novel, and loved it. So just last year I found a copy ...more
Feb 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Until just a few weeks ago my only exposure to The Poseidon Adventure was the film made in the early 1970's. When I discovered that it was first a book by Paul Gallico, I knew I had to read it. I'm one who prefers to read the book first and then see the movie. Having done it in reverse order this time, I was interested to see how much the film held to or diverted from the book.

The Poseidon Adventure is the story of a huge cruise/cargo ship that is full of passengers on a 30-day cruise taken over
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
A genuinely bad book. Loaded with sexism, obnoxious characters that you dont even care about, and a really stupid bit where a woman is raped and seems oddly okay with it.
Jason Reeser
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
I was surprised at this. A far better book than I expected. I had always loved the movie, but now I see why they made the movie. This book is fantastic.
Jason Bennion
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I suspect this potboiler would've been entirely forgotten by now if not for the classic 1972 disaster movie it inspired.

While the film followed the book's plot fairly closely -- the screenplay shuffles around a few major events and pares away some characters -- the two properties are very different in tone. Gallico presents us with a group of unlikable characters who are all, to one degree or another, the last person with whom you'd want to be trapped in a life-and-death struggle. It isn't mere
It's kind of a sick fascination to be so awed by what is, by most estimations, pretty much a text-book definition of a "cheap thriller". I make no bones about it, forget the movie(s): this book is a terrific page-turner of a cheapie, but Graham Greene it aint'. That one author could produce both "The Snow Goose" and "The Poseidon Adventure" says much about Gallico's versatility, and not a little about the fallacy of classifying authors by genre.

Why do I like it? I saw the film first; or rather,
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Sometimes we have to make allowances for older books and movies and TV shows, because it's not fair to judge them by contemporary values. Still, some parts of The Poseidon Adventure are hard to take.

There's the cop's selfish, racist, shrewish wife, who sometimes "needs" a good slap. Not only in the opinion of her husband, but also in the opinion of the other survivors and even the narrator.

There's the rape. Not that it happens, but the victim's reaction to it. Ye gads.

There's the need for all of
Mel Campbell
Paul Gallico was 72 when this book was originally published. He'd lived through the golden age of ocean liner travel, and this is a profoundly cynical story about the vulgar, undignified end of an era.

As I was reading, I was thinking about how deeply unpleasant all the characters were. The women come out of it worst, and all seem pathetically dependent on men. If they're not dumb bimbos, self-effacing doormats or dreadful shrews they're silly teenagers, dried-up spinsters or fat old women. But t
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-thrillers
One of the biggest one-two punches you could ask for, to close out the 1960s. There was nothing like this property. Nothing like it since 'The Rains Came' and 'The Hurricane'. Book AND movie! Unique. Visionary. The one every other project subsequently, copied.

One of those instances where the adaptation swaps in and out with the book. Each complementing the other. The whole experience has a surreal and disorienting quality. In the book, crazy chapter headings like, 'Up the Down Staircase' and 'To
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book its interestin they route from New York City to Greece on New Year's Eve, majestic passenger ship the S.S. Poseidon is overtaken by a tidal wave. With the captain (Leslie Nielsen) dead, surviving passengers, including the passionate Rev. Scott (Gene Hackman), band together in the ship's ballroom. My brother told me to read it he said its pretty cool its adventure it quite scary I felt that thisis like titanic a big ship gets drawned when the big wave slam it under water ...more
Sergi A.M
Apr 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Leí la novela después de haber visto sus tres adaptaciones cinematográficas, pues la verdad es que me gustaron muchísimo. La obra en sí no está mal y conoces mejor a los personajes que en los filmes (obviamente) pero el problema oscila, quizá, en lo tremendamente visual que es todo, aspecto en el que sobresalen las películas (pese a que la última, fechada en el 2006, presente a unos personajes diferentes). Ha sido interesante conocer la novela que inspiró a una de las películas clásicas más acla ...more
Deidre(Dee) ~ Official Bookworm ~
A very good story of a group of people, who band together, determined to survive, after the ocean liner SS Poseidon capsizes when a rogue wave hits her. The cause-a huge undersea earthquake which turns the ship upside down, making the will for survival, that much harder!
Molly Christensen
May 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting book on human spirit. Many of the people just completely gave up and wouldn't even try when the ship sank, but others were going to do whatever it took to at least give themselves a chance. Way too many dead people for me, though.
David Teska
Feb 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The first mature novel I read (age 14 or 15 I think). Read the book, then see both movies. The book is much richer and tauter in how the survivors made it out.
Timothy Boyd
Very good book adaptation of the movie. Recommended
Walter Roper
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic

A true classic so well know by the iconic 70s film, but the book goes much deeper and explores human behavior and the human heart.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
The most interesting thing in the entire book is the cover.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abdelouahab Hammoudi
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The adventure of the Poseidon: is the story of a steamship coming from America and setting off in the Mediterranean Sea to Greece, which is completely reversed by a gigantic wave.
Most of the passengers, projected against the ceilings, perish in the catastrophe.
A group of survivors get organized around a policeman and a priest (the reverend Scott), and ascend wearily, by following air pockets, to the part of the shell where is found the propeller, hoping to find there an exit.
They will be deli
Perilously close to four stars, as I'd definitely read this book again, but there's only so much misogyny and casual racism ("But it was a different time!") you can forgive.

The physics of tipping a ship over are beautifully explained, as are the concomitant upside-down navigations, and people die in elegantly spooky ways. Sometimes they don't die spectacularly, they just... die. And that feels very authentic to the unexpected casualty of the plot.

The characters are complicated and multidimensi
Sam Cook
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good book. I've seen both the original film and the remake from 2006 with Kurt Russell, which are based on this book, and I thought that they were both great, though the original is a classic that cannot fully be compared with the remake, as the remake had a $160 million budget to work with, unlike the original (unfortunately, that budget was its downfall). The book is definitely closer to the original film, and I loved it. Hope to soon own a personal copy of it.
Jane Thompson
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I had,of course, heard of the Poseidon Adventure but I did not see the movie. When I realized it was written by Paul Gallico, I bought it immediately and found that the story was engaging and worth reading. I was pleased with the story and wish that more of his work was on Kindle.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it
A ripping yarn, but gosh, dated by its political incorrectness!
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Maybe people didn't realize it 50 years ago, but this book, while a compelling story, is incredibly sexist.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A case where the movie is way better than the book!
Amy Webster-Bo
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
love the book, though different then the movie, in some parts was still a great read
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Paul William Gallico was born in New York City, on 26th July, 1897. His father was an Italian, and his mother came from Austria; they emigrated to New York in 1895.

He went to school in the public schools of New York, and in 1916 went to Columbia University. He graduated in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree, having lost a year and a half due to World War I. He then worked for the National Boar
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