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The Wreck of the Titan or Futility Hardcover – June 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Buccaneer Books (June 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899668216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899668215
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,545,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Even stranger is another story included in this ebook: Beyond the Spectrum

This story describes a futuristic war fought with aircraft that carried what he called "sun bombs". These bombs were so powerful that with one brilliant flash of blinding light, one single bomb could destroy an entire city (much like a nuclear bomb ).

N. B.: When this story was written, airplanes were still tiny, dangerous machines that could barely carry one man and was decades before the Germans started their "heavy water" experiments, trying to construct a nuclear device.

In addition, this future war begins in the month of December when the Japanese stage a sneak attack on Hawaii.

It appears that the author was visionary of sorts.

--Am. Library Assoc.

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Customer Reviews

Robertson's writing is flowery by modern standards but always intelligible.
Will Dunklin <dunklin@korrnet.org>
Most people read this book because of this amazing similarity of the ship in the first story to the H.M.S. Titanic.
supersebree
It was something i never expected. i would definitley try to read more books like this.
Molly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 78 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Futility is a story about a huge ocean liner called the "Titan" which was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. The Titan hits an iceberg on its starboard side and sinks in the icy North Atlantic during the month of April. I wanted to read this story because it was believed by some that this story would foretell the sinking of the Titanic 14 years later. I found parts of the book to be interesting; but I had a hard time trying to follow all of the events without rereading some of the pages. At one point, I put the book down because it became a little boring at times. Overall, Futility is a good book to read, and no doubt was a good sea adventure in 1898! I cannot really say there is any similarities to the way the "Titan" sank compared to the Titanic disaster. I gave this book 4 stars, because Morgan Robertson spoke of important nautical terms (like the Titan's 19 watertight compartments, triple screw expansion,etc). These were on ocean liners of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Futility is not the best book I have ever read, but I think it was a pretty good one. It is hard not to try to compare the events unfolding in Futility and compare it to the events leading up to the sinking of Titanic; since the two events are similiar. It is a story that any Titanic enthusiast or historian must read!
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Will Dunklin <dunklin@korrnet.org> on September 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
What "Titanic" buff hasn't heard of the infamous story of the "Titan?" Here, at a very reasonable price, is a chance to actually read the fiticious story which has been unavailable for so long. Unfortunately, once having read the story, most will find it a minor disappointment.
"Futility" is not the epic story of a shipwreck. Indeed, the actual wreck and sinking of the "Titan" takes place over the course of only five paragraphs.
Rather than a maritime disaster, the title "Futility" refers to the events surrounding the main character, John Rowland, before, on and after the "Titan." Morgan Robertson (the author) uses the ship and wreck only to establish a circumstance in which Rowland's true character can be contrasted with the hypocracy of Victorian society.
"Futility" is a novella, easily readable in about two hours. Robertson's writing is flowery by modern standards but always intelligible. After reading it, most are likely to understand why the book has been out of print for so long: it is not great literature. It is, however, part of the "Titanic" legend and therefor deserves to be on every "Titanic" buff's shelf.
My strongest complaint with the 100th Anniversary Edition is the complete absence of editing. Mis-spellings abound and words are obviously omitted. Spell-check doesn't catch syntax errors or word substitutions such as "to" for "two." We've all come to accept and expect this sloppiness in e-mail and on web-sites, but the printed word deserves closer scrutiny and better acuracy.
Do buy the book. Be aware of what it isn't.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
History is clear. April 15, 1912, the White Star luxury liner Titanic, on its much anticipated and publicized maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg somewhere in the freezing North Atlantic. Several hours later, the Titanic sank beneath its icy-cold waters. Over 1500 people were killed. In 1898, fourteen years before this horrifying tragedy, an American author by the name Morgan Robertson penned a short novel called Futility, which told the tale of a mammoth British liner doomed to strike an iceberg in the North Atlantic, killing nearly all on board. His ill-fated ship was named the Titan. This, nine years before the Titanic was ever conceived. An odd coincidence, maybe, but one peculiar enough to elicit goosebumps on the flesh of even the greatest skeptics of the paranormal. What is absolutely chilling is that Robertson's Titan was in fact nearly identical, detail for detail, to the true-life Titanic. From the vessels' time of sailing to their top speeds, from their dimensions to the number of passengers aboard, statistical data on both ships are hauntingly alike. Morgan Robertson, who died in 1915, surprisingly never received much acclaim or reputation for his book, and very little else is known about the man who claimed to have been inspired by an "astral writing partner". It is known, however, that he wrote fourteen novels, all ocean-faring adventures (Robertson himself spent his early life at sea). In addition to Futility, Beyond the Spectrum has also been included in the book you are now holding. It is yet another eerie example of his premonition, a short story alluding to a terrible war between the Japanese and Americans, as well as the use of secret super-radiation weapons. This, some forty-one years before the start of World War II, not to mention almost fifty years before the invention of the atomic bomb. Still odd coincidence? Enjoy.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was a surprise. After reading other reviews I didn't think it would be that great. I was pleased that the plot was thicker than I was expecting and the similarlites to the Titanic were really amazing. I wanted to read it because of my interest in the Titanic and to read this book that was written more than 10 years before the Titanic sank made it even better. The plot and characters were interesting and all in all it was a good read.
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