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Beyond the Poseidon Adventure Paperback – April, 1979
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Top customer reviews
Written as a direct sequel to the film at the request of Irwin Allen who produced the films, it takes us back into the capsized ship with some of the original characters actually going back for more fun! It was completely unbelievable and Gallico should be ashamed to have out his name on it. Obviously he wrote it for the paycheck. I doubt he spent more than a day doing it.
Terrible, terrible, terrible.
I liked this story. Paul Gallico spent few words on exposition and concentrated on the action. Plenty of it, too, from running gunfights to single combat to racing against the sea, all while worthy opponents struggle to accomplish their respective missions. Frequently we'll see Gallico's subtle, dry wit emerge, as if playing the role of a gentle comic relief.
BTPA can confuse readers of the first excellent book, The Poseidon Adventure (also by Gallico), because this second book is a sequel to the blockbuster movie (with Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters). That movie and that first book had significant plot and character differences, but if you can accept this, you can enjoy the story.
Several of the original survivors reboard the still floating Poseidon scant minutes after their famous escape. Tough New York Cop Mike Rogo has unfinished business. They are joined by Captain Jason, a thinly-veiled Tyrone Power-swashbuckler who still manages to be entertaining, Hely the ruthless (and beautiful) grave robber who wants him at any cost, and the savage, debonair Ilich Bela, who is out to take what Rogo is determined to protect. Each character is vividly drawn in Gallico's spare prose, as he lets their actions and feelings do the describing.
As in the original novel, here Gallico fills the story with secondary characters, each drawn just enough so that the reader can recognize him immediately when he appears later. Here we see the boardroom schemers on both sides of the Atlantic, with a secret to hide, the whole world watching, and the murderous Bela on their payroll. We also see a long-retired Sailor thrust into the media spotlight as the only local who might be able to follow what is happening on the Poseidon, and his antics as he tries to live up to the billing. And we see two top military officers (different countries) who think the best solution to the whole mess is to blast the upside-down ship to little bits.
The author allowed many cliches into his story, although in the seventies cliches were much more popular than today. The old Dutch captain and his 16-year old daughter, the swashbuckler, the Communist (Bela) with a taste for decadence, the underdog (original survivor James Martin) determined to prove to everyone that he is a man, the pirate with a hidden heart of gold (Jason), etc. And while they struggle against each other, the unstable earth which spawned the notorious tidal wave is on the move again...
BTPA won't survive modern scrutiny, but if you willingly suspend your disbelief and just read the story, you can really enjoy the ride.