EPUB Wreck of the Medusa

Book description

Originally published in 1974, this is a harrowing account of the grounding of the frigate Medusa off the coast of Africa and the abandonment of the ship by its 400 passengers and crew in seven boats and a poorly-built raft. McKee tells the story in a straightforward way, and he deftly moves the reader from boat to boat as his narrative shifts locations.

The book is a page-turner up until the last few chapters. The plight of the raft is gut-wrenching, and the actions of those who should have been in authority is deplorable in many cases. Had this been a work of fiction, I would have tossed it aside as being utterly unbelievable. But the events are true and are enlightening in light of recent disasters involving cruise ships and ferries.

The book grows weak in the final chapters when McKee attempts to analyse contemporary (for 1974)disasters and what allows people stranded after a disaster to survive. These last two chapters might have made an important separate work, but here they just feel tacked on and trivial. McKee doesn't cite to sources throughout this book, which is nearly forgivable in a popular history, but when he turns to analysis here at the end, his credibility is weakened by not thoroughly citing his sources. (In fairness, he mentions the name and author of one study within the text.)

Read this through the first sixteen chapters, then skim the last two.

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File size7.5 Mb
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
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