Ghost Ship by Brian Hicks

Ghost ShipGhost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing CrewGhost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew by Brian Hicks by Brian Hicks

My knowledge of the Mary Celeste was all but non-existant before reading Hick’s account. She was the ship found without anyone on board, and no one knew what happened to the crew and passengers.

Well, I guess we still don’t 100% know what happened to the people on board, but Hicks gives a very believable explanation of the most likely cause of their disappearance. No spoilers here, and you’ll have to wait until the very end of the book before he shares the theory.

Until then there’s historical information on the ship, and her crew – mostly the captain and his family. There are also details on the ship that found the Mary Celeste and worked so hard to bring her in – not that they got the reward they were hoping for those efforts!

The book is hard to read at times, imagining what happened to them, and also thinking about the effects on the families left back at home.

Fascinating, if not a completely engrossing read. I really enjoyed it, but don’t know that it’s got enough of a “can’t put this down” quality to recommend it wholeheartedly.

Publisher’s Description:
On December 4th, 1872, a 100-foot brigantine was discovered drifting through the North Atlantic without a soul on board. Not a sign of struggle, not a shred of damage, no ransacked cargo—and not a trace of the captain, his wife and daughter, or the crew. What happened on board the ghost ship Mary Celeste has baffled and tantalized the world for 130 years. In his stunning new book, award-winning journalist Brian Hicks plumbs the depths of this fabled nautical mystery and finally uncovers the truth.

The Mary Celeste was cursed as soon as she was launched on the Bay of Fundy in the spring of 1861. Her first captain died before completing the maiden voyage. In London she accidentally rammed and sank an English brig. Later she was abandoned after a storm drove her ashore at Cape Breton. But somehow the ship was recovered and refitted, and in the autumn of 1872 she fell to the reluctant command of a seasoned mariner named Benjamin Spooner Briggs. It was Briggs who was at the helm when the Mary Celeste sailed into history.

In Brian Hicks’s skilled hands, the story of the Mary Celeste becomes the quintessential tale of men lost at sea. Hicks vividly recreates the events leading up to the crew’s disappearance and then unfolds the complicated and bizarre aftermath—the dark suspicions that fell on the officers of the ship that intercepted her; the farcical Admiralty Court salvage hearing in Gibraltar; the wild myths that circulated after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published a thinly disguised short story sensationalizing the mystery. Everything from a voodoo curse to an alien abduction has been hauled out to explain the fate of the Mary Celeste. But, as Brian Hicks reveals, the truth is actually grounded in the combined tragedies of human error and bad luck. The story of the Mary Celeste acquired yet another twist in 2001, when a team of divers funded by novelist Clive Cussler located the wreck in a coral reef off Haiti.

Written with the suspense of a thriller and the vivid accuracy of the best popular history, Ghost Ship tells the unforgettable true story of the most famous and most fascinating maritime mystery of all time.

Book Details

Title: Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing CrewGhost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew by Brian Hicks
Author: Brian Hicks
Category: Nonfiction / History
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

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