This novel was published a full 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic, but listeners may be surprised at how many parallels this fictional tale has with subsequent true events.
The Titan is the largest and most technologically advanced steamship of her time. She is considered unsinkable. Her full speed crossings of the Northern Lane Route carry her rich passengers in the highest standards of luxury and comfort. The less well-off travel in rougher quarters but still benefit from the speed of travel. These crossings, however, are fraught with navigational hazards, the greatest of which is ice.
Unlike the ship, one member of her crew is not of the highest standard. At least, not anymore. John Rowland is a broken man who drinks to forget his past. However, when the Titan crashes into an iceberg during her attempt to break a speed record, he is forced to confront his past. Can he overcome his enemies and escape as the ship begins to sink? And can he make his way back to civilization and find self-respect once more? Adventure and soul-searching await Rowland, with a surprise ending.
This is an interesting novella. As the blurb says it's being written before the Titanic is quite quite remarkable, and that was what caught my attention.
The story is very simple, there are not any sub plots here it's simple and straight forwards. As the blurb suggests, a fallen ships officer is thrown into dire staights with only his physical strength and sence of honour to defend against all manner of unexpected foes.
The lead character has his faults but the simple writing weaves this nicely along a path where you quickly gain sympathy for his plight. As I was litening I found him endearing and his sense of honour appealed to the wanna-be-knight that is my soul!
The end was a sweet surpise, I'd been guessing that it was going elsewhere and ended up with a feel good feeling.
As you've guessed I really enjoyed this story and the reader helped that along. He's a loverly voice that fits perfectly with the story and his poise and pacing were excellent.
Total Score 8/9
Download it from Librivox
Listen to the first chapter