- Books, Literature, and Writing
Retro Reading: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure by Paul Gallico
When you're young, everything seems great. However, when you get older and revisit a piece of your childhood, things aren't as you remember them.
As a lifelong fan of the movie, The Poseidon Adventure, I remember being excited when the sequel came out in 1979 (I wouldn't see the movie until 1985 when it premiered on television) but I had read the book.
At the time the premise was great.
Return to the capsized luxury liner, but, follow the ending of the movie rather than the book. Once the survivors are rescued in the book the ship sinks, but in the movie, its still floating. This premise also brings back survivors Mike Rogo, Manny Rosen and James Martin.
Since the book is based on the movie, you may remember Linda Rogo's infamous line to the table of New Year's Eve revelers: "Why we didn't fly, I'll never know." And she never knew that Mike was on board the vessel to protect billions of dollars of gold.
This is why Rogo hijacks the French helicopter since he needs to complete his mission and while doing this, Manny Rosen goes back to grieve Belle's death, but James Martin, only goes back for more adventure. However, only two survive this latest adventure.
Of course new characters are introduced as people flock to the disaster to claim salvage rights. These new characters are rather dull and really don't need any mentioning, however, the Hely character is worth mentioning.
The reason I mention her is for the fact that her goal is to rob the dead in the dining room. She figures that all of the women would be wearing their finest jewelry to welcome in the New Year and this diving scene is probably the most disturbing. In fact, it's probably the only scene that I've remembered since first reading the book.
While the movie has some of the same elements of the book, it would have been great if more survivors had been found (unlike the movie in which a few more are found) but, unfortunately, Paul Gallico spends too much time on the narrative once more and many of the scenes are drawn out too long.
On the bright side, the book is only 237 pages long and depending on how engrossed you get, it can be a fast read.