For readers who relish the image of clinging to a sinking makeshift raft while fighting off sword-wielding and delirious mutineers wrenching the last cask of water from a sailor’s sun-scorched hands (while sharks circle in famished anticipation), Shipwrecked! Adventures and Disasters at Sea is an irresistible read. A heady voyage through human suffering at the hands of unforgiving oceans, cruel captains, and implacable fate, this latest collection of Evan Balkan’s impeccably researched true adventures details 14 major maritime disasters. Included are such legendary stories as the 1629 maiden voyage of the Batavia that ended in mutiny and murder, and the dramatic destruction of the majestic three-masted barquentine Endurance in ice-clogged Antarctic waters in 1912. A vast spectrum of human emotion and activity is featured in these exciting profiles, from deadly incompetence and brutish cannibalism to surprising self-sacrifice and quiet heroism.