The thriller Raise The Titanic
was a $40m flop in 1980, its model Titanic
alone costing millions. Ryan charts the replica's sad history...
By autumn 1977, author Clive Cussler
was the toast of the publishing world. Following
a decade of writing and two moderately successful novels, his third book, Raise The Titanic
! was a runaway bestseller. Its popularity was a contrast to Cussler's earlier books, which had earned him a relatively meagre $5,000. But those earlier adventures - The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg - helped establish the daring hero Dirk Pitt, a practical, earthy hero designed as a counterpoint to the suave, refined James Bond.
For Raise The Titanic
!, Cussler dreamed up a scenario in which Pitt headed up a multi-billion-dollar operation to find and recover the doomed luxury liner, which sank in 1912. Their goal: to recover a mysterious, incredibly rare substance called byzantium from the ship's belly - a