Like all warm-blooded human beings, I have a certain list of criteria for what makes a good shipwreck story: Incompetent leadership. Selfishness. Cannibalism. Historical context. Drinking your own urine. Lots of lies and conflicting accounts of the event.
The Wreck of the Medusa by Jonathan Miles satisfies all of these. More than a tragedy, the 1816 wreck of the French ship Medusa was a political embarrassment, a catalyst for change, an inspiration for a famous work of art, and a salacious scandal with far-reaching repercussions for the survivors.