Honestly, let s say this is a 3.75 star novel I don t know that it is quite a 4 star The middle of this novel bogs down a bit, which seems odd since it is under 200 pages total The ending turns out a bit positively than I would expect a sign of my generation the contemporary societal expectations Overall, an interesting scenario presented with competent writing Even though the plot will make you smirk a bit in disbelief, the fun juxtapositions of generation ships is worthwhile. This is a great read, you bond with the characters even through the generations You would hope humans could behave like this in this situation An odd and unique book. Doc Radford, The Exec, Wallis, And First Officer Dickson, Together With Two Badly Injured And Hysterical Nurses All Of Them Stuck In The Pitch Dark, Bleak Cold Of A Hull Several Fathoms Under WaterUnkind Chance, Instead Of Killing Them, Had Left Them With Oxygen Tanks And Stores Of FoodSomehow They Had To Find A Way To Stay Sane Long Enough To Make A New Home In This Strange Environment Clever and interesting right to the last Very good. An exceptionally odd premise for a novel a cargo ship is torpedoed in World War II, and goes down to the bottom with a small nucleus of survivors, male and female They are not killed instead they survive, and manage to live the rest of their lives out on the bottom of the sea floor, existing on the food supplies stored in the hold and water reclaimed from condensation They even have children and grandchildren This story is superimposed over the tale of the migration of a species of aquatic aliens who have created an armada to escape the destruction of their home planet Something goes wrong with their grand scheme and they land on earth to live in our oceans Communications between the semi aqueous aliens and humans seems quite problematic until they discover the small group of tanker survivors on the sea floor So far, White is far skillful in depicting aliens than humans, but the writing is still quite good for all of that. Remember that a 2 star Goodreads rating means, It was OK At the heart of this book is a quite implausible premise that group of humans could survive in the hold of sunken ship not merely for days, weeks, or years, but for six or seven generations A reader certainly has to suspend disbelief But as this premise unlikely as it is is critical to the story, the reader must simply go with the flow.Still another element troubled me about the story from its early pages A familiar trope about much science fiction that involves alien contact is that the aliens that are portrayed aren t alien enough That struck me about the aliens in The Watch Below from the moment they were introduced They are aquatic beings, rather than air breathers, but emotionally, psychologically, and sociologically, they might as well be humans.As it happens, however, this ends up being the point of the book, so it self immunizes itself from that criticism So if you re willing to surrender to all the author s premises, the story kinda works.But even allowing that, the ending is just too pat A major military machine set in motion like this one is when a final confrontation takes place, is unlikely to be halted as easily as this one is That s asking for too much disbelief to be suspended. Un buon romanzo.L ambientazione quella di un cargo durante la seconda guerra mondiale, che viene affondato ma per via dei tank ermetici che porta, ha 5 superstiti.5 persone vive a una ventina di metri dalla superficie dell acqua, che si ingegnano per sopravvivere grazie al carico, e lo fanno per decenni, fino ad avere figli e nipoti e pronipoti.Nel frattempo nello spazio una civilt aliena sfugge dalla fine del suo mondo acquatico diretta sulla Terra, che non sanno abitata da esseri di superficie, e dopo un viaggio multigenerazionale dove al maggior parte di loro viaggia ibernata, raggiungono il nostro pianeta.Non un capolavoro, ma resta una bella storia, con lieto fine, intelligente e ben scritta. Two groups, 2 different species, are stranded in deadly surroundings A tiny group of humans is captured in a sunk tanker in the Pacific Ocean An alien species sends out a fleet of colony ships from its dying world Both groups contrive ways to survive for generations, until they converge.James White s 189 pages cover the generations of both groups, so obviously there is a lot of overview The environment of the human group has so little potential that most of the activity of each person s life is mental and not made to live for the reader It s the concepts that are interesting here, not the storytelling. Both wise and clever I don t want to spoil anything for you, even something you learn pretty early on, but let s just say it succeeds at being a lot of different things a survival story, a first contact story, two variations on generation ship stories, and it even feeds my interest in stories about post apocalyptic rebuilding.It s dated, and flawed, but still a fascinating read imo Really gets into theories of sociology and explorations of what it means to be a person.I am now re reading Station Eleven and am intrigued by the resemblances.The mm pb edition I read is not listed here these old pulps don t always get the respect they deserve and if only I had realized it needed to be entered I would have but too late now but why hasn t another reader librarian done so I mean, ppl should have read it. I first read this book shortly after it was published in 1966, and it captured my imagination then, so I decided to read it again, 50 years later I ve kept all the books I read as a teenager, almost all of them science fiction and fantasy The Watch Below is science fiction, and definitely of that era But it s still a good story, imaginative, with good characters, although it seemed a little rushed at the end The premise is pretty creative a group of people trapped in a sunken ship from WWII, who survive several generations and whose descendants are finally rescued by aliens, who themselves were trapped in interstellar ships for generations.