Melanie, I played Titanic with my daughter -- and with both of our great minds working together -
- we still failed in our mission the first time through. We tried to go back to the start of the "final hour" -
- but we'd messed up so badly, that we knew we'd have to start all over again.
So after I read over the walkthrough...
I realized how much we'd missed, and we started the game from the beginning. Even with the information in the walkthrough, it was still difficult to complete the game successfully. The game changes the timing and locations of some events; while other events take place within a narrow 'window' of opportunity -- and if you miss the meeting, you're out of luck! This is what makes the game unique.
Regarding the Rubaiyat book -- Vlad will only give you one item, so it only helps if you've gotten everything BUT the Rubaiyat. Also, it takes a lot of time to get to him, and to find and obtain the item he wants. The ship is going down fast; and you have to travel the 'old-fashioned' way. Therefore, you may not have enough time to do all that if you have other things to complete in the 'final hour.'
Melanie, we completed the new game from start to finish in 3 or 4 hours. It's not a long game, just a very complicated one.