Book Review: A Night To Remember

Here I go with another Titanic book.  You’re probably asking – why read so many, aren’t they all just the same? The ship sank! And well, yes, the general story is always the same.  People are having fun on this ship and then it hits an iceberg and then it sinks.  But each book I read about it brings a different perspective to the story.  Walter Lord’s A Night To Remember is a classic story about the sinking of the Titanic and it is so great that a movie was made from the book (the movie has the same title – A Night to Remember. I haven’t seen it.)

I also really love Walter’s writing style and I am going to have to check out some other books that he has written as well, I think.

Another unique thing about this book is in the back there is a list of the passengers on the ship.  This would come in handy if you go to the Titanic exhibit like I did a few years back where you are given the boarding pass of a passenger and then at the end find out if you lived or died.  Not all are listed on the boards at the end so this would be a great resource for that. (There are also multiple websites where you can find out a lot of back story on your passengers if you’d like!)

Overall this book was interesting, kept my attention and was a relatively quick read at only 10 chapters and 150 pages.

I received a free e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in order to write this review.

About the Book

Lord’s classic bestseller, and the definitive account of the unsinkable ship’s fateful last hours

At first, no one but the lookout recognized the sound. Passengers described it as the impact of a heavy wave, a scraping noise, or the tearing of a long calico strip. In fact, it was the sound of the world’s most famous ocean liner striking an iceberg, and it served as the death knell for 1,500 souls.

In the next two hours and forty minutes, the maiden voyage of the Titanic became one of history’s worst maritime accidents. As the ship’s deck slipped closer to the icy waterline, women pleaded with their husbands to join them on lifeboats. Men changed into their evening clothes to meet death with dignity. And in steerage, hundreds fought bitterly against certain death. At 2:15 a.m. the ship’s band played “Autumn.” Five minutes later, the Titanic was gone.

Based on interviews with sixty-three survivors, Lord’s moment-by-moment account is among the finest books written about one of the twentieth century’s bleakest nights.

Walter Lord (1917-2002) was an acclaimed and bestselling author of literary nonfiction best known for his gripping and meticulously researched accounts of watershed historical events. Born in Baltimore, Lord went to work for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. After the war’s end, Lord joined a New York advertising firm, and began writing nonfiction in his spare time. His first book was The Fremantle Diary (1954), a volume of Civil War diaries that became a surprising success. But it was Lord’s next book, A Night to Remember (1955), that made him famous. The bestseller caused a new flurry of interest in the Titanic and inspired the 1958 film of the same name. Lord went on to use the book’s interview-heavy format as a template for most of his following works, which included detailed reconstructions of the Pearl Harbor attack in Day of Infamy (1957), the battle of Midway in Incredible Victory (1967), and the integration of the University of Mississippi in The Past That Would Not Die (1965). In all, he published a dozen books.

Category: Book Review
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