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I ve never trusted the month of April It should be the month of flowers and bunnies and eggs and bees, which it is But April is also the month of disastersthe 1906 Earthquake and Fire, Chernobyl, the Oklahoma City Bombing, Columbine and, of course, the Sinking of the Titanic The S is capitalized.Prior to reading Walter Lord s version of the Sinking, the Titanic was just another shipwreck to me, but forever after, it is THE shipwreck Under Lord s framing, it s also the end of the Gilded Age when industrial magnates could wear warm furs while sitting top deck on the greatest ocean liner ever built The stories of the survivors and the drowned so shook me, I remember having to carry a flashlight to bed so I could read this adventure under covers without anyone else in the house knowing There are a number of books about the Titanic, but there really is only one Lord s Titanic I will show you fear in a handful of dustYes, April is the cruellest month.Book Season Spring still won t travel by boat Book on CD read by Walter JarvisOn April 15, 1912, the greatest ship to ever sail struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic This is a chronological tale of what the people aboard the Titanic recall of that night s events This is a re read I first read it before I joined either Shelfari or Goodreads, so I have no record of when I read it I believe it was in the 1980s I know it was long before the hugely successful movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet If memory serves, I re read it at about the time the movie was released So this is my third reading.It s a gripping story, and Lord does a great job of bringing all these people to life I get a real sense of the confusion and disbelief when the ship first strikes the iceberg And later, of the chaos and panic when it is clear she will go down, and there are not enough lifeboats for everyone aboard to safely get away Lord used transcripts of testimony given by many people during the inquiry following the disaster, as well as personal interviews with survivors and relatives of those lost at sea, as well as people who were aboard the Carpathia which picked up all the lifeboats and returned with them to New York The text edition I had included some photographs, as well as a full list of the passengers.Walter Jarvis does an okay job of reading the audio version, but I really disliked his voice Still, he did convey a sense of urgency as he related the events of that horrible night. this is a very good book about the sinking of the titanic, probably the best and most accurate of the books written about the titanic disaster, a movie a night to remember was made from it, and it tells you what really happened instead of exaggerations, and lies, so it is without a doubt among the best of the books written about the titanic disaster, and I would recommend it to anyone would is interested in the titanic and wants to read a true account James Cameron s vision of the Titanic decided that the most compelling and lucrative story would focus on two young lovers who had just met Looking at the passenger manifest, where survivors are listed in italics and the dead are not, suggests how blandly offensive this vision is It s hard to argue with the chivalry of women and children first, but for family after family, particularly among first class passengers, fathers and husbands went down with the ship while mothers, wives, and kiddies and often the female servants of the very wealthy rowed away in lifeboats Arthur Ryerson, scion of the steel and iron family, took off his lifebelt when he saw that his wife s maid, Victorine, didn t have one Ryerson, his wife, and three of their children were returning from France to the U.S for the funeral of his son, who had been thrown from a car the week before Ryerson Senior perished John Jacob Astor asked if he could accompany his wife, who was pregnant, into a boat request denied She and her maid survived Astor and his manservant died A strange calm descended over the doomed elite Benjamin Guggenheim and his valet changed into their evening clothes so they could go down like gentlemen Mrs Isador Straus refused to leave her husband the founder of Macy s and they watched the hubbub, arms entwined, as in another part of the ship steerage passengers, many of whom didn t speak English, clutched rosaries and prayed But character was not uniformly spread amongst the nobility As the ship disappeared beneath the waves, Lady Cosmo Duff Gordon in Lifeboat 1 remarked to her secretary There is your beautiful nightdress gone Lord engagingly writes of these swells There was a wonderful intimacy about this little world of the Edwardian rich There was no flicker of surprise when they bumped into each other, whether at the Pyramids a great favorite , the Cowes regatta, or the springs at Baden Baden They seemed to get the same ideas at the same time, and one of these ideas was to make the maiden voyage of the largest ship in the world.The sinking of the Titanic marked the end of an era in many ways, Lord argues, fairly convincingly The American aristocracy ceased being noble and became merely wealthy The sense of noblesse oblige went People continued to make fortunes, but the war and the income tax bit into the unrelieved joyousness of being obscenely moneyed Men would go on being brave, but never again would they be brave in quite the same way. Because I m cruel and evil, I m going to ruin this book for you with a spoiler The ship sinks, folks.What, you already knew that You ve heard the story before, once or twice, maybe In fact, do you think the Titanic story is overblown in our culture Are you tired of it You can blame Walter Lord But don t blame him too much he wrote an amazing book.Lord was something of a harmless crank with a bit of a fascination with this big honkin ship that had run into an iceberg a few decades before He collected all the information on it he could This being the 1950s, he then topped that off by interviewing many of the survivors of that disaster The fact that this was not that long after the Titanic sank, in terms of history, is pointed out by the fact that one of the Titanic stewards Lord interviewed was still working on trans Atlantic passenger liners at the time the book came out Lord then wrote his book, for the most part, as anecdotes from people who were there, assembled like jigsaw pieces into a coherent picture It is a brilliant and compelling way of telling the story because it gives you the overall picture, the names and faces of the people who stood on the slanting deck that cold night, some unlikely and near forgotten heroes and villains, and the sense that you re right there watching it happen.A Night to Remember is a quick and easy read, and very rewarding I recommend it In fact, if you want to know about the Titanic disaster, I suggest you read this book, watch the movie of the same name that was made from it, and skip the eternal, tedious, and repetitive rest of the literature on the subject. This is sort of the primary, classic book on the Titanic disaster Published in 1955, it s short and smoothly written covering the viewpoints of a large cast and changing centers of perspective with ease There have been four movies made about the Titanic in the sound era there were several silent movies about or loosely based on it I ve seen three of the four and have the other one on VHS to watch The first was a 1943 German, Nazi produced spectacle that mainly was made, it seemed, as an anti British propaganda piece The special effects were so good that the ship sinking model shots were re used in the 1958 Brit version, based on this book A Night to Remember In the interim, Hollywood made an attempt in 1953, called simply Titanic, starring Barbara Stanwyck For some reason, I ve never found the time to watch it, even though I own it see 2016 addendum, bottom of review I find it hard to imagine that it could surpass the 1958 British film a soberly compelling version that remains my favorite It seems most in spirit of the book.James Cameron s 1997 version is for little girls Blah.Reading onrating soon to come.This is a breeze to read Very vivid, full of detail The only thing that causes a slight slowdown is the sheer number of characters To Lord s credit, he reminds us frequently of the positions and titles of the characters, so we don t have to go back or jog our memories trying to remember who these people are I love when authors do that I m for easy As I m reading this I m realizing how well the 1958 film captured this account and how badly the hokey 1997 film did.FINAL Enjoyed this greatly I especially enjoyed Lord s analysis of the class snobbery and attitudes of the time that led to a higher percentage of deaths among the third class passengers vs the first and second classes, and the media s disinterest at the time to hearing the stories of the common people in preference to the Astors and the other robber baron types On the other hand, he is fair, and gives credit to almost everyone for having class and dignity I hesitate to call Lord s treatment of the issues socially conscious, I just think he was trying to be fair and balanced as a historian than other writers had been previously.There are probably other books that go into greater detail on certain aspects of this story, but I can t imagine there being a better entire book on the Titanic than this Addendum 2016 In the intervening years since I wrote this review, I did end up seeing the 1953 Titanic movie, and it is an entertaining potboiler vehicle for Barbara Stanwyck, all gussied up in high gloss duds and 20th Century Fox production values and familial bad blood Kind of Stella Dallas on the high seas Barbara can suffer in mink just as well on a cruise liner as in a mansion It s grand entertainment, but not a very good Titanic movie. When I was about 15, I was completely obsessed with the Titanic yep, that s the year the movie came out , and I brought every book I could find about it And at the time, hyping up the movie, there was a lot of books available.A couple of years later, the obsession had faded and it wasn t until the 100th anniversary of the sinking in mid April that my interest was piqued again So I picked up a copy of A Night to Remember.Written in 1955, it reads with a surprisingly modern and appealing voice it s not stuffy or wordy in it s explanations of what happened that fateful night, and although the cast of characters is long, it s an extremely riveting read.Using interviews with passengers from first, second and third class and crew as a basis for the book, Walter Lord s classic has stood the test of time well Although the cast of characters is large and complicated, the prominent passengers Mrs Brown, John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim stand out, as do the chilling accounts from below decks crew and steerage passengers There are stories of miraculous survival and heart breaking stories of final goodbyes, and coverage of the rescue and the landing of the survivors in New York.As a non fiction book, this is not a dry read at all Sure, it s got a whole lot of facts about the ship, the sinking and the rescue efforts, but it s presented in an easy to read language, interspersed with amazing true stories.Read of my reviews at The Aussie Zombie IfIf the Titanic had heeded any of the six ice messages on Sunday.if ice conditions had been normalif the night had been rough or moonlitif she had seen the berg 15 seconds sooner or laterif she had hit the ice any other wayif her watertight bulkheads had been one deck higherif she had carried enough boatsif the Californian had only come Had any one of these ifs turned out right, every life might have been saved But they all went against her a classic Greek tragedy.This was a fairly concise recounting perhaps the definitive recounting of the tragedy known as the Titanic I might have found this compelling if I hadn t already watched a number of documentaries on the topic There was really very little new here for me I did learn that in 1898 a struggling author named Morgan Robertson had written a novel about a fictional luxury liner, which he named the Titan, that was eerily similar to the Titanic so much so that the description of his imaginary ship perfectly described the Titanic Most disturbing, however, is that Robertson s ship, which coincidentally was also labeled as unsinkable, also struck an iceberg and sank on a cold April night. Wow, I can see why this book is considered a classic in narrative nonfiction In fact, I picked up this book because Nathaniel Philbrick, himself a master writer, told the New York Times that this was one of his favorite books of the genre The other nonfiction book he mentioned was Alfred Lansing s Endurance, which I also agree was excellent A Night to Remember gives a gripping, detailed account of what happened the night the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean, killing than 1,500 people Originally published in 1955, Walter Lord had interviewed survivors and reviewed documents to create this incredible narrative of the events surrounding April 15, 1912 I also liked the context Lord gave to the tragedy Overriding everything else, the Titanic also marked the end of a general feeling of confidence Until then men felt they had found the answer to a steady, orderly, civilized life For 100 years the Western world had been at peace For 100 years technology had steadily improved For 100 years the benefits of peace and industry seemed to be filtering satisfactorily through society In retrospect, there may seem less grounds for confidence, but at the time most articulate people felt life was all right.The Titanic woke them up Never again would they be quite so sure of themselves In technology especially, the disaster was a terrible blow Here was the unsinkable ship perhaps man s greatest engineering achievement going down the first time it sailed.But it went beyond that If this supreme achievement was so terribly fragile, what about everything else If wealth meant so little on this cold April night, did it mean so much the rest of the year Scores of ministers preached that the Titanic was a heaven sent lesson to awaken people from their complacency, to punish them for a top heavy faith in material progress If it was a lesson, it worked people have never been sure of anything sinceI think Mr Lord has overlooked a few dozen wars in this eloquent and yet untrue sentence, including the American Civil War, the Napoleonic wars, and innumerable conflicts involving the British Empire Other than that, this passage is great.I listened to this book on audio and was so engrossed I finished it in one session Highly recommended.Favorite Quote What troubled people especially was not just the tragedy or even its needlessness but the element of fate in it all If the Titanic had heeded any of the six ice messages on Sunday if ice conditions had been normal if the night had been rough or moonlit if she had seen the berg 15 seconds sooner or 15 seconds later if she had hit the ice any other way if her watertight bulkheads had been one deck higher if she had carried enough boats if the Californian had only come Had any one of those ifs turned out right, every life might have been saved But they all went against her a classic Greek tragedy. ^FREE BOOK ☆ A Night to Remember ⇻ First Published In , A Night To Remember Remains A Completely Riveting Account Of The Titanic S Fatal Collision And The Behavior Of The Passengers And Crew, Both Noble And Ignominious Some Sacrificed Their Lives, While Others Fought Like Animals For Their Own Survival Wives Beseeched Husbands To Join Them In Lifeboats Gentlemen Went Taut Lipped To Their Deaths In Full Evening Dress And Hundreds Of Steerage Passengers, Trapped Below Decks, Sought Help In Vain