A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
Unabridged, 5 hr. 19 min.
Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Fred Williams (Narrator)
August 17, 2010
Genre: Non-Fiction, Historical
Source: Downloaded audio from my local library
“First published in 1955, 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.
Available for the first time in trade paperback and with a new introduction for the 50th anniversary edition by Nathaniel Phil-brick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Sea of Glory, Walter Lord's classic minute-by-minute re-creation is as vivid now as it was upon first publication fifty years ago. From the initial distress flares to the struggles of those left adrift for hours in freezing waters, this semicentennial edition brings that moonlit night in 1912 to life for a new generation of readers.”
This is the second non-fiction that I have read which chronicles the sinking of the Titanic. Lord’s book starts mere hours before the sinking. This book jumps from person to person and gives the reader a well-rounded perspective of the events as they occurred across the ship. I think I would have preferred a select few characters as it didn’t allow me to really concentrate on who was doing what. The events on the ship are really par for the course and what you would expect in a non-fiction account.
The interesting aspects of this book are that we get to see what happened on the Carpathia as it came to rescue the survivors and on the California as it stood by confused as to what those lights in the distance were all about. Those on-board the Carpathia were quite heroic as they rushed to the site of the disaster and prepped their ship to receive the survivors and keep them in comfort back to New York. On the opposite end, I was extremely angry with the actions of those on board the California. They see mysterious lights and flares in the distance and never thought that a ship might be signaling for some reason and that they should turn on their radios to see what was happening. The addition of these two aspects was unique for me and really set this apart from the other book I had read on the subject.
It was also interesting that the author frequently mentioned what was happening with Titanic passenger Colonel Archibald Gracie. He is the author of the previous book I had read on Titanic and several of the stories that he told were also chronicled here.
This narrator kept the story interesting and made the events feel new all over again, which can be difficult with an event that everyone knows so well.
Author Walter Lord also has written many other non-fiction works including: Day of Infamy, Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway, A Time to Stand, The Dawn’s Early Light and The Past Would Not Die.
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