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A Night to Remember
 
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A Night to Remember [Kindle Edition]

Walter Lord , Nathaniel Philbrick
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

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From Amazon

James Cameron's 1997 Titanic movie is a smash hit, but Walter Lord's 1955 classic remains in some ways unsurpassed. Lord interviewed scores of Titanic passengers, fashioning a gripping you-are-there account of the ship's sinking that you can read in half the time it takes to see the film. The book boasts many perfect movie moments not found in Cameron's film. When the ship hits the berg, passengers see "tiny splinters of ice in the air, fine as dust, that give off myriads of bright colors whenever caught in the glow of the deck lights." Survivors saw dawn reflected off other icebergs in a rainbow of shades, depending on their angle toward the sun: pink, mauve, white, deep blue--a landscape so eerie, a little boy tells his mom, "Oh, Muddie, look at the beautiful North Pole with no Santa Claus on it."

A Titanic funnel falls, almost hitting a lifeboat--and consequently washing it 30 yards away from the wreck, saving all lives aboard. One man calmly rides the vertical boat down as it sinks, steps into the sea, and doesn't even get his head wet while waiting to be successfully rescued. On one side of the boat, almost no males are permitted in the lifeboats; on the other, even a male Pekingese dog gets a seat. Lord includes a crucial, tragically ironic drama Cameron couldn't fit into the film: the failure of the nearby ship Californian to save all those aboard the sinking vessel because distress lights were misread as random flickering and the telegraph was an early wind-up model that no one wound.

Lord's account is also smarter about the horrifying class structure of the disaster, which Cameron reduces to hollow Hollywood formula. No children died in the First and Second Class decks; 53 out of 76 children in steerage died. According to the press, which regarded the lower-class passengers as a small loss to society, "The night was a magnificent confirmation of women and children first, yet somehow the loss rate was higher for Third Class children than First Class men." As the ship sank, writes Lord, "the poop deck, normally Third Class space ... was suddenly becoming attractive to all kinds of people." Lord's logic is as cold as the Atlantic, and his bitter wit is quite dry.

From Library Journal

Publicity surrounding the Academy Award- winning motion picture Titanic makes this a sure-to-circulate choice. Lord's classic time-travel tale drawn from survivors' accounts remains the best Titanic story after all these years. The analysis of the event moves from reports of pretrip hype through the ambiance of the fated last evening to first reports of trouble, loading life boats, and rescue efforts. Though the recording features no atmosphere music or sound effects, Fred Williams's reading sounds so like a news report that the immediacy engages the reader from the start. Highly recommended for all collections.ASandy Glover, West Linn P.L., OR
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The firstest with the mostest Oct. 15 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For those of you who are Titanic aficionados, practically everything you will have read or seen about the incident probably used this book as a major reference. Which makes it the Titanic Bible. No, we don't get the love story, but there is enough here to make your emotions work the way they're supposed to.
While there are other studies, what makes this one valuable is that the author interviewed over sixty survivors for the work. This is obviously a feat that can never be duplicated again, so we need to thank Walter Lord for getting the information while we can.
So we get the statistics of the ship, which are interesting. We also get to know the changes made to sea travel, and society in general due to the incident. But we also get what have now become the famous "What ifs?". There are almost a dozen things, from ship construction to someone merely taking a telegram more seriously, where, if just were to go the other way, it's very possible that nearly everybody could have been rescued. This is essential reading for those interested in the topic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy At Sea March 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the story of the "unsinkable" Titanic. She was four city blocks long, with the latest, most ingenious safety devices, a French "sidewalk cafe", private promenade decks-but only twenty lifeboats for the 2,207 passengers and crew on board.
Gliding through a calm sea, disdainful of all obstacles, the Titanic brushed an iceberg. Two hours and forty minutes later, she upended and sank. Only 705 survivors were picked up from her half-filled boats. And she had been called "the ship that God Himself couldn't sink."
A Night to Remember is a minute-by-minute account of her fatal collision with an iceberg and how the resulting tragedy brought out the best and worst in human nature. Some gave their lives for others, some fought for survival. Wives beseeched husbands to join them in the boats; gentlemen went taut-lipped to their deaths in full evening dress; hundreds of steerage passengers, trapped below decks, sought help in vain.
If you've seen the movie by James Cameron, this book is highly recommended to get the real story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Touching Story June 6 2002
By Deeg
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read the book " A Night To Remember". I thought it was a very good book for everyone. It was very interesting and touching. Walter Lord wrote the novel very realistic. It told what happened step by step each minute.
The passengers had to feel very scared. All they could think about was what their family members were doing in the other places on the boat. I could never imagine that.
The book tells you what happen and what the passengers felt when it was happening.
They could only think about how they were going to die too. They could only start thinking about touching the freezing water and freezing to death or drowning in the water.
They were out in the middle of nowhere and had no chance to really survive. The men let the wives and children go on the lifeboats first and then the husbands would get on lifeboats after everyone was off the ship. The wives and children could only think about where their grandpas or fathers were. They would never probably see them again in their lifetime. The fathers and grandpas and uncles would probably not survive the accident because it took so long just to get the wives and children on to the lifeboats.
While everything was happening, some people were in their beds just wanting to die that way, some were drinking as usual in the diner and some were just trying to survive. A lot of the passengers didn't even want to think of the way they were going to pass away.
I thought the novel was very good. I could feel what was happening as I read the story. It was very sad to read about how people felt and what they were thinking. The Titanic was one of the greatest ships ever and took so many lives in so little time. I could never imagine that happening. I don't know what I would think about if I had been on that ship. I think this novel is good for anyone that would like to read a good story.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad, despite its age. Aug. 14 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed reading Walter Lord's "A Night to Remember". I found it to be an easy and fast read and was quite informative based on the eyewitnesses who were interviewed. However, this is the type of book one would find available for sell in a school weekly reader. Lord does not gives us any real history of the ship prior to departure - he starts the book a few miles from the iceberg. He does not give the reader any real scientific reasons why the ship sunk as it did (flawed metallurgy, etc). Based on Robert Ballard's findings, one could prove that it was impossible for the Titantic to right itself 90 degrees from the surface of the water and plunge straight down (Ballard believes the ship must have snapped in half). Nevertheless, considering that the book was written in 1955 and lacking the scientific evidence we have today, the book was interesting and held my attention. It did an excellent job of showing the tragedy of the California not responding to the distress calls (a fact that was sorely overlooked in the movie, Titanic). I was also surprised to find that all of the female passengers were referred to as "MRS" so-and-so and not by a first name. Even the ship's roster listed the women as "Mr and Mrs" so-and-so. But, I suppose it was indicative of the times (early 20th century).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars easy to read and hard to believe all of the ...
Very detailed, easy to read and hard to believe all of the tragic coincidences. If you are interested in the story of the Titianic, this is essential reading.
Published 29 days ago by william m dean
4.0 out of 5 stars It's what happened after...
Everything I've seen or heard ends once the Carpathia arrives. It was interesting to get an idea of events - however brief - after the rescue; particularly the media's... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Brent Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars Titanic Detail and Some Enjoyment
Overall, an insightful look into one of the most momentous events in our history. It does tend to drag on a bit in points because it goes into such depth with individual stories... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rob Slaven - slavenrm@gmail. com
5.0 out of 5 stars A short but enthralling account
This is a rather short, but enthralling account of the Titanic voyage, from the day of the disaster to the arrival of the Carpathia in New-York's harbour. Read more
Published on July 16 2012 by Marc Ranger
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean journalistic reporting
When I read it in my youth, it was the German translation, ('Die letzte Nacht der Titanic') and I found it so compelling, that felt I was part of the action. Read more
Published on April 22 2012 by sedgewick
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent example of masterful non-fiction
Very well written, consise, and descriptive portrait of the sinking of the Titanic and what those involved experienced.
Published on April 10 2004 by J. Jacobs
4.0 out of 5 stars The grand-daddy of all Titanic books...
The grand-daddy of all Titanic books, and still one of the best. Much has been written and updated since this book was written in 1955, but it still holds its place as the one that... Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2003 by meiringen
5.0 out of 5 stars Old but never archaic.
Even with the amount of time I've been studying the "Titanic" legend, I still discovered a few new things about the disaster that I didn't know. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2003 by Anna E. Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about TITANIC is right here !
I have received Walter lord's book "A night to remember" and the movie, two weeks ago, since then I have read the book two times and seen the movie three times ! Read more
Published on May 18 2003 by "marceldelapampa"
2.0 out of 5 stars it was ok
I thought that the book was ok. I liked how Lord gave details about what individual people were doing during certain events. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2002 by Jessie
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