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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 (126 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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
3.0 out of 5 stars Titanic Detail and Some Enjoyment Dec 13 2013
By Rob Slaven TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
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 but some of these are deliciously entertaining. Take the good with the dull and don't feel bad if you can't keep the dozens of names which are thrown around straight in your head.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's what happened after... March 6 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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 reaction.
The writing is methodical and to the point, no sugar-coating or embellishments.
A good, quick read.
I was expecting some pics or schematics so we could know locations of events in/on areas of the ship.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A short but enthralling account July 16 2012
Format:Paperback
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. No messing around with long prologue or introduction.

The author put the story together from several witness, and drew a full portrait of the sinking of the Titanic. No need for me here to recount the story, but 2 facts litteraly blew my mind off; first, only one out of 14 lifeboats went back to look for survivors, primarly because the women in those lifeboats refused to put themselves in any danger. Knowing that many if not all of those women left husbands or adolescents on the Titanic to drown and freeze to death, this is rather horrible.

Secondly, even if the motto was "Women and children first", more first-class male passengers were saved than 3rd class babies or children. Equally horrible.

Even if you'll come across many unselfish heroics deeds told in the book's pages, those 2 gruesomes events was what got my attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clean journalistic reporting April 22 2012
Format:Paperback
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. Now, many years later, I reread it in English. No matter in what language, it is still the classic account of what happened that night: No overblown hype, no laboured speculations, just a skillful collage of what the author learned from survivors and from his own research about the ship and tragedy, all written in a fresh journalistic style that draws you into the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent example of masterful non-fiction April 11 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Very well written, consise, and descriptive portrait of the sinking of the Titanic and what those involved experienced.
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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 The grand-daddy of all Titanic books... Oct. 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 started the interest in the grand old ship, and her tragic fate. Just the starting point for anyone interested in the Titanic...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Old but never archaic. Aug. 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. You won't find a more detailed account anywhere else!
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Both could carry about 3,000 people, and both had enough lifeboats for only a fraction of this number. &quote;
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