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Every Man for Himself Paperback – Jan 30 1998


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Paperback, Jan 30 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: TBS The Book Service Ltd; New edition edition (Jan. 30 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349110972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349110974
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.4 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Amazon

After taking on the ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole in her previous book, The Birthday Boys, the novelist tackles a much larger 1912 disaster: the sinking of the Titanic. The narrator, a 22-year-old named Morgan, brushes up against real-life victims such as John James Astor early in the voyage, while falling in love with the beautiful and unobtainable Wallis Ellery. The deadly maiden voyage of the world's largest ocean liner becomes a journey of self-discovery in this portentous, postmodern work, shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Bainbridge, whose The Birthday Boys was an unforgettable rendition of Scott's fatal Antarctic expedition, has turned to another Edwardian tragedy for her new novel: the sinking of the Titanic. As Bainbridge admirers might expect, it is not the kind of version that would make a spectacular movie; rather, it is a meticulously observed account that almost offhandedly convinces the reader that this is exactly what it must have been like aboard the doomed liner. The story is told by a wealthy young American man-about-town, an adopted nephew of J. Pierpont Morgan, who in search of something to do has had a slight hand in the ship's design ("the specifications of bathtubs"). Once aboard, he drinks too much with his layabout friends; sees people like the Astors and Strauses; becomes infatuated with a girl who in turn falls for a mysterious and cynical stranger; and gets to know a young Jewish dress designer who is hoping to become a hit in New York. In a few deft strokes Bainbridge shows the gulf between the steerage passengers and the "nobs" while communicating the alternating servility and resentment of the crew. The book is nearly over before disaster strikes, but once again, the unnerving details seem just right: the careless self-confidence at the beginning, the gallantry quickly eroding to panic. Bainbridge's swift, economical novels tell us more about an era and the ways in which its people inhabit it than volumes of social history.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

2.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
This is the second Historically Based Novel I have read by Ms. Beryl Bainbridge, the first was, "The Birthday Boys". Of the two I believe the one based upon the Scott voyage to the Pole was much stronger, however the Author's writing is consistently good. I think this work suffered a bit in my reading as the movie, "Titanic", kept intruding. There were bound to be similarities in this maritime mess, however the screen version insinuating itself into the written work was a distraction.
"Every Man For Himself", takes place in virtually the same time frame as, "The Birthday Boys". The latter work was excellent in telling a story that became a metaphor for the time and its philosophies, the former does this again in a confined setting, and for this reader it was less interesting. Blind faith to the point of negligence in Technology of the unsinkable ship, and a list of passengers that would rate the top tier of Fortune's wealthiest certainly make for an interesting cast. However unlike the Scott work which spread itself across a wide range of people, this was more narrowly confined to the wealthiest cast, and finding empathy for these incredibly rich and generally pompous caricatures is hard. Our guide through most of the book is a member of The Morgan Clan, and even though his relation is tenuous his wealth makes him as boring as the rest.
The Author did introduce an event that was new to me, and even if it is not historically accurate (I don't know) it did make the story much more intriguing. If that plot line had been the main thread instead of more traditional love interests, and the preoccupation with scoring off of others to their detriment I think I would have enjoyed the work more.
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By A Customer on Oct. 22 1998
Format: Paperback
After all the hype connected with the film 'Titanic', what I already knew about the event itself and reading rave reviews of this book, I'd set myself up for quite a read. I have never been so disappointed by a book...how do reviewers justify the comments made about it? And how on earth did the author get nominated for anything else other than 'turkey of the year'? It was just as well that I knew what was going to happen from other sources because this book certainly did not enthrall me in the slightest. I didn't care whether the characters lived or died...they were all so two-dimensional...so flat. I couldn't feel anything for any of them. What a great story line to use in a novel...and didn't Bainbridge just make me lose interest in the whole incident. As member of a reading group (and believe it or not having been the person to select this book) I felt a sense of duty to see it through to the bitter end...and I have never wished so much to finish a book, so that I could give it away. What a waste of time. (And by the way my sentiments were echoed by the rest of the reading group too) To be avoided at all costs. Nice cover though.....
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Format: Paperback
After all the hype connected with the film 'Titanic', what I already knew about the event itself and reading rave reviews of this book, I'd set myself up for quite a read. I have never been so disappointed by a book...how do reviewers justify the comments made about it? And how on earth did the author get nominated for anything else other than 'turkey of the year'? It was just as well that I knew what was going to happen from other sources because this book certainly did not enthrall me in the slightest. I didn't care whether the characters lived or died...they were all so two-dimensional...so flat. I couldn't feel anything for any of them. What a great story line to use in a novel...and didn't Bainbridge just make me lose interest in the whole incident. As member of a reading group (and believe it or not having been the person to select this book) I felt a sense of duty to see it through to the bitter end...and I have never wished so much to finish a book, so that I could give it away. What a waste of time. (And by the way my sentiments were echoed by the rest of the reading group too) To be avoided at all costs. Nice cover though.....
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By A Customer on April 13 1999
Format: Paperback
Beryl is perfect. You collect all the swells, all the gentlemen, all those perfect graduates of all the right schools that at the end of the Edwardian Era believe themselves to be the best of the best. You add to that roster all the blatant goldiggers, the social parentheticals and all those female trollers in whom their mothers had all the best hopes. You put them all on a ship bound into the winter North Atlantic; and in just one Neptunian inhalation you sink the boat.
Never in the history of biology has fate and genetics so conspired to remove from our presence such a conceited and disgusting group. Beryl wrote this book with a sigh of relief and a chuckle; you should chuckle too. We are all better for the story and the biology.
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By A Customer on April 13 1999
Format: Paperback
Beryl is perfect. You collect all the swells, all the gentlemen, all those perfect graduates of all the right schools that at the end of the Edwardian Era believe themselves to be the best of the best. You add to that roster all the blatant goldiggers, the social parentheticals and all those female trollers in whom their mothers had all the best hopes. You put them all on a ship bound into the winter North Atlantic; and in just one Neptunian inhalation you sink the boat.
Never in the history of biology has fate and genetics so conspired to remove from our presence such a conceited and disgusting group. Beryl wrote this book with a sigh of relief and a chuckle; you should chuckle too. We are all better for the story and the biology.
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