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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.
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.
Beryl Bainbridge's story of the Titanic is different from any of the multitude of other accoungs, fictional or not, which are out there. And that is a very good thing. Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2000 by Ricky Hunter
Every Man for Himself chronicles the lives of a several wealthy passengers on the Titanic. The sinking of the Titanic, while making the end of the book a rather emotional read,... Read morePublished on June 15 2000 by lazza
THIS IS BY FAR ONE OF THE WORST PIECES OF FICTION I HAVE EVER READ. SOME CHARACTERS APPEAR AND FLOAT ABOUT THE BOOK WITHOUT A PURPOSE. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 1999
I would not have thought that I could be so unmoved by the horror and tragedy of the sinking of the Titanic. Read morePublished on Jan. 3 1999
Having only read this recently in paperback, some time after its Booker nomination, I found it difficult to see what all of the fuss was about. Read morePublished on Oct. 27 1998