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Night to Remember (Holt Paperback)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. 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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


Great read. I have read it several times.

A Book to Remember

No matter how many times you revisit it, A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, the granddaddy of all Titanic books, remains as fresh a read today as it did fifty years ago. Walter Lord is still universally regarded as "the man who knows everything about the Titanic" and this fast-paced, detail-laden, and dramatically visualized book is the reason why and the product of that reason. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER transports you to the decks of the Titanic that cold April night so convincingly that you are left with an eerie chill-between-your-shoulder blades feeling as the great ship goes down. You share the early complacency of the passengers on the 'unsinkable' ship. Your sense of impending doom grows as the bows disappear below the glassy Atlantic. You grit your teeth at the obtuseness of the crew of the Californian---why, oh why, didn't they question those white rockets?---and you share in the breathless trauma of those on shore as the story unfolds. Sure, since the discovery of the wreck many questions have been answered (and a few more posed). Some of Lord's information is dated (the ship did in fact break in half, for example). There have been other 'Titanic' books, and they explore almost every aspect of the disaster in meticulous detail; even Lord's follow-up The Night Lives On: The Untold Stories & Secrets Behind the Sinking of the Unsinkable Ship-Titanic falls into this category. But no one has ever told the story of the RMS Titanic any better, and it's likely they never will.

way better than the movie

I must be the only person who read this book years before the movie came out. As a child, this was one of my very favorite books that I have since reread many times. Lord captures everything: the social mores, the lavish banquets, the characters (the captain!), the conditions on the rest of the ship, and the tragedy of it all. The movie leaves nothing to the imagination, but this account is truly superb. If you never got a chance to read it, don't delay. You'll learn almost everything about the tragedy from a master story teller. The scenes right before they strike the iceburg are incredible, as are every scene of the evacuation. Finally, it's clear why no one wanted to leave the security of the ship. The worst tragedy of all was that many of the lifeboats were lowered with hardly anyone on them because they were afraid to leave the ship. Many more lives could have been saved.

You ARE there...

If James Cameron's film Titanic made you feel you were there by watching it, (and I'm sure plenty of people feel that way but don't want to admit it since it's unfashionable right now), Walter Lord's book makes you feel the same way by reading about it. Minute by minute, detail by detail, with survivior accounts making it all the more real, we hear the story, the familiar details and plenty of ones we never heard before. Gripping with every turn of the page, your pulse races as you ache to find out what will happen next, though in the back of your head you already know. Walter Lord is a great historian and a great storyteller, and these skills are what make this book invaluable to any Titanic buff or anyone who likes a good story, or just anyone in general.

A Riveting Classic

I first read Walter Lord's "A Night to Remember" in the summer of 1968 as part of my required reading list for freshman year of high school. I was so fascinated by the account that I read it at least three times that summer and early fall. It brought to chilling life one of the greatest maritime disasters in history. As I read the dog-eared, yellowing, crinkled-paper copy of the paperback (its purchase price was sixty-cents back then) once again last year as a "mature" 42 year old, Mr. Lord's brilliant account of the tragedy still held my attention. His vivid, detailed, yet smooth flowing narrative brought back the excitement as felt as a young teenager, in a way that few books have. I recently viewed the movie "Titanic" with my fourteen year old daughter. The movie was thoroughly enjoyable, but there were some aspects of the book (such as the spectre of a rescue ship only a few precious miles away)that could have added to the drama. The book is worth reading both as literature as well as history.
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