the Lusitania by
immediate, tragic, anecdotal
lived my entire life as a Lusitania ignoramus.
you’d’ve asked me what I could tell you about it, I’d’ve said “British ship
sunk by the Germans during World War I. Americans on board, so the U.S. entered
sort of right. Partial credit. Actually, it took 2 more years for the U.S. to
declare war. (Who knew?!)
is an Erik Larson book, which often means we’re gonna have dual narratives.
This one’s no exception. Except: Wait—there’s more!
we’re on board the Lusitania; on
board the U-boat that sunk the ship; hanging out in the code-breaking room in
England; and eavesdropping on President Wilson, who’s wooing his second wife. And
there are some side trips to shipping offices, too.
main storyline is, as expected, onboard the Lusitania,
which (didn’t know this, either) had an unusually large number of children and
babies aboard during its last voyage. (Sad, guys. This stuff is sad.)
did some fine research, so we get to hear the story from several of the
survivors. He paints a detailed picture of life on the ship.
maybe this is just me, but one thing I expected from this book—since it’s
tragedy and it’s true, and I love that stuff—didn’t actually happen. I thought
I’d become slightly obsessed with the topic, Googling and YouTubing and looking
up other books about the Lusitania.
the ideal audience [pretty sure I am] or because Larson’s narrative didn’t completely
pull me in to the story. Unlike every time I’ve read Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember, the classic
account of the sinking of the Titanic,
Dead Wake didn’t make me feel like I
was there. I’m beginning to think there’s something about Larson’s style that just doesn’t
jibe with me.
a fine book in many ways, and I liked it rather much. But I really wanted to