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Jan 18, 2015When a new Erik Larson arrives, I drop everything and read it. In my book, he’s one of the few authors who can make history positively come alive. And his opening note held forth a big promise: “I give you now the saga of the Lusitania and the myriad forces, large and achingly small, that converged one lovely day in May 1915 to produce a tragedy of monumental scale, whose true character and import have long been obscured in the mists of history.”
Nov 19, 2015”He saw the body of the torpedo moving well ahead of the wake, through water he described as being ‘a beautiful green.’ The torpedo ‘was covered with a silvery phosphorescence, you might term it, which was caused by the air escaping from the motors.’
May 24, 2015Dead Wake is named a 2015 notable non fiction book by the Washington Post
Oct 27, 2014Larson writes wonderful narrative non fiction, and in this book he has surpassed his own self. The amount of research that went into this book is staggering. It doesn't just cover the bombing of the Lusitania, it covers everything going once at the time and more.
Dec 01, 2015This reminded me a lot of the movie Titantic not just because it’s about a disaster at sea, but also it would have been a lot shorter and better without the romantic subplot. Only in this case it was U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt instead of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Although I gotta admit that the scene when ole Woody sketched Edith in the nude was pretty hot…..
Apr 07, 2015When I came across a radio interview with Erik Larson, talking about his new Lusitania book, Dead Wake, I knew I had to have it. I was excited. Like, I’m going to buy this on my phone as soon as I park my car excited.
Mar 23, 2015Excellent Retelling of the Sinking of the Lusitania
Mar 17, 2015
Dec 08, 2014Wow....
Sep 30, 2019Not enthralling for me personally, but otherwise excellently done. This is a supremely well-researched account of the life and times of the early 1900s, WWI, and, of course, the sinking of the Lusitania. Going in, my knowledge of the Lusitania was sadly little. Being educated in such a significant historic event is the clear benefit of this book. Unlike some historical accounts, however, the narrative struggles to captivate in any meaningful way outside of all the interesting facts. More Not enthralling for me personally, but otherwise excellently done. This is a supremely well-researched account of the life and times of the early 1900s, WWI, and, of course, the sinking of the Lusitania. Going in, my knowledge of the Lusitania was sadly little. Being educated in such a significant historic event is the clear benefit of this book. Unlike some historical accounts, however, the narrative struggles to captivate in any meaningful way outside of all the interesting facts. More textbook than creative nonfiction, in other words.
Feb 20, 2016"I am afraid a more serious breach may at any time occur, for they seem to have no regard for the consequences."
Oct 27, 2014Stuffed with details. Are there too many?
Nov 02, 2015Driving back from a vacation to Tampa Bay followed by having to mow my lawn after 10 days away allowed me to finish this 13 hour audiobook in about 24 hours.
Aug 12, 2017This is a fascinating book about the sinking of the Lusitania, the British ocean liner that was torpedoed by a German submarine in May 1915. Nearly 1,200 people died, including 128 Americans. I didn't know much about the Lusitania before I read this book, but I should have because it was one of the critical events that pushed America to enter World War I.
Oct 27, 2014Informative: My first Erik Larson novel turned out to be quite the educational experience beginning with the significance of the title DEAD WAKE.....the disturbance (or track) a torpedo leaves behind on the water in route to its destination....and, I also now know that of the Lusitania's 1,959 passengers and crew on board May 7, 1915, (nearly 100 years ago) only 764 survived...600 were never found and 123 American's were among the dead. (three German stowaways also perished)
Interesting: Larson'sInformative: My first Erik Larson novel turned out to be quite the educational experience beginning with the significance of the title DEAD WAKE.....the disturbance (or track) a torpedo leaves behind on the water in route to its destination....and, I also now know that of the Lusitania's 1,959 passengers and crew on board May 7, 1915, (nearly 100 years ago) only 764 survived...600 were never found and 123 American's were among the dead. (three German stowaways also perished)
Interesting: Larson's work of non-fiction captures the day-to-day activities of various passengers as well as the Lusitania's competent and brave Captain William Thomas Turner and the aggressive, villaneous German predator of the U-20 submarine, Captain Walther Schwieger who repeatedly targeted innocent passenger liners and merchant ships to destruction.
Maddening: As you will see, there were many variables that could have changed history and averted this horrific disaster.....(view spoiler)[ departure delays....fog....orders for reduction in speed....lack of a naval escort thru known dangerous waters....the recalled rescue ship so close at hand, and....worst of all, the Room 40 cover-ups that could have saved so many lives. I found it maddening that Captain Turner ended up being the scapegoat when obviously the British Admiralty held a greater degree of fault. (hide spoiler)] I was also left with a rather disappointing opinion of President Wilson (view spoiler)[ for waiting two long years to take evasive action against Germany even after numerous ships were attacked with American lives lost. (hide spoiler)]
While an extremely enlightening and educational read in many respects, I did not feel much of a connection to the characters or the distress and panic of the moment....there was almost a calmness in the telling. Anyway, still a GREAT historical read that I would highly recommend! 4.5 Stars...more
Apr 19, 2015Everybody loved this but me! I'm flashing back to The Martian. I found this extremely boring and painful. A tragic story and very well-researched, but this one did what no other book before it has done...it actually put me to sleep. I fell asleep while reading. Enough said. Zzzzzz. 2 stars.
Feb 24, 2015
Jan 15, 2016Book 1 for 2016.
Jan 11, 2017Wrenching and riveting. I'm a big fan of Erik Larson, and he is seriously on top of his game with "Dead Wake." His analysis of all the elements that had to conspire for the ship to sink is at once poignant and smart.
Dec 03, 2014“As I began reading into the subject, and digging into archives in America and Britain, I found myself intrigued . . . In short, I was hooked.”
Mar 12, 2015From looking around at the ratings on Goodreads, I'd gotten the impression that Erik Larson's histories are excellent and read like novels. So I was bit disappointed at just how average and tedious I found a lot of his narrative about the final voyage of the Lusitania. As with James Cameron's Titanic, it didn't really get interesting until the boat started to sink.
Apr 10, 2015I have sometimes found reading non-fiction to be a chore, even when I'm very interested in the subject. Reading Erik Larson is a pleasure. He has the ability to tell his story in a very smooth style - almost fiction-like - and he gave me a good understanding of the time period. There is plenty of detail, but I never felt it was in the least tedious.
Mar 05, 20152.0 STARS
Mar 06, 2015The spoilers below really are spoilers, so don’t read them if you haven’t read the book but think that you might someday read it and you dislike spoilers.
Nov 21, 2014I couldn’t put down Dead Wake, Larson’s gripping narrative of the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania. The story shifts from aboard the great ship to the U-boat that would destroy it, to London’s admiralty offices and Wilson’s White House – providing details political and personal while the tension builds. It’s a fascinating account of this tragic event. I read an advance copy; pub date is in March 2015.
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