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A Night to Remember by Walter Lord

A Night to Remember (1955)

by Walter Lord

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,836423,794 (4.03)107
  1. 20
    102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Both use same technique of minute-by-minute disaster survivor vignettes.
  2. 00
    Titanic: A Night Remembered by Stephanie Barczewski (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: Books about the Titanic are a dime a dozen; I have ten or so. Few are more significant that A Night to Remember. But it is a thin book, and there are more details elsewhere. Of those other books, Stephanie Barczewski's is among the best -- new enough to use the information from the rediscovered wreck, well-researched, and full.… (more)
  3. 00
    The Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson (bookymouse)
  4. 00
    The Night Lives On: The Untold Stories & Secrets Behind the Sinking of the Unsinkable Ship-Titanic by Walter Lord (dukeallen)
  5. 12
    Raise the Titanic! by Clive Cussler (dukeallen)

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» See also 107 mentions

English (40)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
on Sunday, December 23, 2007 I wrote:

Wow. I was again on the verge of tears. This is such a sad story.Very well written. After I read it I immediately wanted to watch The Titanic. I thought I had the movie, but guess I was wrong. ;)Now I know what to buy next. ( )
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
An account of the sinking of the Titanic, based mainly on the recollections of the survivors. I really liked it that Lord didn't try to fictionalize or embellish the story. He did a good job of tying together the memories of survivors and families with newspaper and magazine articles, other books, and official documents. It focuses fairly tightly on the night of the disaster and the rescue, with only a few references to official inquiries and the later lives of some survivors. Even though I've always been aware of the facts, this account really made me aware of the appalling lack of preparedness. There were only enough lifeboats for about half the number of people on board, and even those were grossly underfilled when they were launched. The book provided me with plenty of tidbits of information to inflict upon my family. ( )
  SylviaC | Nov 24, 2015 |
This book was entertaining and enlightening. It kind of reminds me of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in a way. It seems to be a staple in literature regarding its subject, but isn't considered definitive. The only thing I know about how the titanic sank is that it broke in two pieces. This book never mentions that happening and says the ship pointed straight up in the air as it was sinking. That bothered me, but I'm sure that was the consensus at the time the book was written.

Overall it was a good read but if you want something more accurate I would suggest a more modern book. ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Originally published in 1955, Lord's A Night to Remember provides a simple, beat-by-beat rundown of the events leading up to and during the tragic sinking of the Titanic. Numerous accounts of actual conversations and observations are presented, drawn from interviews from the survivors themselves.

It's distressing to consider the number of details that had they gone differently may have completely altered the fate of the ship: "If the Titanic had heeded any of the six ice messages on Sunday...if ice conditions had been normal...if the night had been rough or moonlit...if she had seen the berg 15 seconds sooner--or 15 seconds later...if she had hit the ice any other way...if her watertight bulkheads had been one deck higher...if she had carried enough boats...if the Californian had only come." This and The Watch That Ends the Night would make an excellent fiction/nonfiction pairing. ( )
  ryner | Aug 13, 2015 |
This is perhaps the definitive account of the sinking of the Titanic. It was published in 1955 after a number of years in progress by the author as he interviewed and corresponded with as many survivors and families that he could. Rather than a historical fiction re-creation, this book is based on actual words spoken, testimony at hearings, letters and other documentation. Nothing is made up here. The 50th Ann edition has a nice introduction by author Nathan Philbrick which is informative to the casual Titanic fan. Walter Lord's own foreword, the deck drawings and all the data included at the end such as passenger lists for each class, are all interesting. I do wish there had been a few more drawings so one can better visualize the decks and room arrangements, but nowadays those things can be found rather easily on the internet.

I liked this book. It is well written for the style, but does include minor details about various things to give one a sense of the times and the event. (I didn't really need to know all the variations of how people dressed for the disaster, yet these are things that the survivors apparently remembered in detail. More interesting were the things left behind.)You learn what happened and how the survivors were rescued. The rescue part including what could have happened and why it didn't is very interesting. One can easily see there should have been more survivors.

It still seems unbelievable that this accident happened. I guess that is why people get obsessed with this. ( )
  RBeffa | Jun 7, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lord, Walterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verga, CarlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother
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High in the crow's nest of the New White Star Liner Titanic, Lookout Frederick Fleet peered into a dazzling night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the book A Night to Remember ; please don't combine with the 1958 movie of the same name!
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805077642, Paperback)

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 account of the ship's sinking that you can read in half the time it takes to see the film. The book boasts many perfect movie moments not found in Cameron's film. When the ship hits the berg, passengers see "tiny splinters of ice in the air, fine as dust, that give off myriads of bright colors whenever caught in the glow of the deck lights." Survivors saw dawn reflected off other icebergs in a rainbow of shades, depending on their angle toward the sun: pink, mauve, white, deep blue--a landscape so eerie, a little boy tells his mom, "Oh, Muddie, look at the beautiful North Pole with no Santa Claus on it."

A Titanic funnel falls, almost hitting a lifeboat--and consequently washing it 30 yards away from the wreck, saving all lives aboard. One man calmly rides the vertical boat down as it sinks, steps into the sea, and doesn't even get his head wet while waiting to be successfully rescued. On one side of the boat, almost no males are permitted in the lifeboats; on the other, even a male Pekingese dog gets a seat. Lord includes a crucial, tragically ironic drama Cameron couldn't fit into the film: the failure of the nearby ship Californian to save all those aboard the sinking vessel because distress lights were misread as random flickering and the telegraph was an early wind-up model that no one wound.

Lord's account is also smarter about the horrifying class structure of the disaster, which Cameron reduces to hollow Hollywood formula. No children died in the First and Second Class decks; 53 out of 76 children in steerage died. According to the press, which regarded the lower-class passengers as a small loss to society, "The night was a magnificent confirmation of women and children first, yet somehow the loss rate was higher for Third Class children than First Class men." As the ship sank, writes Lord, "the poop deck, normally Third Class space ... was suddenly becoming attractive to all kinds of people." Lord's logic is as cold as the Atlantic, and his bitter wit is quite dry.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Recounts the demise of the "unsinkable" Titanic, the massive luxury liner that housed extravagances such as a French "sidewalk cafe" and a grand staircase, but failed to provide enough lifeboats for the 2,207 passengers on board.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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