15 July, 2015

Dead wake: the last crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Even if you don’t normally read non-fiction, I would recommend you try this thrilling but heart-breaking read about the Lusitania, the huge passenger ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat around the beginning of World War 1.

The Lusitania was the glamour liner of the time, on its way from New York to Liverpool when it was attacked. The Germans had given a warning about the possibility of attacks on passenger ships, making some passengers and crew apprehensive, but they truly believed the British Admiralty would protect them. Why didn’t they?

Erik Larson almost made me feel as if I was on board that fateful voyage - it was a very eerie and suspenseful read, which I could not put it down. The 1962 people on board nearly made it safely to their destination, but sadly over 1100 people were to perish in the cold sea that sunny afternoon. Like me, you may be left feeling chagrined on behalf of the ship’s captain, who seems to have suffered a terrible injustice, and you may question the actions of some other famous historical characters.

It’s a true story, but I found it as compelling as any thriller.  

Note: we also have a worthwhile DVD documentary on the sinking of the Lusitania, called Lusitania: murder on the Atlantic.

Title: Dead wake: the last crossing of the Lusitania
Author: Erik Larson

Recommended by Judy W, Orewa Library

Judy W may appear to work as a library assistant but in her own mind she is a top criminal defence lawyer and animal rights activist.

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