Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

I had heard of the British passenger ship the Lusitania and was aware of it being sunk during World War I by a German U-Boat, but admittedly I knew nothing more than those few scant details. But what I did know was that every book I’ve read by Erik Larson is well-written, totally captivating and a pure pleasure to read. So for me, reading Dead Wake was an absolute must.

Drawing from telegrams, secret intelligence letters, intercepted wireless messages, letters and diaries of the crew and passengers, Larson combines thorough research with brilliant storytelling abilities that vividly bring to life the people and events of that fateful day when 1,198 lives were tragically lost. I utterly devoured this gripping story. As the tension mounted with every turn of the page, I felt as if I was right in the midst of the drama that surrounded the final crossing of the world’s then largest and fastest ocean liner. Larson enhances the book’s appeal by examining the various events that occurred during the voyage, on and off the ship, and points out that had any one of these been altered even slightly, the outcome could have drastically been much different.

For those who are fans primarily of fiction, particularly of suspense, I think you’ll find this historical account of the sinking of the Lusitania quite a satisfying read. Dead Wake can be found on the VBPL catalog. If you are new to Erik Larson I highly recommend you have a crack at his other books as well. How about checking out The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America  or In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin?

By Diane B.

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