A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
With the recent theatrical re-release of Titanic, there was a new surge in Titanic books being re-released as well. And if not re-released, at the very least being brought from the back nether regions of the book store to the front shelves at the entrance. This is where I saw this book by Walter Lord. With a bit of research, it turns out that this is the "go to" book for Titanic enthusiasts, that retells the sinking in an extremely exciting novel format, and forgoes much of the science based details of the sinking that some books focus on.
Walter Lord's book was published in 1955, and is one of the most thrilled page turners you will ever read, that is, if you are a Titanic fan. After interviewing many survivors of the disaster, and culling through the pages and pages of testimonials, Lord strings together these memories into a thrilling tale of suspense, heroism, and tragedy. After I finished reading it, I wanted more. I went on a Titanic frenzy!
Reaching the 100 anniversary of the sinking was a sad day. I can't help but think about those that were trapped inside the unsinkable ship, and those that were on the stern when she went down. The stories of husbands and fathers saying goodbye to their loved ones, and watching from the ship as the life boats sailed away, knowing they were probably not going to survive, is heart wrenching to read.
There were also stories I had never heard of before, for example the chef Charles Joughin, who started drinking when the sinking started, and basically got stinking drunk. Whether it was his blood alcohol level, or some other unknown factor, Joughin managed to miraculously survive swimming in the freezing Altantic, while other perished. You can read more about Joughin's incredible story here.
What was great about reading this book, was that James Cameron had used many of the accounts in Lord's book in the making of his block buster film, Titanic, and being a HUGE fan of the film, it was fascinating to learn more of the back story of some of the survivors and victims depicted in the film.
All in all, a GREAT read, and the best Titanic book I have read thus far, though I haven't read many, truth be told.