Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson is the history of the Lusitania brought to life from many different perspectives and at a truly human level. The details are meticulously researched, and the book successfully creates the sense of suspense present in a story well told. The book arrives in time for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania.
Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2015/03/dead-wake-last-crossing-of-lusitania.html
Reviewed based on a copy received through a publishers giveaway
This book was an enthralling look at the events surround the sinking of the Lusitania. The narrative writing style made the history of it come alive. It gives a fascinating look at what life was like in a WWI submarine and provides plenty of stories about the different people on the ship, the submarine, and in the government. The end does leave the reader with plenty of questions regarding the sinking, most of which will probably never be answered. A highly engaging read. I definitely recommend this book!
Excellent: Larson does for the Lusitania and its tragic end what Walter Lord did in the 1950s for Titanic: provide detail and context. Larson has the additional advantage that, while the doom of the Titanic and its passengers was more cock-up that conspiracy, the Lusitania was almost certainly the victim of the machinations of British politicians like Winston Churchill to get the neutral and isolationist USA into World War I. If, like me, you feel that the history we were taught in school bears little resemblance to the complications and nuances of how it actually might have happened -- this is the book for you.
My one complaint (and I read this on my kindle, so this may only apply to that edition): where are the pictures? Larson's descriptions of doomed and saved passengers and crew are very vivid, but I would have liked to see for myself.
This book was a great accounting of the sinking of the Lusitania. I thought I knew the details of this incident but soon found I knew nothing about it. Filled with lots and lots of details. I never felt overwhelmed with all the information and often found myself reading very late into the night.
Erik Larson is one of my favorite authors and this book didn't disappoint. Larson's research is unmatched by anyone else's books I've ever read. His writing looks at all sides, all voices, and all facts pertaining to a subject. I feel like I've heard in this audiobook just about everything anyone would ever want to know about the sinking of the Lusitania. The events are unfortunate, but the book was superb.
I thoroughly appreciate an author who can take a real historical event and make it feel like page-turner of a novel. Erik Larson is one of the few who can accomplish this. This is my second of his books -- I really enjoyed "Isaac's Storm". "Dead Wake" is a great tale from beginning to end. I learned quite a lot about WWI. The really dramatic events don't happen until more than halfway through the book. Larson sets up the entire story by giving intimate accounts of the various people travelling on board the Lusitania, the current events and conditions (regarding safety and political climate) in the Atlantic, and lots of detail on the captain of the Lusitania and the captain of the German u-boat U20. The U-boat captain eventually sinks something like 160,000 tons of ship during that war. I'm amazed at how much writing people did back in that era, of journals, diaries, letters. Larson digs up so many details of the passengers and the atmosphere on board the ship, you almost feel like you are there. It is a truly engaging story of the sinking of a huge passenger liner during WWI, prior to the USA's entrance to the war. As a side story, we get a view into the personal life of President Woodrow Wilson. Highly recommended!
I have read other books by Erik Larson and have enjoyed them very much. His historical detail and well written books really bring history to life. This is an excellent account of the sinking of the Lusitania which is hard to put down. Even though this is a horrifying story, the drama is well done. I highly recommend this book.