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Lo spettro del ghiaccio. Vite perdute sul Titanic

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  613 ratings  ·  123 reviews
La fine è nota. L'impatto del Titanic con l'iceberg è però soltanto il punto geometrico in cui convergono innumerevoli traiettorie, forze, vite: non tutte altrettanto celebrate, anzi alcune decisamente poco note, quando non misteriose. Capitani di industria ed ereditiere, disperati in fuga dai loro paesi e piccoli bottegai in cerca di fortuna; ladri, truffatori e anche un ...more
Hardcover, Frontiere, 384 pages
Published March 2012 by Einaudi (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,625)
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Jane
The overall effect of this book--or the 100 pages of it I read before deciding there were other books that needed reading and this one wasn't worth the effort--is a bit like reading one of those history articles in the UK's Daily Mail, or maybe our very own Chicago Tribune except that's being a bit unfair to the Trib. Davenport-Hines covers the Titanic passengers from the shipowners down to the lower classes in breezy, anecdotal swathes of purple prose larded with adjectives and sprinkled with f ...more
Susan
This is a wonderful addition to the many books about Titanic and its fateful maiden voyage. The emphasis is on the passangers and crew which sailed on it and what their experiences would have been and how they differed. There is a lot of information on the stratified and class conscious society at that time. I was interested to learn that US immigration laws stipulated passengers of different classes must be separated on liners by locked metal barriers to stop the spread of contagion. Also, that ...more
Marie
Voyagers of the Titanic starts slow, but the deliberateness of the author in telling his story thoroughly is worth the wait, until the build-up to the actual sinking of the Titanic. Davenport-Hines chose to profile passengers from First, Second, and Third class, and along with biographic information, he included interesting trivia about each person, such as the various breeds of dogs they had on board. Suffice it to say that First Class passengers possessed wealth and privilege beyond belief, Se ...more
Ellie Stevenson
This an excellent work, with some fascinating stories about those who sailed and worked on Titanic. It's a book to refer to again and again, because of the numerous facts and anecdotal details which litter its pages. The chapters on migrants and imported Americans were a little dry but overall, I'd definitely recommend it.
Alla
“Voyagers of the Titanic” marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Titanic by re-telling the stories of the passengers aboard this ship and the events before, during, and after the sinking.

Part One gives a general overview of the Titanic on land, and the shipowners as well as the shipbuilders that were behind it. Separate sections also follow the sailors, and discuss the boarding and the speed. Part Two follows the Titanic at sea and describes the people on the voyage—the first class, second
...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Now that the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is almost here, I've had the blessed opportunity to be able to review some incredible new books out about the disaster. One such incredible book is called, Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines.

In this historical non fiction book, Richard takes the readers some place most books have never gone, in depth into the back stories behind everything you've ever wanted to know regarding the Titanic, those who built her and sailed
...more
Kelsey Dangelo
With the passing of the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I read this recently published book. I've read many books about the sinking of the Titanic: fiction and nonfiction, from newspaper accounts to historical perspectives, to those of the investigative committee, to those of the recoverers of the wreck, probably totaling twenty books in all.
This book focuses on the people that voyaged on the maiden journey of the great ship through iceberg laden waters. The book succeeds in it
...more
Libby
No one not deaf or blind can have missed all the brouhaha about Titanic's Anniversary. It has been 100 years since that great ship went down, taking approximately 1500 souls to rest in the sea. A lot of books have just been published to coincide with the date. So many words, photos, film, etc. Which one should I read? Well alright, lets find the heart of the matter, which of course, is the PEOPLE. They are the story, not tons of steel. This book gives us information, sometimes in their own words ...more
Terri M.
Apr 29, 2012 Terri M. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs
Shelves: non-fiction
I have been fascinated by the Titanic since I was a kid and they sent back the first pictures from the submarine that discovered its final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic. Not a fan of the Cameron spectacle, I prefer the real life stories and connections that the tragedy created. Davenport-Hines certainly does try to life those connections and stories, but by the end of this 300 page novel it fails, in my opinion.

The book starts out very dry, like many non-fiction books I've attempte
...more
Simone
If you’ve read as many books and seen as many documentaries about Titanic as I have, you’ll willingly add this book to your list.

It’s like a little collection of biographies of people whom you already know a little about. Having seen movies and TV series and documentaries, you’ll recognize most names and already have an understanding of how the main characters relate to one another. This book fleshes that out in more detail by providing additional background information and interesting facts abo
...more
Sharon
A very, very detailed account of those who built, financed and traveled on the Titanic. It was a little dry in places, forcing me to skip forward on occasions but nonetheless a historical account which endevours to clear up misconceptions formed over the years.
Class distinction features heavily and was of course responsible for the large loss of life in 3rd class. An interesting insight into that era, and also into the years following the disaster and the tragedies that befell some of the survi
...more
Ed Smiley
This was quite an excellent book. It has a great deal of research into the social fabric and conventions and the individual lives of those who were involved, with many telling details, including many individuals that were quite obscure. This provides a telling snapshot of the age; its focus is much more on the world of 1912 than on the details of the accident, although giving a good summary of the event.

Coincidentally, I was working on a "dead sailor from the Titanic" Halloween costume (since th
...more
Sarah Smith
Just in time for the 100th anniversary of Titanic's sinking, VOYAGERS OF THE TITANIC is one of the better books about the people on board. Richard Davenport-Hines surrounds familiar figures with unfamiliar background and details that pull together into a riveting story. With a novelist's eye, Davenport-Hines sets his first-class passengers against the new Edwardian craze for speed; shows the ship's roots in the labor violence of Belfast; and sets third-class passengers within the great migration ...more
Linda Lipko
April 14, 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary date of the sinking of the Titanic.

So much has been written, documented and filmed about the Titanic that it would seem difficult to find a new slant. Yet, the author has indeed accomplished this goal.

Rather than spending pages and pages of technical details regarding the building and sinking of the "unsinkable" luxury liner, Davenport-Hines focuses on the lives of those aboard. He gives in depth stories of the first, second and third class passenge
...more
Tarissa
This book is all-around enriching, enlightening and bursting with Titanic information. Of all the books I've read on the subject, this one ranks #2 right under Walter Lord's classic account(s). The author of "Voyagers of the Titanic" has outlined the chapters by subjects. In one chapter, you can read about the about the lives of the ship owners, in another, read about the ship builders. Then comes an entire chapter devoted to the First Class passengers, then everything you want to know about Sec ...more
Christopher Fox
Given that the scope of this interesting book is obviously restricted, the author, a noted biographer, spins a huge series of short lives of the people in any way connected to the liner. The first class passengers, financiers, designers, builders and other such "notables" receive the most coverage simply because more is know about them and, in many cases, they led more public and expansive lives. Unfortunately there are, of necessity, many pages covered with capsule bios (parents-siblings-educat ...more
Heidi
Three and a half stars: A book filled with facts, a must for any Titanic enthusiast.

Ever wondered more about what the folks were really like on the Titanic? Want to know how the great ship came to be? Are you curious about her cargo? How much food it took to feed the passengers and crew? Of course, anyone fascinated by the Titanic would be interested to learn more about the night she sank and the aftermath that followed. April 15, 1912 is a date that is still marked one hundred and two years la
...more
Michael Poirier
There should be a standard when writing a Titanic book, "If you have nothing new to say, don't say it at all." If you had not read more than two or three Titanic books, this book is a great beginners guide. The author does cover all aspects of the ship, that is for sure. However, and Davenport-Hines is not the first, we have an author that uses the SAME, tired resources. There is no original research and much of this can be found by using google search. Why would a reader buy a book when much of ...more
Margo Melville
This book was terrific for details about the time period I am interested in. It is so full of Post-Its the cover is wonked up.
Rick
I have to give the author a great deal of credit he has taken a story which seems to have run out of new angles and breathed new life into it. After James Cameron's movie one would think the story has been told to death. Rather than focusing on the well told tales of first class, not enough life boats and so on he provides a sketch of the passengers who both lived and died in the tragedy. The Titanic story is often about those key stats and hubris and often loses its humanity whereas this book d ...more
Alicia
This would absolutely be a book to use for research from the perspective of the people that surround the Titanic. To try to read it as a narrative nonfiction is a bit harder because it is dense with facts and research and an understanding of who these people were and how their lives all became interconnected when the Titanic struck the iceberg.

I prefer my Titanic history a bit shorter (Iceberg, Right Ahead!) though not necessarily fictionalized (The Watch That Ends the Night) to give me enough
...more
Thebruce1314
I'm tired of reading books that just report on a timeline of events. I'm much more interested in social history: who were the people involved, what were they like, how did they think and feel? I suppose that that is what makes historical fiction so popular, as the details add some human interest to the story. That is what I expected from this book when I picked it up. It promises to tell the story of the people who sailed on the Titanic.
The book is divided into sections: First Class, Second Cla
...more
Melinda
Voyagers of the Titanic is a wonderful historical novel loaded with everything you wanted to know about the Titanic and more.

Mr. Davenport-Hines divided this book into three parts. Part One describes the Titanic in whole. Ship owners and ship builders are discussed including the names and details of major players. Technical aspects, design of the ship is also presented. Sailors on board are discussed as well. Part One paints a wonderful picture of shipbuilding and the intricacies behind the scen
...more
Kara

Davenport-Hines begins and ends his book with the iceberg.

It’s quite the book end to describe a natural process of how ice cracks from glaciers, forms icebergs, follows the sea currents, and, in the end, melts into nothing in the wide Saragossa Sea.

The contrast is startling between the quiet process of nature next to all the yelling and screaming and drama and tragedy and stupidity of the humans on board the Titanic.

Davenport-Hines describes everything he can find on every person on board that
...more
Leslie
Everyone knows the story of the Titanic, the great ocean liner that struck an iceberg while crossing the Atlantic in 1912. When constructed it was thought to be unsinkable, but on that frigid night in the North Atlantic waters, the ship sank in two and a half hours, killing 1,517 of the 2,240 aboard.

Unlike many of the other accounts of the Titanic that focused on the sinking of the ship itself, this book provides the story behind many of the passengers on the ship, the crew and the people who bu
...more
Sailor Figment
The thing that most impressed me about this book was all the footnotes and sources. The author really did his research; he didn't just rehash what others have said before.

Each chapter focuses on a different group of people: ship owners, ship builders, sailors, crew, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class passengers. (Also, I thought the character who opens the and closes the book ~no spoiler~ was an eerie touch.) Each chapter gives the background for a number of different people in each category, not just the
...more
Bonnie
With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking this month/year, there are certain to be scads of books on the subject. I wanted to read just one and picked Voyagers of the Titanic as a recommendation from Entertainment Weekly. A bit dry at times, but overall very good, this book gives details about the people on board the fated ship, from the first class aristocrats to the third class people seeking a better life in America, those who designed and captained the ship and the lowly crew membe ...more
Amy
This book was a great disappointment as I had seen reviews praising his research. Those reviews were correct his research is extensive but that is where things end. It apparently, that he didn't know how to pare down his research to write a compelling. This book is more an laundry list of the people on board with snippets of their lives before and sometimes after Titanic. He has divided the book into chapters by classes. The chapter on the first class is the most fleshed out as of we know the mo ...more
Linda
I got this from the library thinking it was a photographic history. Wrong; a chunk of photos but not nearly enough for my taste. But an informative book and worth reading for those of us interested in the topic; though at times it felt like the anti-A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. Most of the people who came off well in Lord’s book suffered a different fate here. In fact, few of the 1st and 2nd glass passengers got much praise from D-H; and he seemed to especially dislike the Americans.

What
...more
Angela
This book had a few rough chapters, but I liked it overall. The chapters on the actual sinking and the aftermath were excellent. I loved the framing technique of first discussing the formation of the iceberg, and on the last page dealing with where the berg finally melted. But this is a very slow read. It's much more a history than a novel. The book's first 3 chapters, about the backgrounds and lives of the passengers in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class, almost immediately bog down in minutiae. It seemed ...more
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“The first chap we said was loafing, until he died. That's nearly always the verdict on a sailing ship, anyway. A man is invariably 'mouching' until he dies, and then we say, "Oh, he must have been bad after all." --Charles Lightoller” 2 likes
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