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Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  970 Ratings  ·  125 Reviews
IN the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, the icy waters of the North Atlantic reverberated with the desperate screams of more than 1,500 men, women, and children—passengers of the once majestic liner Titanic. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, an even more awful silence settled over the sea. The sights and sounds ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,496)
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This book, as the title indicates, is intended to inform the reader of the post-shipwreck lives of what are presumably the survivors most worthy of note. The problem with writing a tale of this nature is that the most interesting people perished with the ship; the survivors were mostly first class passengers, and the bulk of these were women and children. There is really little to commend these people to anyone: the children are blameless, of course, and the women for the most part were passive ...more
Apr 20, 2012 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I saw this book listed in Entertainment Weekly. It is one of a slew of books put out to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I have read many books on the subject, the most recent being the fictional book The Dressmaker. The thing that I really liked about this book was how it covered the lives of people after they were rescued. I knew quite a bit about who was on Titanic but not too much much about how the sinking affected their lives after. As it turns out people ...more
Niamh Mcmahon
I have to say I was a little bit disappointed in this book. While I definitely enjoyed it, and some of the survivors stories were amazing, I felt the writing was a bit flowery in spots and the author linked everything that subsequently happened the survivors and every decision they made in their lives to the sinking of Titanic. If they made a bad decision in their lives or ended up with an unsuitable partner then according to the author, it was because they were subconsiously punishing themselve ...more
Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book)
I've said before that I read anyhting to do with the Titanic and this book was so good.
We all know that the Titanic sank on the 15th April 1912, we know that 1,500 men, women and children died that night, but what we don't really know is what happened to the survivors after the ship sank.
This is one thing I've always been interested in, peoples lives afterward and they're not really happy stories.
A tremendous amount of people refused to speak of the Titanic ever again, some people ended up killi
Oh, look, another Titanic book! But my attraction to this one was a little bit different than my usual fascination with the sinking of the Titanic - Shadows of the Titanic focuses far more on the aftermath of the sinking - what happened to the passengers, and how their experiences on the Titanic influenced the rest of their lives.

Each chapter focuses on one survivor - from the high profile Madeleine Astor and the controversial Duff-Gordon's through to lesser-known survivors - and examines their
Apr 13, 2012 Carien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is both a fascinating and emotional read.

Just the introduction alone had me crying I will confess.

The chapters after that follow the lives of several survivors, telling not only about the sinking and what came after, but also telling about the lives these people had before the Titanic.

It's amazing and sad to read about how the sinking of the Titanic changed the lives of these survivors (mostly for the worst although some found strength and even love) and how even years later they still can'
Oct 24, 2013 October_Miss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book has been described as "riveting" its almost a little too much so. The author gets very excited at times and its not even over the history of the story. It's more in a tabloid trash sort of way. Its a brilliant piece of work on the information and factual side , lots of detail and stories of the survivors. It seems though its largely based on some (judgemental) opinions of his own. Some survivors he clearly admired some mere footnotes , some were "promiscuous" or "cowardly". Ea ...more
Adele Broadbent
Jan 08, 2015 Adele Broadbent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of the Titanic movie (James Cameron's), I snapped this book up when I found it in a University bookstore. Even knowing what was going to happen, knowing the fate of so many people and the aftermath, I was still caught up in the first part of this book as the 'unsinkable' ship hit that iceberg.
But what I didn't know were the things that happened that could have prevented this terrible tragedy (you'll have to read it to find out more) and the stories behind J Bruce Ismay, Renee Harri
Paul Pessolano
Jan 17, 2012 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Shadow of the Titanic” by Andrew Wilson, published by Atria Books.

Category – History/Maritime

The three most recognized words in the world at supposedly, God, Coca-Cola, and Titanic.

“Shadow of the Titanic” is not a story about the sinking of the “unsinkable” ship, but rather a study of those who survived. April 14, 2012 will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking and on May 31st, 2009 the last remaining survivor, Millvina Dean died. She was only 3 months old when she and her mother were rescued
Kathleen Hagen
Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived, by Andrew Wilson, Narrated by Bill Wallis, Produced by Audiogo ltd. Downloaded from

This book takes us beyond the sinking of the Titanic itself. Here we see that night from the standpoint of the passengers who survived, and then we witness the aftermath for some of these passengers whose lives were changed. None of them ever forgot that night, the horrible yelling of 1,500 people drowning as the ship went down, t
Tony Ruffolo
Mar 12, 2013 Tony Ruffolo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From chapter six, page 209-210:
Excerpts from a letter from a young girl named Elsie Stormont to Bruce Ismay.

It hurt me when I read you wished you had perished. God would never have let your life be spared had he not work for you to do. I have thought sometimes it would be easier to die & be with mother & daddy than live without their love but we haven't to wish for the easiest have we & your life is a useful one, not like mine where I am of no real use to anyone.
I often wonder at G
Shawn Thrasher
I think this book suffers on two points. One, unfortunately, is the writing. It's soppy and overly romantic - at one point, Madeleine Astor's life is described as being "too far fetched for even fiction of the lowest kind." That sounded really dated to me - what exactly is "fiction of the lowest kind?" Quite frankly, this book could probably rightly be described as "nonfiction of the lowest kind." I understand the premise of the book - what happened after the Titanic sailed - but I think there i ...more
Mar 25, 2013 Pirate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Excellent, moving and much needed account of those who survived and highlighting that for some their lives too ended when the boat went down, never understanably being able to shrug it off. The eternal mystery of the first class male passenger who entered the lifeboat dressed as a woman is tantalisingly touched upon but never resolved though it wrecked the lives of several men who were probably wrongly pin pointed as being the man....if he ever really existed ior was it one of the many myths to ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Socraticgadfly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Good overall. There's no "Unsinkable" Molly Brown here, but there's plenty of stories about other Titanic survivors.

And, not all of them "survived" as well as Molly Brown. Many widows went through multiple post-Titanic marriages. Some survivors went heavily into debt, perhaps as a coping mechanism. And, several survivors committed suicide. Indeed, one survivor who did not commit suicide nonetheless said she had "died" on April 14, 1912.

There's a bit of a depressing angle to this at times, to be
Jul 22, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was basically interesting, but the writer kept psychoanalyzing the survivors when his credits don't include a psychology degree. The book gives details the post-Titanic life of some survivors. Overall, the book has a negative tone. There is little mention of Margaret "Molly" Brown. One would expect anyone who survived such a traumatic event as the sinking of the Titanic to have psychological scars. In 1912, psychology and behavioral sciences weren't as progressive as they are now. Sinc ...more
Mar 21, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Andrew Wilson tracked some of the survivors of the Titanic and tells their story in this book.
As in any tragedy, there is a certain amount of survivor guilt. There are those who cannot stop talking about the wreck, others who cannot talk about it at all and others who find the trauma too much and take their own lives.
The story starts with the sinking and the experiences of some of the passengers in the lifeboats and continues to what happens on board the Carpathia rescue ship. After that, doc
Brent Burch
Sep 06, 2015 Brent Burch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
This was a terrific read. Most stories of the Titanic disaster have the survivors reaching New York, and then that's it. It's quite sad how this one event cast a shadow of just about all who survived her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book -- there wasn't a bad or boring spot in the whole book!

It literally is the stories of those who survived this terrible ordeal. Also, there is a chapter about those who survived the initial disaster, only to die by suicide or other circumstances before their time.

It is amazing the number of people who survived the Titanic disaster who passed away in later years on the date that the ship hit the iceberg (April 14th) or actually sunk (April 15th).

I highly recommend t
Jul 05, 2016 Mindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cat Chiappa
Apr 18, 2012 Cat Chiappa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always been fascinated by the Titanic and I have read a lot of the literature that has already been published. However, this book provided a fresh new take on some of the stories and is chockful of some really fascinating anecdotal information. It is written in a style that makes it very readable and even if you are a fan who has read a lot, this book is guaranteed to surprise you with some new information. If you have a place in your heart for the Titanic, pick this book up!
This Titanic history focuses purely on the lives of survivors and how they moved on (or didn’t) from a life- and world-altering tragedy. I was familiar with many of the names and their escape from the ship stories, but it was fascinating to read of the lives they led after. Unfortunately, it’s a weighty book; there is a lot more sadness than good in these survivor stories. So many lived the remainder of their lives with guilt and associated fears and often their endings were even more tragic tha ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for more from this book. Unfortunately Wilson only related what happened to Lady Astor after losing her husband in the sinking and a couple other passengers. It just wasn't very interesting. I wouldn't recommend it.
Jun 27, 2012 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This took me a LONG time to read. It didn't hold my interest. I thought some of the survivor stories were interesting. I just wasn't a fan of his writing. It felt choppy.
Apr 22, 2016 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good gossipy read for those readers (like me) who are besotted with the story of this tragedy. Wilson has collected a fair amount of the survivors' stories, and if you are looking for the "rest of the story", so to speak, this is it. He falters when he attempts to psychoanalyze the survivors, although the tale of the woman who leaps to her death from a transatlantic steamer two years after she has survived the Titanic because the sound of the ship's foghorn drives her over the rail is truly harr ...more
Sarah Mackey
Good but not great. More about the lives of the few steerage passengers would have been a positive addition.
Julie Bihn
Jul 05, 2015 Julie Bihn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
I would have called it "A Psychoanalysis of Those Who Survived." The author spends a lot of time speculating on characters' motivations and emotions, based mostly on unpublished sources the reader likely can't access and photographs that are mostly described but not printed. I am sure there are rights issues preventing the sources from being published, but I got frustrated when I wanted evidence of the author's assertions.

Several women are described as being monsters, or at the least having mons
Bonni Sweet
Jul 01, 2016 Bonni Sweet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was kind of interesting to hear about what some of the passengers went through and how some of them were able to deal with the crisis or not able to deal with it. I was surprised that a couple of the passengers ended up marrying other passengers a couple of years after the sinking of the ship. Maybe the tragicness of it brought them closer together. I found it sad that some of them couldn't handle the after effects of their lives and either committed suicide or had severe mental problems. I'm ...more
Taylor Osborne
I have read several books about the Titanic and this one is very haunting. I don't know why I find titanic so fascinating but this book doesn't talk of the ship as much as it tells the life stories of those who survived it. Many, many survivors could never get over surviving the disaster and felt like their lives ended that night as well. Many simply blocked it out and became sad shells of people. The chapter on Ismay was very interesting as history has labeled him a coward- this book shows you ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Kirsti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What an engaging and fresh view of the Titanic! Many of the books I've read in the past focused on those who died, and if they mentioned the survivors, it was never beyond their voyage aboard the Carpathia. This was a fascinating look into their lives after the disaster, and how sad some of them were. So many people died on the Titanic, but the loss of life continued on long afterwards, with suicide and depression, as well as other mental illnesses, taking the survivors years later.

I think
I mostly enjoyed the book. It would've gotten a 4 or possibly even a 5 if the author hadn't been so preoccupied with trying to diagnose his subjects with various disorders or saying what they "must have" thought about as they died. Yes, it's written by a journalist as opposed to a historian, but once you do that, you begin to exit the realm of non fiction.

The author doesn't address this, but more than half of the book focuses on lives of various first class passengers. Yes, a higher percentage o
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About himself:

"I'm a journalist and author. My work has appeared in the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, the Sunday Times, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the New Statesman and the Evening Standard magazine."

More about Andrew Wilson...

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