A Night to Remember
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A Night to Remember

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  8,857 ratings  ·  655 reviews
James Cameron's 1997 Titanic movie is a smash hit, but Walter Lord's 1955 classic remains in some ways unsurpassed. Lord interviewed scores of Titanic passengers, fashioning a gripping you-are-there account of the ship's sinking that you can read in half the time it takes to see the film. The book boasts many perfect movie moments not found in Cameron's film. When the ship...more
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Open Road Iconic Ebooks (first published 1955)
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Matt
James Cameron ruined the Titanic.

Now, anyone who's ever been interested in the subject must contend with sideways glances from people who assume your curiosity was piqued by Kate Winslet gazing at Leonardo DiCaprio with her big doe eyes. Countless books, documentaries, and even video games were released to coincide with the ill-fated ship's meteoric popularity. This is not to say that Cameron's Titanic was entirely irredeemable. Indeed, there are many parts of the film where you can feel Camero...more
Lobstergirl
James Cameron's vision of the Titanic decided that the most compelling and lucrative story would focus on two young lovers who had just met. Looking at the passenger manifest, where survivors are listed in italics and the dead are not, suggests how blandly offensive this vision is. It's hard to argue with the chivalry of "women and children first," but for family after family, particularly among first class passengers, fathers and husbands went down with the ship while mothers, wives, and kiddie...more
Evan
This is sort of the primary, classic book on the Titanic disaster. Published in 1955, it's short and smoothly written -- covering the viewpoints of a large cast and changing centers of perspective with ease. There have been four movies made about the Titanic in the sound era (there were several silent movies about or loosely based on it). I've seen three of the four and have the other one on VHS to watch. The first was a 1943 German, Nazi-produced spectacle that mainly was made, it seemed, as an...more
Kat
When I was about 15, I was completely obsessed with the Titanic (yep, that's the year the movie came out!), and I brought every book I could find about it. And at the time, hyping up the movie, there was a lot of books available.

A couple of years later, the obsession had faded and it wasn't until the 100th anniversary of the sinking in mid-April that my interest was piqued again. So I picked up a copy of A Night to Remember.

Written in 1955, it reads with a surprisingly modern and appealing voice...more
Bill Rogers
Because I'm cruel and evil, I'm going to ruin this book for you with a spoiler. The ship sinks, folks.

What, you already knew that? You've heard the story before, once or twice, maybe? In fact, do you think the Titanic story is overblown in our culture? Are you tired of it? You can blame Walter Lord. But don't blame him too much; he wrote an amazing book.

Lord was something of a harmless crank with a bit of a fascination with this big honkin' ship that had run into an iceberg a few decades before....more
David Lafferty
I remember summer camp. That first night when Victor (in the the top bunk) threw up into my suitcase. I was in the bottom bunk taking cover from the shower of vomit. Anyway, Victor turned me on to Walter Lord. My favorite Lord book was The Good Years: From 1900 to the First World War written in 1960. But A Night to Remember may have been his most famous. It's a minute-by-minute description of the sinking of the Titanic told with an eerie sense of objectivity and removal, following specific real...more
GoldGato
I've never trusted the month of April. It should be the month of flowers and bunnies and eggs and bees, which it is. But April is also the month of disasters...the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, Chernobyl, the Oklahoma City Bombing, Columbine and, of course, the Sinking of the Titanic. The 'S' is capitalized.

Prior to reading Walter Lord's version of the Sinking, the Titanic was just another shipwreck to me, but forever after, it is THE shipwreck. Under Lord's framing, it's also the end of the Gilded...more
Catherine Ryan Howard
Very readable and to date definitive account of the sinking of the Titanic that, apparently, both James Cameron and Julian Fellowes relied upon when it came to making their movie and TV series respectively. Living here in Ireland with both Belfast and Cobh (formerly Queenstown) making the most of their Titanic claims to fame in the run up to the centenary—Belfast actually having one, it being where the ship was built, but Cobh neglecting to mention that Titanic never docked there but instead wai...more
Matthew Kresal
The sinking of the Titanic is one of the mot famous events of the twentieth century. It has spawned numerous books, movies (including one of the highest grossing of all time), poems, songs and even a full-fledged Broadway musical. Considering all that material, it might seem difficult to believe that there would be a definitive account of the sinking. The late Walter Lord's 1955 book A Night To Remember could very well be called just that. Though published more then a half century ago, Lord's bo...more
Geevee
Walter Lord's book is itself over half a century old (published 1956) and yet it remains highly readable justifying its "classic" tag.

Where Lord excels is that he interviewed 63 survivors and weaved their recollections with many other written sources and testimonies to tell a story.

And a fine story it is. He hooks the reader on the first page by placing you firmly in 1912 and on board the second of White Star Line's Olympic class ships, and at the time of her voyage the largest ship afloat, and...more
Amy
When I went looking for a book about the Titanic and what really happened that fateful night, this is the book that came up the most, got the most reviews, and was regarded as the definitive Titanic book.
After reading it, I can definitely see why.

Walter Lord has put together a detailed, painstakingly accurate account of the Titanic's sinking. He pieces together several viewpoints in order to come up with each situation. His prose is simple and to-the-point, and very easy to read.

I appreciated t...more
Pearl
This has got to be the most exciting non-fiction book I have ever read!

The book itself only takes place during the sinking of the Titanic (which took about 3 or so hours) and the rescue effort of the Carphatia to the Titanic's small amount of survivors.

While reading this I felt like I was on board getting in to a life boat or drowning in the water that 'felt like millions of knives' or even part of the crew, it was that exciting! and I got through it very fast.

I also felt that man kind will n...more
Mona
This book is one of my 7th grader's summer reading assignments, so I thought I would take a crack at it first. I'm a bit skeptical that this book is a good fit for a 7th grader who is not a big reader -- the vocabulary and nautical terms are challenging, to say the least. That being said, it is extremely well written in a taut, analytical way. Not so coincidentally, I focused my full attention on Cameron's movie before I read the book. I can appreciate Cameron's attention to detail -- too bad th...more
Harshit Sahay
Rightly considered to be the most well researched book about the horrific event shook the world. Later made is into a successful motion film, it is a classic, penned by the impeccable Walter Lord, whose deep knowledge and
attention to detail is quite perceptible. He has gone to great lengths, conducting numerous interviews of survivors in order to pen a piece that is a must read for both titanic buffs as well as the average reader looking for a good read. The description of each and every aspect...more
Pamela
This summer I had an opportunity to visit Bronson Ms. where an intensive Titanic interactive museum has been built. This book brings back and enhances when I saw in the museum. I have a great deal of respect for the captain of the Carpathia. He forced his ship to travel at 17 knots and no one believed that the ship could go that fast. He dodged icebergs in a desperate attempt to save the people on the Titanic. The timely arrival of the Carpathia saved many lives, especially those 30 balanced on...more
Kathryn
Summary: From the time that the ship hit the iceberg to the time that the the survivors stepped off the pier in New York, there are incredible of stories of heroism, of cowardice, and of survival. This book follows those stories from the Titanic, the Carpathia, and even the Californian.

Review: I thought this book gave a great interpretation of the stories of those on the Titanic. It gave a new view of an oft-researched subject and brought to the forefront the human aspects of the tragedy.
Theresa~OctoberLace
Many books, both fiction and non-fiction, have been written about the sinking of the Titanic. Among those, Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember has come to be considered the definitive book on the topic. It was written based on extensive research and personal interviews with the survivors of the disaster, and the writer claims he did not take the liberty to fill in the story with conjecture. All quotes are exactly as related by survivors, with the caveat that memories vary. The exact details of som...more
Sandra Strange
This account of the sinking of the Titanic gives all the details: the heroism, the selfishness and selflessness, the tragedy, the preventable waste of lives. Anyone with the least interest in the story will enjoy finding out what survivors saw and remembered, and how their experiences changed them.
Erin Germain
Written within living memory of the Titanic sinking, this relied on survivor accounts to detail the final hours of the ship. There isn't much conversion, but it isn't necessary. The book moves from the sighting of the iceberg through the loading of the lifeboats, to the rescue by the Carpathia.

Where differing accounts exist, either from memories that aren't as clear anymore or from pores stories that embellished the facts, Lord presents both, and gives his opinion as to which may be most accurat...more
Debra
4.5 stars

Such a riveting book about the sinking of the titanic. This book is full of tragedy : third class passengers being locked below, life boats not full, not enough life boats, ignored warnings about ice, massive loss of life, etc. But it was also about heroism. The band playing until the very end, the men who stayed behind to keep sending out SOS messages knowing that by doing so they would surely not survive. Walter Lord did an amazing amount of research in writing this book. He interview...more
Gerry
Most people know the full story of the sinking of the White Star liner 'Titanic' but Walter Lord's account of that fateful night/early morning of 14/15 April 1912 is enthralling and reads like a first-rate thriller.

He immediately captures the reader in a bitterly cold north Atlantic night with the watch in the crow's nest peering into freezing fog; one immediately thinks of wrapping a blanket around oneself to stave off that cold!

And he builds the drama beautifully, act-by-act, often in the word...more
David
Never again would men fling a ship into an ice field, heedless of warnings, putting their whole trust in a few thousand tons of steel and rivets. From then on Atlantic liners took ice messages seriously, steered clear or slowed down. Nobody believed in the "unsinkable ship".

Had I not been able to watch the 1997 Titanic film for the very first time just this last 8th of the April of this year, I wouldn’t have gone ballistic with this whole Titanic curiosity I lately have found myself obsessing in...more
Lyndsey Staff
A Night To Remember is a historical detailed account of one of the most famous events that took place in the 20th Century. Obviously, the author did a great amount of research as there are a lot of fine details and descriptions throughout.

The book defines one event from 1912. It gives such a great sense of the chaos and excitement during this event that the reader forgets this all unfolded in under 48 hours.

It's clear from the first chapter that something extreme is going to take place. "A quic...more
Kirsti
Now I've read quite a few books about the Titanic- yes, I'm one of those morbidly curious human beings in awe of one of the worst disasters of all time. I mourn the loss of the life, cheer for the survivors, weep with the wives as they say goodbye to their husbands. This book has heaps of first hand accounts and stories, told to the author often by the survivors themselves. There was information I hadn't read before, and the same sad stories that make me sigh every time. If not for the massive l...more
Scott
In April during the centennial observances, I read an article in the New Yorker about the various treatments of the Titanic story. It commented that all the movies and miniseries added drama to the story. The author felt this was unnecessary, because the story itself had sufficient drama. His example for this was Walter Lord's A Night to Remember.

Published in 1955, Lord's telling is based on his thorough research, including interviews with still-living survivors. Here are the real stories of tha...more
Rach
The story of the sinking of the Titanic is one of those epic tales that is just as incomprehensible now as it was at the time. The overconfident stupidity of the White Star line, the engineers, the crew, and even the passengers just boggles the mind. Obviously at this point in society, we have come to value safety, security, and always having a fail-safe plan, so it's easy to look back and scoff at their unknowing naivete. But still, when you think of how many lives could have been saved had eve...more
David Earle
My all-time favorite non-fiction read….a book I read as a child and then reread later as an adult. There has never been a more definitive book retelling the minute-by-minute events that happened when the TITANIC, the “ship of dreams”, went to the bottom of the ocean on her maiden voyage that fateful night on April 15, 1912. When Walter Lord wrote “A Night to Remember” in the mid-1950’s it quickly became one of the biggest international best sellers of that decade. There were still hundreds of TI...more
Viola
What is it about the Titanic that makes it so captivating? It baffles me how insanely suspenseful this book was, because, well, we all know what happens at the end, right? But still, it was a sitting on the edge of your seat, nail biting suspenseful read.

Walter Lord’s account of the sinking of the Titanic was so good that I wondered to myself, if he was just making all the details up. He recreates the entire sinking and recovery of survivors in riveting scenes that places the reader right there...more
Kricket
i've had this book (an old paperback of my dad's) lying around for several years. this month seemed like an appropriate time to crack it open, especially after watching the 3D version of titanic (haha! i am not ashaaamed!) because it's fun to find out which bits of that movie were actually true. (not many.)

it's a quick and intriguing read, and walter lord has a wonderful sarcastic tone that popped up in places to make me laugh. i think i do better with non-fiction that follows one person all th...more
Kim
Nov 06, 2007 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Titaniacs, history buffs
Shelves: nonfictionmemoir
I've been a mild Titanic buff for a long time, and I had noticed that it was the tenth anniversary of James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster movie, which Eric and I saw together on one of our first dates (yes, we as a couple are ten years old too!). I was in an Old Town Alexandria used-book store this weekend, saw this Walter Lord chestnut from the '50s for a buck, and couldn't resist picking it up. I'm reading two other very dense books right now, and this was a brisk read that was a welcome break. T...more
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Irony in A Night To Remember 7 53 Jan 04, 2014 01:53PM  
Propuestas para libro de Junio 1 7 May 31, 2012 01:43AM  
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Walter Lord was an American author, best known for his documentary-style non-fiction account A Night to Remember, about the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

In 2009 Jenny Lawrence edited and published "The Way It Was: Walter Lord on His Life and Books."
More about Walter Lord...
Day of Infamy The Night Lives On Incredible Victory: The Battle of Midway Miracle of Dunkirk A Time to Stand

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“Overriding everything else, the Titanic also marked the end of a general feeling of confidence.” 4 likes
“This was the era when gentlemen formally offered their services to "unprotected ladies" at the start of an Atlantic voyage.” 3 likes
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