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Psalm at Journey's End: A Novel

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  353 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A “virtuoso” novel (Time) of the Titanic disaster-told from the perspective of the ship’s motley band of European musicians. Translated by Joan Tate.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 15th 1997 by Mariner Books (first published 1990)
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A Night to Remember by Walter LordTitanic by Don LynchThe Night Lives On by Walter LordVoyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson WhiteThe Discovery of the Titanic by Robert D. Ballard
Best Titanic Books
45th out of 100 books — 106 voters
Voyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson WhiteThe Girl Who Came Home by Hazel GaynorFateful by Claudia GrayThe Dressmaker by Kate AlcottDestined by Allison Kraft
Fiction books about the Titanic
45th out of 86 books — 85 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 626)
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I was not able to put this book down. It captured me from the start, held me tight until the unevitable ending and left me crying with that odd sense of satisfaction that a really good story can evoke.

These life stories, even if fictional, were moving and interesting. The author isn't trying to influence me with cheap tricks, but rather let's the characters tell their story and the reader decide how to feel about it.

I have nothing but love for this book.
Un bémol: les passages plus mystiques.
Mh... stellenweise war ich sehr begeistert und dachte, dass ich doch in der falschen Zeit geboren wurde. Mir imponierte dazu sehr, dass dieses ganze Katastrophen-Drama-Gedöns rund um den Untergang der Titanic aufs wesentliche reduziert wurde und nur am Rande auftauchte und dort sehr sachlich und fast nüchtern gehalten. Denn um die Titanic primär ging es hier gar nicht. Es ging um die fiktiven Lebensgeschichten der Musiker (übrigens auch nicht die "Originalmusiker", aber das ist, denke ich, gar n ...more
Because I'm a bit of an idiot instead of sleeping saturday Friday night I decided to read a book about the musicians on the titanic, or as the author explains musicians that he made up who bear no relation to the musicians on the titanic, but are on a ship exactly like it based on the exact history of the titanic. (although in the last two pages I learned the a real musicians parents sued for the loss of their only son) Moving on this book is more about the fact that people have a history then t ...more
An interesting way of combining several tales - the stories of some imaginary members of the band of the Titanic. While each was good in its own right, the resonances between them were too slight to make this feel completely coherent. The stories were embedded within the tale of the fatal voyage, but each would stand alone just as well, a bit like the movements of a complex symphony for those of us without a finer appreciation of the development of a theme.

The story that engrossed me most was t
Estela Anders
A wonderful book that tells the story of a group of musicians, thrown together by chance, to play on the Titanic's maiden voyage. While the musicians in this stories are fictional and not the actual musicians that played on the Titanic, each story is moving and well crafted, and it shows how each of them became the person they were at that point in 1912. I absolutely loved this book.
Jun 16, 2011 Sonatajessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sonatajessica by: my mum
A splendid novel, historical fiction yet so much more.
The story is filled with the questions of what home, belonging and ultimately life's path could mean to a single person, even more importantly the question what you do if you don't belong, if you don't meet your fate.
The reader follows their lives and discovers how the members of the Titanic's musical band end up on that fateful trip across the Atlantic. Their personal journeys are mirrored, framed and captivated in the ship's destiny.
All is
Stein Roar
Jeg er alltid skeptisk når bøker blir hauset opp som "Salme ved reisens slutt" ble gjort da den kom ut. Det var nok derfor jeg ikke har lest den før nå. Jeg må innrømme at jeg ikke ser storheten i denne boka. Jeg begynte allerede å irritere meg over det antikverte riksmålet etter et par sider.

Rammen rundt boka er de fiktive musikerne ombord på Titanic, og deres skjebner som har gått under lenge før de kom ombord på Titanic. Det er fantasifullt skrevet, men det engasjerer meg ikke.
Questo romanzo si snoda sullo sfondo del più che famoso affondamento del Titanic, che è il pretesto per raccontarci le vite dei sette orchestrali che suonavano a bordo, i quali, a differenza di molti altri personaggi descritti nel libro, sono figure assolutamente inventate e non modellate sulla base delle persone che realmente viaggiarono e perirono sul transatlantico nel 1912.

Si legge, per carità, ma altrettanto in fretta lo si dimentica.

Fate un po' voi. :-)
This is not your usual story of the Titanic. Instead the author has created possible members of the ensemble that played for first class. He followed each character and how he came to be a member of the ensemble on the Titanic's maiden voyage. I found this a rather refreshing take on a well know historical event. I suppose I would have preferred that he write a novel about the actual members. It is well worth reading just for the different perspective.
I read Psalm at Journey's End years ago and really liked it, for some reason that is now opaque to me. This time I decided I didn't feel like finishing the book, and only managed to get about halfway through, perhaps because I, of course, know quite well what fate awaits the (fictional and real) musicians on the Titanic and the backstories of the fictional characters weren't gripping enough for me to care. Oh well ...

Leste denne boken fordi den var slik en kjempesuksess da den kom ut. Har prøvd å lese den før, men ble ikke helt revet med. Det ble jeg ikke denne gangen heller, men slet meg gjennom den. Synes den er langtekkelig, og skjønner ikke helt hvorfor kritikerne OG "vanlig lesere" synes den er så bra. Anser meg selv som en med litt peilig på bøker, derfor kjøper jeg ikke helt kritikernes begeistring for denne boka. Sorry, Erik.
Indra Barrios Lasso
Couldn't put it down 'till the end!
Dette var en af de bøger, jeg havde svært ved at lægge fra mig. En "pageturner".
Meget spændende at læse om at disse musikere på Titanic også havde et liv bag sig, og kunne have haft en fremtid.
Desværre er det musikerne opdigtede, og ikke de rigtige personer, der er skrevet om, men dette lægger forfatteren ikke skjul på.
Aug 01, 2008 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Karen by: my aunt birgit
This totally absorbing book is about the musicians on board oof Titanic the days before it went down, but also tells a whole lot about their lives, and the reason for their behaviour in different situations.They all have very different backgrounds, but when the ship sinks, their future is the same.
So I don't know if I just didn't "get" this book but it was a serious struggle to get through it. The writing was really weird and I didn't connect with any of the characters. It was exceedingly boring, even though it was about my favorite thing ever, the freakin TITANIC. Disappointed.
A very interesting fictional description of the musicians that played on the Titanic. The author allows us to get to know each musician's life, who they were as a person. I enjoyed the descriptive style of the author's writing, and the poignancy he brings to each man.
Jan 04, 2008 Kirei rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teen and up
Shelves: teens-and-adults
This is described as a book about the sinking of the Titanic. It is not about that, rather it is about the fictional lives of the musicians aboard the Titanic. Some parts were interesting, some parts were slow.
Wide-ranging novel on the (fictionalized) background of the members of the Titanic orchestra.
The language was beautiful, I just felt like the book had no definitive point or statement.
Really affecting story of the musicians on the Titanic.
Great character stories
It's beautifully written.
Alia marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
Caroline marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
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Erik Fosnes Hansen is a Norwegian author who made his debut at age twenty with the novel Falketårnet. His most famous work is his second novel, Psalm at Journey's End, which in separate but steadily more interwoven stories follows the individual musicians that end their careers and lives at Titanic. The book has been translated into more than twenty languages. A Part II follow-up to Beretninger om ...more
More about Erik Fosnes Hansen...
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“When night falls people become as lonely as snowflakes floating down from a gray city sky. Now and again we fall past a streetlamp and are visible, a brief moment apart, REAL-- we can be seen. We exist. Then we vanish into the gray darkness and the earth draws us to it.” 7 likes
“Everyone chats and smiles, chats about nothing, shouts and drinks themselves silly occasionally or all the time. They they die one fine day, old or young, they die, tucked up into the earth. That's what it's like. Swarming lives, with no meaning, no number.” 2 likes
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