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Psalm at Journey's End: A Novel

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  450 Ratings  ·  28 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
49th out of 106 books — 131 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
49th out of 87 books — 95 voters

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Community Reviews

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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.
Jul 19, 2010 Outis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
Sep 28, 2013 Kristel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un bémol: les passages plus mystiques.
Jun 13, 2009 Jasmine rated it liked it
Shelves: norwegian
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
Jun 06, 2016 Ariel rated it did not like it
Okay. So, to bascially put it. This book sucked. Like, more then a book should. I got it cause I'm a big Titaicologist. Anyway, The book is based on a fictitious band, meant to represent the real band on the Titanic. In all honesty, I'm highly displeased that the book was even 'related' to the Titanic. There was almost nothing in the book that suggested it was even related. There's only like five real parts of the book, and four of them are about four of the band member's lives. Another thing. I ...more
Jan 05, 2013 Catherine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
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
The novel by Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen, begins on April 10, 1912. Seven musicians board the luxury liner Titanic in Southhampton to entertain its two thousand passengers during the five-day maiden voyage to New York. The musicians are a motley crew of characters from England, Russia, Ireland, France, Austria, Italy, and nowhere in particular. The reader learns their stories during the five remaining days of their lives. Each of these stories focuses on a different part of Europe at the ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Sonatajessica rated it it was amazing
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. :-)
Jul 03, 2011 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
Jun 11, 2009 Ellen rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 14, 2010 Bibliophile rated it liked it
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 ...

Estela Anders
Mar 23, 2015 Estela Anders rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 01, 2011 Dina rated it really liked it
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 22, 2011 IziEzi rated it really liked it
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 ABC rated it liked it
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.
Aug 01, 2008 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Feb 27, 2012 Kristina rated it did not like it
Shelves: own, titanic
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.
Mar 16, 2016 Erika marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ich habe ein Buch bei registriert!
Jan 13, 2016 Sigurður rated it it was amazing
Íslenska þýðingin heitir Sálmur að leiðarlokum. Mér þykir afskaplega vænt um þessa sögu. Hún hreyfði við mér og ég man hana enn.
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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
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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.” 6 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.” 3 likes
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