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A Night to Remember

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  12,293 Ratings  ·  883 Reviews
She was the world's biggest-ever ship.A luxurious miracle of twentieth-century technology, the Titanic was equipped with the most ingenious safety devices of the time.Yet on a moonlit night in 1912, the "unsinkable" Titanic raced across the glassy Atlantic on her maiden voyage, with only twenty lifeboats for 2,207 passengers.A Night To Remember is the gut-wrenching, minute ...more
Paperback, 209 pages
Published July 1997 by Bantam Books (first published 1955)
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Tammy Strengths: Interesting and quick read. Gives a pretty good account of the events that happened as the Titanic sunk particularly things that went wrong…moreStrengths: Interesting and quick read. Gives a pretty good account of the events that happened as the Titanic sunk particularly things that went wrong leading to the massive loss of lives.

Weaknesses: At some points it feels as if it provides to much extraneous detail (like what a bunch of different people were wearing at the time), at others it seems lacking in details. For example a bunch of names are thrown out but I never really felt like I "knew" who any of the people were.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jun 12, 2016 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I can see why this book is considered a classic in narrative nonfiction. In fact, I picked up this book because Nathaniel Philbrick, himself a master writer, told the New York Times that this was one of his favorite books of the genre. (The other nonfiction book he mentioned was Alfred Lansing's Endurance, which I also agree was excellent.)

A Night to Remember gives a gripping, detailed account of what happened the night the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic Ocean, killing more
Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Bill Rogers
Apr 07, 2013 Bill Rogers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 16, 2012 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Kimberley doruyter
one thing becomes clear reading this book.
titanic was a major cock-up.
could more have gone wrong on one sea journey.
K.D. Absolutely
They say that this book is the definitive source when it comes to the story of Titanic and I agree. I learned so much details from this book that I did not see in the James Cameron 1997 hit. Even if I watched that movie 20+ times (and still occasionally have that urge), I still had that insatiable need to know more about what happened. But when I finally closed this book? Enough, I said. I'm truly satiated.

A Night to Remember is 1955 Walter Lord's (1917-2002) non-fiction work detailing what happ
This has been on my TBR list for a while, but I felt an urge to get it read earlier this year, given that I was going on a cruise myself. I decided it would be best left until after I returned, just in case it made me a little edgy!!

It was an interesting read, although there wasn’t anything of major importance that I wasn’t already aware of - but still amazing to think that people were firmly convinced that the Titanic was unsinkable. Although, having cruised on a large ocean liner now myself, I

If the Titanic had heeded any of the six ice messages on Sunday....if ice conditions had been normal...if the night had been rough or moonlit...if she had seen the berg 15 seconds sooner--or later...if she had hit the ice any other way...if her watertight bulkheads had been one deck higher...if she had carried enough boats...if the Californian had only come. Had any one of these "ifs" turned out right, every life might have been saved. But they all went against her--a classic Greek tragedy
Feb 04, 2016 Max rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-history
Lord delivers a riveting account of a tragedy that symbolized the end of an age. The Titanic, the grandest of luxury liners, heedlessly speeds forward into the night as the wealthy elite indulge. They meet their destiny in the elemental forces. The Titanic’s demise eerily foreshadows the profound changes coming as the world soon unravels in the Great War. The prevailing confidence that man can control nature and his fate is shattered. A far more uncertain world is revealed.

The actions of the cr
Brian Murray
This is a marvelous work of nonfiction in what has to be the definitive classic of the Titanic.

Walter Lord has a perfect balance between authorial distance and empathetic immediacy, giving the narrative elements of both suspense and pathos. Instead of focusing on a couple of passengers from the Titanic, he chronicles dozens to tell the story of the ship's last hours. This omniscient perspective makes the first half race by like a classical thriller. Even knowing the Titanic legend by heart, as s
Dec 14, 2015 Dara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been interested in the Titanic and her fateful maiden journey. Walter Lord tells the tale of her finally night at sea. This book was originally published in the 50s but it's content is still relevant. Lord collects various tales from the survivors themselves.

To us now, it's shocking at how calm and unbelieving the passengers were when the ship started going down. The ship was branded "unsinkable" and everybody truly believed it. They stayed inside, refused life belts, and thought the
Sean O
Oct 17, 2016 Sean O rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this puppy in less time than the sinking and rescue of the Titanic.

It was a tremendous narrative achievement: telling a story about one of the most famous disasters of the 20th Century.

I am convinced that Walter Lord's book is so good it elevated the tale to Mythology. The Night to Remember lead to "Titanic" and affixed the story in our culture for all time.

A very fast, and very good read.
Oct 20, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Alexis Drake
Feb 03, 2016 Alexis Drake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Nel 2015 ho visitato a Belfast la Titanic experience, una sorta di museo/luna park costruito sul luogo di costruzione del Titanic.
E’ un posto bellissimo, ve lo consiglio, e se volete ve ne parlerò in una delle rubriche di viaggio.
L’anno prima invece ho visitato il Museo del Titanic a Southampton, luogo da cui è partito e che ha dato i natali a moltissime persone che ci hanno lavorato. Un museo interessantissimo, pieno di oggetti, ricordi ed emozioni.
Mi è quindi venuto naturale comprare questo l
Catherine Howard
Apr 12, 2012 Catherine Howard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David Lafferty
Dec 05, 2012 David Lafferty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
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.
Linda Hart
A factual account of the Titanic. A journalist's detailed reporting of what happened according to the survivors. Very thorough. Not my cup of tea, but I am glad I read it. History and nonfiction lovers will give this 5 stars.
Matthew Kresal
Jul 25, 2011 Matthew Kresal rated it it was amazing
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
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
I'd heard of this book, or probably I'd heard of the movie made from it. I'm not a Titanic superfan, I'm not particularly interested in the golden era of cruise liners or Edwardian history or things nautical. But this is such an incredible story, it was impossible to pass up.

And man, it was gripping. I read it in a night, instead of sleeping. It's not a long book, and it's a fast-paced read. They say you should start a story as close to the end as possible--Lord starts with the Titanic's lookou
May 07, 2009 Pearl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
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
Burgundy Rose
Sep 01, 2015 Burgundy Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent - well-researched and captivating, while very economical (no romanticized account of anything, you only get the facts). My one complaint is that it's not nearly enough. If you've seen James Cameron's movie, you know everything in this book - my favourite parts came at the end, as I didn't know how the survivors had been rescued by the Carpathia (the film doesn't quite show that). The foreword also makes for interesting reading - so many fictional characters are said to hav ...more
Harshit Sahay
Oct 11, 2012 Harshit Sahay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 13, 2010 Mona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 02, 2013 Adetia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled onto this book via another Goodreads member. I was completely captivated by this story of the Titanic's final hours. Written over 50 years ago, it offers a focused, unique presentation of the "play by play" action as the crew and passengers of the Titanic began to understand and experience those final events. This is largely heralded as the definitive classic account of the Titanic and its easy to understand why. From the stark accounts of the ship's physical condition as it deteriora ...more
Mar 15, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in 1955 while many survivors of the Titanic disaster were still alive, about 63 of them. Mr. Lord was able to get valuable information from them to include in his book. A comment he made of meeting them, struck me: "They are wonderfully thoughtful. It seems almost as if, having witnessed man at his most generous, they scorn any trace of selfishness themselves." Mr. Lord said that many of the survivors contributed more than the scope of his book, just to help him get a bette ...more
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Irony in A Night To Remember 8 83 Jan 04, 2015 05:19AM  
Propuestas para libro de Junio 1 8 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...

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“Overriding everything else, the Titanic also marked the end of a general feeling of confidence.” 6 likes
“The night was a magnificent confirmation of "women and children first," yet somehow the loss rate was higher for Third Class children than First Class men.” 5 likes
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