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A Night to Remember

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  13,186 Ratings  ·  954 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, min ...more
Paperback, Illustrated edition, 232 pages
Published 1978 by Penguin (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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Matt
Feb 15, 2010 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
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Diane
Jun 08, 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
...more
Joana - Ler Com Lobos
Apr 23, 2017 Joana - Ler Com Lobos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: américa
Falo da minha experiência com este livro aqui:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_MVc...
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
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by Walter Jarvis

On April 15, 1912, the greatest ship to ever sail struck an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic. This is a chronological tale of what the people aboard the Titanic recall of that night’s events.

This is a re-read. I first read it before I joined either Shelfari or Goodreads, so I have no record of when I read it. I believe it was in the 1980s; I know it was long before the hugely successful movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. If memory serves, I
...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
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.
...more
Kat
Apr 14, 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
...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
Kimberley doruyter
one thing becomes clear reading this book.
titanic was a major cock-up.
could more have gone wrong on one sea journey.
Michael Britt
Apr 25, 2017 Michael Britt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really can't decide what the best rating for this book would be. It's an amazing recollection of first-hand experiences from the night the Titanic went down. The Titanic is one of my favorite stories from history. Might have come from seeing it in theaters as a kid, but I'm not 100% certain. But this book is far more interesting than the movie, only because it's true.

It's interesting to hear just how calm everyone was up until people started physically seeing the water inside the ship. Even t
...more
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
...more
Sam
Dec 05, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016, nonfiction
I've gotten interested in the Titanic again after visiting Belfast this summer and going to the spectacular new Titanic museum. It really is worth the trip and you can easily spend the whole day there and not get bored. But this is about the book not the museum!

Very very concise recalling of what happened the night the Titanic sank, but I ended up loving that part of this book the most. It's not James Cameron fluff even if I love that movie for different reasons. This book is pretty strictly the
...more
Kathryn
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
...more
Shaun
If...

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.
...more
Aditya Patil
Apr 22, 2017 Aditya Patil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A narrative as exciting as any thriller, capturing one of the most tragic events the world has ever witnessed. The unparalleled glory of the Unsinkable ship, the love and labor of its maker, captain and crew, the appalled cries of men, women and children aboard, the silent night, the cold sea with the roaring gigantic ocean liner, RMS Titanic, being devoured into it has fascinated and afflicted thousands of people. Walter Lord has described all of it in this wonderful book.

On a side note, I alwa
...more
Max
Feb 01, 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
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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
...more
Dara
Nov 30, 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
...more
Rafal
May 09, 2017 Rafal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: varia-scripta
Na prawdę bardzo dobra książka.
Świetnie udokumentowany, nie rozgadany, reportażowy tekst.
Momentami chwytający za serce, ale bez zbędnego sentymentalizmu.
Największe wrażenie robi podkreślenie wszystkich okoliczności, dzięki którym można było tej katastrofy uniknąć.
Przypomina mi się Kronika Zapowiedzianej Śmierci.
Było tyle okazji, żeby odwrócić los. I wszystkie okazje zostały zmarnowane.
Amy
Oct 14, 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
...more
Alexis Drake
Feb 20, 2015 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
...more
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 03, 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
Christy
Non-fiction can be a daunting task to read; but Walter Lord weaved from beginning to end a memorable re-telling that never lost it's momentum. Splendid accounts from many passengers in their own words help to re-create some of the Titanic's most horrific moments. Even though I have read a fair amount on the subject of the Titanic; this read by far did stand out. The writing was never dry or dull and I was actually surprised by that. Now, for what I did find quite disappointing was the use of pro ...more
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.
Kathryn
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.
Bill Lynas
Nov 27, 2016 Bill Lynas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truely matter of fact account of the sinking of the Titanic, brilliantly told. It's interesting that although first published only about 40 years after the disaster people still had differnt memories of the events that happened. This version is an excellent unabridged audio CD, read by the ever reliable Martin Jarvis.
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.
Andrea Hickman Walker
Heart-breaking and fascinating all at once. Anyone with even a slight interest in the Titanic should read this. If you were interested enough to watch the movie, you should read this. I feel bereft and broken in spirit and at the same time so very very glad to be alive.
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Play Book Tag: A Night to Remember / Watler Lord - 5***** 3 24 Apr 07, 2017 04:55AM  
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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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