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A Night to Remember

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  10,415 ratings  ·  758 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, Illustrated edition, 232 pages
Published 1978 by Penguin (first published January 1st 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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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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
Kimberley doruyter
one thing becomes clear reading this book.
titanic was a major cock-up.
could more have gone wrong on one sea journey.
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
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
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
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
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
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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
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
Naseem
I inherited this book from my parents bookshelves after my mom died. Was prompted to pick it up and read after my 12 year old began studying the Titanic. I really did not know anything more about the disaster than the most basic details: big ship, unsinkable, iceberg, bummer. What I like about this book was that it was a moment to moment accounting, and that it had a good index of who survived and who didn't. What I also liked was the brief, yet clear portrayal of the dismal distinction in class ...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
Ashley Reid
An amazing insight into the real story of the titanic. Definitely worth reading.
Michael
A quick read. If you're looking for a lot of detail, you probably want to try another book. This is a basic run down of events from the time the iceberg is spotted until the rescue by the Carpathia. There is a little info about the survivors trip to New York after their rescue but not much. It was a good read though and if you want to know the basics without reading a ton of detail this is great book for that. And it kinda increased my interest a little, so I'll probably search for another book ...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
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Irony in A Night To Remember 8 71 Jan 04, 2015 05:19AM  
Propuestas para libro de Junio 1 8 May 31, 2012 01:43AM  
  • Titanic: an Illustrated History
  • The Discovery of the Titanic
  • Unsinkable: The Full Story Of The RMS Titanic
  • The Titanic Disaster Hearings: The Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation
  • Titanic: A Survivor's Story
  • The Titanic: End of a Dream
  • Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From
  • Her Name, Titanic
  • Titanic Survivor
  • Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World
  • The Loss of the S.S. Titanic: Its Story and Its Lessons
  • The Story of the Titanic As Told by Its Survivors
  • Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived
  • And the Band Played On: The Titanic Violinist & the Glovemaker: A True Story of Love, Loss & Betrayal
  • Titanic: Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean Liner
  • Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes From the Great Liner
  • Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler
  • The Band That Played On: The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with the Titanic
18143
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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“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.” 4 likes
“Overriding everything else, the Titanic also marked the end of a general feeling of confidence.” 4 likes
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