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Titanic: A Survivor's Story & the Sinking of the S.S. Titanic
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Titanic: A Survivor's Story & the Sinking of the S.S. Titanic

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  295 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Two survivors' accounts of the sinking of the Titanic. The information contained in Colonel Gracie's story is available from no other source. He provides details of the final moments, including names of passengers pulled from the ocean and of those men who, in a panic, jumped into lifeboats as they were being lowered. Walter Lord, author of A Night to Remember, calls Graci ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1913)
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Kimberly
This is NOT a Story. It's a very detailed account of the sinking of the Titanic.

If you are looking for an emotional account of the Titanics first and only crossing this is NOT the book for you. Although most of the details of this famous crossing are tragic, this is more of an accounting of what happened from the moment the Titanic struck the Iceburg to the last passengers recall before a panel of judges what happened in ghost fateful hours.

If you enjoy getting into and understanding the minutia
...more
Sam
This is the first hand account of the experiences of Archibald Gracie on the night of 14th April 1912 aboard the Titanic as she succumbed to the waters of the Atlantic and while the event is one of the most dramatic in peacetime history, Archibald tells his story with the reserve typical of the time. He tells how he helped fill the few lifeboats that there were and how he managed to escape the freezing waters of the Atlantic, eventually finding his way on board the Carpathia and back to dry land ...more
Lindsay Heller
Rating and reviewing this book is sort of difficult. It was an incredibly interesting and very detailed first hand account of the most famous maritime disaster in history, but at times it seemed a bit... too detailed.

The first part of Colonel Archibald Gracie's portion of this book read almost like a novel. He told his experience, splashing in details he learned later. Then he rewound and accounted for the experience of every single lifeboat, often times from many different accounts. I don't do
...more
Lacie
The eyewitness accounts of Archibald Gracie & John B. Thayer – two men who sank with the Titanic and survived to recount the story of that dreadful night at sea. I was particularly taken with Archibald Gracie’s account. His attention to detail is incredibly intricate, despite the fact that he was in the heat of the action as the ship sank. The attention he gave to his surroundings would be impressive under normal circumstances, much less in a situation of such heighted peril and emotion. His ...more
Carien
As the title of the book already says: this book is the story of one of the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic. This alone makes this book for anyone who's interested in Titanic a must-read.
The first five chapters of the book are Colonel Gracie's story of what happened to him the last day on board of the ship and during the actual sinking and thereafter.

What makes this book really special is that Gracie also tracked down as many people as he could find who survived the sinking to collect a
...more
Heather
We all know the story of what happened to Titanic – the unsinkable ship that happened to strike an iceberg on her maiden voyage and would ultimately sink – but do you know what happened to many of the actual people on board the ship? What they were doing when it struck the iceberg, how they got off (or didn’t), how they were saved? This account by Colonel Archibald Gracie, a passenger on the ship, gives us a look into the details in ways that you don’t get in other accounts.

Colonel Gracie was no
...more
Samantha Glasser
Colonel Archibald Gracie was on board the Titanic when it sank. He was one of the lucky men who was able to cling to a capsized lifeboat for survival. He details his account of the crossing, both before and after the iceburg. He mentions many people he spoke to on the voyage, hoping to bring comfort to any families whose loved ones he encountered who did not survive. This book seems to have been a form of therapy for Gracie and he hoped it would help to answer questions about the sinking.

The la
...more
Cindy
I picked up this book after hearing that this April 15 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. This narrative of the what Col. Archibald Gracie experienced was powerful, yet not dramatized. He simply and clearly talked about what he experienced. He spoke of some of the moments of incredible bravery and weakness. His eyewitness accounts of the actions of other passengers and the crew were both heart warming and breaking. His story of survival is amazing, he spend t ...more
Lynne
3.5. This non-fiction account was written by an American, who was returning to NY on the Titanic from a European vacation. Gracie was a Civil War buff, and he had just finished writing a book about a battle his father had fought in. Gracie helped load the lifeboats as the Titanic sank. He essentially sank with the ship, and survived by clinging to an overturned lifeboat until the Carpathia picked up the survivors the next day. Gracie spent the next months of his life gathering information and co ...more
Rose
This book includes two eyewitness accounts of the sinking of the Titanic. The first is a highly researched account by Colonel Archibald Gracie who survived the night on top of an overturned lifeboat with several other men. The second account by John B. Thayer is much shorter but no less interesting. Thayer is the son of a railroad tycoon who went down with the ship. I've read several books about the Titanic to find that nothing compares with eyewitness accounts. I would recommend this book to an ...more
Cheryl
I'm sure it was terribly informative in 1912/13 but less so now. Interesting how the testimony of first class passengers (including that of Col. Gracie) were accepted as fact by both British and American Inquiries, whilst those of 2nd and "steerage" were called into question - yet these turned out to be more accurate (i.e. the ship DID split etc..). Very skewed to paint Col. Gracie in the best, most heroic light. Quite ironic how it was emphasised several times throughout the book that there was ...more
Debra
This account was given within the first months of the Titanic disaster and written by a survivor. In addition to Colonel Gracie's firsthand account of that terrible night, he includes statements of many other survivors given either directly to him or to the inquiries held in New York and England. An account of each lifeboat to leave the ship is given, including survivors loaded onto the boats and any conflicts that may have arose during loading. Colonel Gracie himself was not loaded onto any lif ...more
Beth
A compelling book written by a survivor in 1912, the year of the sinking, as a first person story as well as the accounts of other survivors. Gracie was on the Titanic as it slipped under the surface. He was able to surface and swim to an overturned lifeboat that was not launched before the sinking. After hours standing on the capsized boat in the extreme cold with others, he boarded the Carpathia at dawn surrounded by icebergs that forced the survivors to row to the rescue boat that couldn't pi ...more
Ged
It is fascinating to read a first hand account from a passenger of one of the most famous disasters of recent history. In the first five chapters Gracie really brings the humanity of the tragedy to his writing as he describes his own experiences as the liner goes down. In parts it's poetic, while at other times it is very detailed driven. Chapters 6 and 7 are extracts from the resulting investigations of the sinking, with other passengers statements of their escapes on the life boats. These chap ...more
David
This is a very interesting report on what happened that fateful night, 100 years ago. The book contains a very impressive collection of testimonies by lifeboat, as well as the personal account by Colonel Archibald Gracie.
There's an interesting aspect in this book though: it still reflects the stratified view of society at the time. The author, being a 1st Class passenger, only names other first class members and members of the ships crew as long as they aren't servants or stokers. Second class p
...more
Marcus
An in depth look at the happenings on the night of April 14'th 1912. Reading what happened from the perspective of the passengers of the doomed liner, you gain a deeper respect for their experience and feel a deep sense of catharsis. Some of the points that Col. Gracie makes are now known to be incorrect, and some of the "quotes" that he has included seem to be staged or outright fabrications. Beyond that, it seemed to be a very accurate representation of one of the greatest maritime disasters o ...more
Rachel
fascinating
Erulisse
Although it was interesting to read a tale of the famous disaster from the pen of a survivor, the reality of what he saw and reported combined with the actual circumstances of how the ship went down are so divergent that I had issues with the book. I also had some problems with his obvious class structure hangups and other things that are really more a product of the times, but I still was bothered by them. Read on my NookColor.
Lisa
This is a very important account of the sinking because it was one of the first to come out after the tragedy, while it was fresh in Colonel Gracie's mind. It's amazing Gracie survived and able to tell what happened before he died from the exposure he endured that night. He's able to tell the reader what it was like being a passenger on the largest, luxurious ship of the time before and after striking the iceberg.
Megan
Wow. This was the first book I grabbed concerning Titanic survivor's stories. Little did I know what I found. The author not only tells his survivor story but did enough research to compile what happened in each lifeboat that left the ship. It was fascinating to read every angle experienced by those that lived. Their testimonies are also a sad truth of how tragic the sinking of the Titanic really was.
Meaghan Clark
This book consists of two survivors accounts. The first is by Colonel Archibald Gracie, entitled Titanic: A Survivor's Story, the second is by Lawrence Beesley, entitled The Sinking of the S.S. Titanic. It is a great book, and definitely worth reading if you are interested in the Titanic. Received this as a gift from my aunt last year, but I read this when I was about 12 years old.
Paul
I liked it. I agree that it was repetitive in places - mainly due to the Colonel's thoroughness. He often retold the same event several times from different witnesses standpoints and testimonies. Its worth reading the first half just for the story of how he personally was saved. Lucky just isn't the word!?!
Linore
A fascinating account of events from a survivor; I read the Kindle edition which I advise you to avoid. It was full of typos and some entire pages that were unreadable. Otherwise, well worth the read. I read this book primarily for research purposes, and it fit the bill.
Martin Turnbull
Although somewhat repetitive in the second half and a little formally written (in 1912 by a colonel so we can’t blame him for that), this was quite an interesting view of that fateful night written by one of the last living survivors still on the Titanic when it went down.
AmyLyn
This was an interesting review of the Titanic's fated night. Extremely thorough, though with an obvious bias to the upper-class that he comes from, it mostly reinforced what I already knew, although there were a few surprises. What a terrible tragedy that was.
Maria
Colonel Gracie's story of surviving combined with testimonies of other Titanic survivors was interesting but hard to read. Very technical and repetitive.

Mr. Thayer's account was interesting, not so technical, so much easier to read.
Julie
Interesting firsthand account of what happened as the Titanic sank. Col. Gracie was swept over board by a wave as the Titanic sank. He managed to surface and found an overturned lifeboat...that is all the farther I have read.
Stacy LeVine
This is a very important book. The two accounts herein comprise what was the full historical record of the Titanic disaster until Bob Ballard found the wreck in 1985. Not to be missed for the history buffs out there!
Maura
A very good read. The writing has held up in my opinion. Mr. Gracie was not quite a man when the ship went down but in the end he became a real one. His depiction of the last moments of Titanic still stay in my mind.
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