Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: Deal Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson


Dead Wake:  The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson does exactly what the title says:  it tells the story of the Lusitania as it made its final voyage from New York to Britain.  During World War I, the United States tried to remain neutral and not become involved.  When a German U-Boat sank the Lusitania and killed many American on board, the United States was brought slowly into the war.

Larson obviously did an extraordinary amount of research for this book.  He tells the stories of many of the passengers and crew, giving you a sense of what they did and how they felt about traveling aboard the premier ship in the world.  With much backstory about the ship and her passengers, the reader gets a wonderful feel for how it must have been like to travel this ship -- and then to be torpedoed.  How terrifying!  Using survivors' accounts, Larson paints a vivid picture of this last trip of the Lusitania from the boarding, to the travel, to the sinking, and finally to the rescue and the aftermath.

I really enjoyed reading this book -- the first two-thirds, anyway.  Once the torpedo hit, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much because the author was able to capture what it was like to be aboard when it happened.  Weaving different passengers' stories together along with several of the crew and even the U-Boat captain, Larson does an excellent job retelling this story.

I want to thank Blogging for Books for my review copy, but my opinions are my own.

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