Dead Wake

Dead Wake

The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Downloadable Audiobook - 2015
Average Rating:
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania. On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds"--the fastest liner then in service--and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small--hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more--all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour and suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Audio, 2015
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780553551631
0553551639
Branch Call Number: eAudio
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file) : digital
Additional Contributors: Brick, Scott

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Opinion

From Library Staff

Larson's writing and Brick's reading make for an intriguing narrative on the events leading up to the sinking of the Lusitania.


From the critics


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i
IV27HUjg
Mar 03, 2017

Wonderful read, I skipped the audio due to my dislike of the narrator.

r
rhubarb42
Aug 14, 2016

Bibliokrisp's summary is "spot on." As usual Larson does a masterful job of weaving multiple stories until they finally come together. And I found the narrator well suited to the story.

d
Daj_O
Jun 12, 2016

The book is fantastic and difficult to put down. The narration is a bit spotty--the French accents weren't consistent and the Americans always sounded like they were from Texas and were ignorant. Shame on the narrator's prejudices--I expect more subtle/expert narration with Erik Larsen's books. Listen to "In the Garden of the Beasts" for another great book and much better narration.

b
bibliokrisp
Apr 28, 2016

This book is primarily about the sinking of the Lusitania but the author brings in information about shipping in 1915, the captain of the Lusitania, the code-breaking of Room 40 (British Naval Intelligence), President Wilson's personal life, details about U-Boats, and more. This is the 1st WW1 book I've read that gave me a clear picture of this time and how the US got into the war. Larson also does a superior job telling the stories of many Lusitania passengers, making them memorable and taking the reader into that person's experience as the Lusitania sank (only 18 minutes from the time the German torpedo struck). If you enjoy history, this is worth your time.

o
Olivy
Nov 17, 2015

If you enjoy history and life recounted during that time, you will love the details; they add to the charm. We enjoyed the narration. Sad when the CD's were completed. Top marks.

t
thepudman
Sep 19, 2015

I listened to the audio book, and I didn't like the narrator, so that colours my review, but OMG!! - the minutia! Detailing the colour and pattern of someone's socks, the contents on a suitcase, the number of plants in the dinning room, and how many cigars a person brought on board! Would have been far more interesting - an shorter - if the author would have cut out the extraneous details. 11 CDs, but the ship isn't even torpedoed until disc 9.

t
troyinpdx
Sep 13, 2015

Superb.

f
fatsalmon
Aug 03, 2015

Really a good book. Lots of history about the passengers and crew on the Lusitania and the captain of the sub that sunk it. Also includes some history about WWI and the politics involved in the US, Britain and Germany. Well written.

b
becker
Jul 16, 2015

Very interesting and well told.

ehbooklover May 11, 2015

A fascinating and eye-opening account of the last voyage of the Lusitania. Extremely well researched and full of vividly described details. The author effectively illustrated the disaster from the perspective of people from all sides of the event. The narrator was fantastic and made the story come alive. I may have to listen to more audiobooks!

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