Monday, July 6, 2015

Dead Wake - Erik Larson

I love Erik Larson's books!  So, when this one was released I knew I just had to read it.  Unfortunately, it came at a time when I was in the middle of a few very, very long books.  So, it sat on my shelf for a couple months before I finally cracked it open.  Being a fan, I knew it was going to be good.  And, embarrassingly enough, I knew almost nothing about the sinking of the Lusitania before reading this book.

And of course he didn't disappoint with Dead Wake.  This is such a fascinating book!  I love how he captures the story from so many different points of view (the submarine crew of the U20, the crew and guests of the Lusitania) and weaves it with other events taking place during that time – in the U.S., Germany, and Great Britain. Everything is described so perfectly that you can almost taste the sea water! Larson takes us on the journey from New York and we get to meet and come to know so many of the guests of the Lusitania.  And like the ship guests, we (the readers) form bonds with all the people on the ship that are making the long trip from New York to Liverpool during a perilous time.  I love how the descriptions of events showed so many people helping and assisting and doing the right thing, all while fearing for their own lives.  For instance, one of my favorite quotes is from a survivor, trying to explain to a victim’s family member “when the thing really comes, God gives to each the help he needs to live or to die."

It was so interesting to learn of all the missteps, bad information, and responses and see how it affected the events of those days.  It’s interesting to ponder how even one or two changes could have had a major impact on how these things took place.  While it reads like a fast paced suspense story, I learned so much about the events, people, war, and time period.  I can’t wait to see what adventure Larson will take us on next!!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.