Skip to main content

Dead Wake

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Whatever Erik Larson writes, I am sure to read it.  With his proverbial wit and historical detail, his new book, Dead Wake covers the travels of the Lusitania and the German U-boat that sunk it down.  With a careful handling of the events that took place before and after the Lusitania’s plight, Erik gets into the momentous event and the circumstances surrounding the massive Cunard passenger boat.  You get a behind the scenes look into the captains, the personalities on the ship, including a book dealer and people of some means.

One of the great strengths of the book is Larson’s detailed account of Charles Lauriat, Boston bookseller and collector of rare copies of Dickens and other fine works.  We get the sense that Larson was interested not only in the occupation of Lauriat, but his desire to find the most ornate copies of great author’s works and present them to others for sale.  For Lauriat, this voyage on the Lusitania was as much a business venture for profit as it was for enjoyment on a mighty vessel.

Larson paints a very complete picture of Walther Schwieger as well, the captain of the German U-boat which sunk the Lusitania.  The Lusitania for Schwieger was a prized possession, a boat to put on his record with the others he manned down.  Schwieger was a man of some skill, notching his destructive efforts in a detailed diary that was the glory of his possession.  Schwieger was competent, deft at patrolling the U-boats at his command and careful to jot down every ship he gunned down.

Dead Wake is a wonderful book, Larson gives us a vivid picture of Room 40 and Churchill, and the relationship that German commandeers had with ships coming into their area. 

Thanks to Blogging for Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes by Roger Hutchison

Taking a look at the digital copy of this book allowed me to look at the striking art inside the book, and its connection to the words of the page that were focusing on loss.  Looking at the physical copy of the book even brings to life more the staggering similarity that the words and pain have together on the page.  The focus here is how certain colors express the sentiments of those who have lost a loved one.  I did not think that I would relate too well to this book until two days ago, as we lost our little boy, who was only 17 weeks old.  The pain is palpable and yet the pages of this book give me good reason to think of my son with a sense of pride and hope.

Roger writes, "You are a shooting star. Your light trails across the heavens.  I blinked and you were gone."  We were full of anticipation at the first and second ultrasounds, and there was the picture of our little boy Jackson, his developing face and little …

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose by Flannery O’Connor
A profound simplicity of thought, a penetrating vision of what it means to be human, Flannery O’Connor embodies the spirit of bringing fictional stories to life.  Others might call her fiction ‘grotesque’ in a rather unflattering manner, but O’Connor was not content to live up to their criticisms.  In this short book of collected essay and lectures, Mystery and Manners, editors and friends of Flannery, Robert and Sally Fitzgerald have given us a glimpse into the vision of her faith, style and life as a writer.   A lifelong Catholic, Flannery O’Connor sought to wed together the moral integrity of her faith with the character of her craft in writing.  Specifically, fiction for her was an exploration in imitation.
In a rather illuminating statement in the chapter entitled, “A Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South, “ O’Connor writes,
“I am specifically concerned with fiction because that is what I write.  There is a certain em…