2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

Tina has read 2 books toward her goal of 40 books.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

REVIEW for How To Survive the Titanic

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for sending me a copy of this book.

TITLE:              How To Survive the Titanic

AUTHOR:         Frances Wilson

GENRE:           Non fiction

RATING:         4 Stars

 I don't know why I am so fascinated by the Titanic but I am -which means that I have read many, many books on the subject matter over the course of the last 10 years or so.  However, one subject or passenger that is usually discussed "just in passing" is  J. Bruce Ismay.  A very important figure with the White Star Line and, arguably, a despicable human being.

I say arguably because after reading this very well researched and incredibly captivating story of  J. Bruce Ismay and the Titanic I have to ask the question - how would I have reacted in the same situation?  Of coures, Ismay was called a coward for abandonning the Titanic as it was sinking instead of going down with the ship.  But author Wilson makes some very interesting statements about both the man and the evening in question.  Of course, none of us were present and on the deck to really find out what exactly occured.  There has been, as Wilson points out, various versions of the event - where Ismay was asked to go into the lifeboat.  In another version he forced his way in and finally, he decided to jump into the lifeboat because there was nobody on board to "board" the lifeboat and there was plenty of room.

This book is a fascinating look at the life of a man that seemed to be incredibly miserable, even before the entire event occured.  He was exiled after the sinking and never managed to find his was back to his life.  I liked reading this one because we are told various stories, as remembered by witnesses, and are asked (invited) to make our own decisions.  I also found the entire "after the sinking" telling of Ismay's story as extremely interesting.

Very well written and enjoyable book.

3 comments:

Donna said...

Sounds interesting, Tina. Great review!

bermudaonion said...

Next year is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, so you'll have plenty of books to read soon.

Anonymous said...

J.Bruce Ismay was a very sensitive and private person and it is high time that books such as this and other publications, stopped suggesting that he was a coward, and even on some occasions are still, in these enlightened times, prepared to make scurrilous untrue remarks about him.
The Titanic had more lifeboats on board than the Regulations demanded. If he had not entered the collapsible lifeboat with Mr Carter which was being lowered, and was not full to capacity, with no other passengers in sight, this would simply have added one more name to the casualty list.
This book contains distorted information and many many inaccuracies together with factual errors. This may be permissible for a purely fictional books but not acceptable when real people are included. The book also states that it was White Star company policy to stop the crew's pay at the time the ship went down. Does the author realise that this was British Maritime Practice to stop crew's pay as soon as they had no ship to serve on. This was the same for most, if not all, British Merchant ships, even if they had been torpedoed, right up to the second world war.
Both the British and American enquiries exonerated Mr Ismay of any wrongdoing, and perhaps, if he was guilty of anything it would be of having too much confidence in the invincibility of the vessel.
And now in this anniversary year, of the tragic accident, this persecution and using him as a scapegoat should stop.


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