Review of Dead Wake

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Dead Wake is both a fascinating and terrifying account of the final voyage of the Lusitania before it was shot down by a German U-boat on that fateful day in May of 1915. 

I enjoyed the detail Larson went into with respect to introducing the various passengers that were on board as well as several key crew members.  I was also interested in the goings-on in Room 20 and the U-boats in the area.

The main issue that I had with the book was that it took too long to get into the actual sinking of the ship.  I was about 55% in before it even happened.  While, yes, the details leading up to the sinking were important, it was a bit much.  I could have lived with fewer details.  That said, the passengers’ accounts during the sinking were chilling. For example, one passenger said that people were wasting time being polite when they bumped into each other instead of actually hurrying into lifeboats, putting on life jackets, etc.  

It was also interesting that few people believed that the German U-boats could sink the Lusitania, never mind attempting it.  You’d think they’d learn after the Titanic disaster not to rely so much on how well made the ship is but also pay more attention to surrounding details.

Over all, a worthwhile read!


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books

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