Arts & Entertainment

Best books on the Titanic

Chickenpox

With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, there should be a renewed interest in "A Night to Remember," Baltimorean Walter Lord's recreation of the ship's sinking. It is a classic in the dramatiuc retelling of an historical event, and you could draw a straight line to more recent books such as Sebastian Junger's "A Perfect Storm" or Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air." From the first pages, Lord evokes the gentility of the steamship era, and pulls readers into the unfolding disaster.

The Gilman grad, who had been fascinated by the Titanic from a young age, told a Sun reporter in 1957, "I think small boys get interested in things the way they catch colds or get chicken pox. Nobody knows why or how they do it...I suppose if there is anything more exciting to a young boy than an ocean liner, it is an ocean liner sinking." 

He also has spoken about the quality -- blending human stories with historic moments -- that make such books compelling. He once said, "Basically, I am interested in the people who are caught in great events more than the events themselves."

Lord died in 2002 and his grave is in Green Mount Cemetery, where other famous Baltimoreans -- including Johns Hopkins, John Wilkes Booth and Enoch Pratt -- rest.

 

 

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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