Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Part of why I've enjoyed everything I've read from Erik Larson up to now is that he dives deep into topics that I have a lot of interest in. With Dead Wake, this was his first foray into a topic I didn't care as much about, the sinking of the Lusitania.
There are a lot of interesting geopolitical notes about the sinking of the Lusitania that take a backseat to the lives of the people on the ship as well as many of the U-Boat/submarine operators who were serving in the Atlantic at the time. This serves as a narrative where you spend a lot of time waiting for that eventual shoe to drop, as everyone knows what's coming right away. This isn't a bad way to do it, but it ends up feeling less like a history story (a la The Devil in the White City) and more a social history. The balance struck here isn't the same as the balance in his other books, so that's probably the one downer.
Still, Larson is a master at what he does. If this ends up being the worst thing he ever publishes, it's still better than most everything else like it out there. I wouldn't not recommend it, it's just that the story has a different feel to it than his other works.
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