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Titanic: The Tennis Story Paperback – April 1, 2012
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I would recommend this book to virtually anyone, all ages, history/tennis enthusiast or not, this is a great story that really transcends genre.
Gibbs has an obvious knack for sports writing. I hope to see more from her in the future - her premiere novel is a must read for all tennis-lovers, Titanic enthusiasts and history buffs!
The story of how the Carpathia rescued passengers from the Titanic was not familiar to me and I found it fascinating. The author shows not only how the tragedy brought out the best in human nature, but how the survivors struggled with trauma and guilt at being still alive when so many had died. Once the Carpathia reaches New York, the novel follows the lives of Williams and Behr and how the aftermath of the disaster echoes through their lives as they pursue their tennis.
The climax of the book reunite Dick and Karl, facing each other across the net in the quarter-finals of the US Open, then called the US Nationals. Only one could win the match and advance in the tournament, although I was rooting for both! The descriptions of both this match and the Final had me turning the pages desperate to find out what happened next. Gibbs's love for the game is clearly evident, and the fierce competition of the tennis court turns out to be a great metaphor for the resilience of the human spirit.
Although a novel, "Titanic: The Tennis Story" is based closely on the facts and the afterword makes clear the impressive amount of research behind this unusual book. I highly recommend it not only for history buffs and sports fans, but for anyone who enjoys a well-told story of life-changing events.
There is a nakedness about books. They are either page-turners or they're not. They either sweep you along and capture you in the flow of the narrative, or they don't. "Titanic: The Tennis Story" certainly gave Ms. Gibbs some terrific material, but the author made the most of it.
One of the biggest challenges involved in retelling the story of the Titanic is that the larger course of events is already known on a general level. One knows, even before reading the first page, that a harrowing escape lies in store for the principal figures in the drama. Any author has to make the tension of the moment come alive in a fresh way.
Lindsay Gibbs does exactly that.
"Titanic: The Tennis Story" soars because the author manages to give such piercing insight into the inner emotional lives of Karl Behr and "Dick" Norris Williams. It's easy to care about these people because their journeys are fleshed-out and anything but one-dimensional. Had the central figures in this story served as paper-thin props for the sinking of the Titanic, they would be easily cast aside and forgotten. However, Gibbs manages to write this story the way it was supposed to be written: The Titanic remains in the background, and the lives of two talented tennis players surge to the forefront. I found myself instinctively rooting hard for each of them... not in a mechanical or automatic way, but with genuine passions that were tossed about just as violently as Behr and Norris Williams were on those rough seas in 1912.
This is a must-read for any tennis fan.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Titanic: The Tennis Story is a powerful tale of love and devastating loss during the early 1900s based on real events. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tori
I'm not sure if it's because I'm a passionate tennis player, but this story made me cry and laugh out loud on several occasions. Amazing story, well written. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ajdin Kolonic
These two guys survived the sinking of the Titanic and later ended up becoming friends playing tennis against each other at worlds biggest tournaments.Published 12 months ago by Jim Moore
Hate to admit it .. but I don't finish many books. This book I couldn't put down. I was given this book and thought I'd end up reading it to my daughter, but I loved it so much I... Read morePublished on January 19, 2014 by Laura A. Taillon
Dick Williams was tentative about facing Karl Behr. Playing tennis was one things, but looking at him might trigger something in him that he no longer wanted to think about. Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by Deb
The book is written in a way that holds your interest even though it is an account of a disaster.Published on January 22, 2013 by Daisy
There is still a fascination about the Titanic sinking. Seeing these two tennis players lives entertained was interesting
I would recommend to any history buff.
This book is the perfect length and has the flowing subject matter to make it the perfect vacation read. You don't have to know a lot about tennis to enjoy this story. Read morePublished on August 28, 2012 by S. Fogleman