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The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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A masterpiece. Wolf leaves no emotion unplumbed, no area of research uninvestigated, and his voices are so authentic they hurt. Everyone should read it.
—Booklist (starred review)
Wolf constructs a richly textured novel in verse that recreates the Titanic's ill-fated journey, predominantly through the voices of her passengers... Wolf's carefully crafted characters evolve as the voyage slides to its icy conclusion; readers may be surprised by the potency of the final impact.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Twenty-four voices-of passengers, rats and even the iceberg-evoke the human tragedy of the ill-fated voyage. Wolf brings the history and, more importantly, the human scale of the event to life by giving voice to the players themselves . . . A lyrical, monumental work of fact and imagination that reads like an oral history revved up by the drama of the event.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Wolf's novel in verse gives voice, through first-person accounts, to a cross section of passengers and crew on the Titanic: how they boarded, why they're there, and how they face the disaster. . . . The themes of natural disaster, technology, social class, survival, and death all play out here.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
About the Author
Allan Wolf, an expert poet and storyteller, is the author of the award-winning novels NEW FOUND LAND:LEWIS AND CLARK'S VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY and ZANE'S TRACE. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
Top customer reviews
Creative and captivating, Mr. Wolf keeps the action steady as the stories of the passengers race toward a struggle with life and death. I was equally enthralled with young Frankie Goldsmith's ice dragon adventures as I was with Captain Smith's realization that this final voyage would not be to his anticipated retirement. Wolf's research is detectable in all his details, and this Titanic buff was pleased to read his illuminating author's note in the final pages. I could easily have inhaled this novel in one long breath, but I made myself savor each word, right down to the lines falling off the pages as Thomas Andrews takes his final plunge with the ship. As 2012 is the centenary of the sinking of the great ship, there will doubtless be lots of information and many books available, but this one should definitely be the one literature and history lovers should seek out. Highly, highly recommended.
Thanks to the Historical Novel Society for providing me with a copy of this wonderful novel.
What I wasn't expecting was for this book to blow me out of the water. Allan wrote this book based on reality - people who were actually on the ship, the undertaker who picked up the bodies, the rats who lived in the bed of the ship, and the iceberg itself. I found this book hard to look away from and my copy is covered in flags so that I can go back and really envelop myself in his work. Some of his most poignant pieces in the book were based on things that probably happened.
Allan himself was wonderful. He's been writing poetry for a while but when he directed our class, you could really see his stories come to life. If you ever were to sit down with a theatre troop and read the poems, I think you would understand how beautiful and how interesting all of his poems are. Each person has a voice, a perspective and paints an image of the Titanic that was (mostly) real.
Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it highly, for anyone. For Titanic lovers it's another insight to what happened in a unique way. For someone who doesn't know as much, it's an introduction to real people, as opposed to Jack & Rose.
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