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Review: "Dead Wake," by Erik Larson


Larson manages to place us on the Lusitania, among its storied passengers, the able, and in some cases less than able, crew, in the boiler rooms, the parlors, the state rooms, the bridge, the crow's nest. Even better, we find ourselves inside the attacking U-boat, close to the captain, close to the mechanics and torpedoes and sheer perilous nature of submarines in 1915.

A master craftsman of historical recreation fiction, Larson succeeds once again in bringing a singular instance, period and people to life in captivating and compelling detail. The richness and depth of his research, blended with smooth and insightful storytelling brings any reader of history to an intimate experience. I would recommend this to any reader. Note, I say any reader. I understand that readers have preferences and particular tastes, but Larson's books bring history to life, real life, life that was just as real as anything we experience each and every day. If you've never read a book of this nature, do yourself a favor.

Note: If you are a Larson fan, be forewarned that this is not a book similar to two of his most popular and famous books, namely "Devil In The White City" and "Thunderstruck." Part of my complete infatuation with Larson is the fact that in each of those novels he combined notorious murderers who were each intimately involved with amazing historical events, namely the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1888 and the invention of wireless. Both of those books were incredibly breathtaking, the type of book that I wanted to devour, read again, and could hardly contain my enthusiastic interest. "Dead Wake" is more of a straight history, fantastic, yet different.