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Download Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.27 out of 54.27 out of 54.27 out of 54.27 out of 54.27 out of 5 4.27 (15 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Erik Larson Narrator: Scott Bric Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds” and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship—the fastest then in service—could outrun any threat.

It is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Factual and personal to a high degree, the narrative reads like a grade-A thriller.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • "[Larson] has always shown a brilliant ability to unearth the telling details of a story and has the narrative chops to bring a historical moment vividly alive. But in his new book, Larson simply outdoes himself…What is most compelling about Dead Wake is that, through astonishing research, Larson gives us a strong sense of the individuals—passengers and crew—aboard the Lusitania, heightening our sense of anxiety as we realize that some of the people we have come to know will go down with the ship. A story full of ironies and ‘what-ifs,’ Dead Wake is a tour de force of narrative history.”

    BookPage, Top Pick

  • “Larson once again demonstrates his expert researching skills and writing abilities, this time shedding light on nagging questions about the sinking of the Lusitania… An intriguing, entirely engrossing investigation into a legendary disaster…Compared to (others)…Larson’s is the superior account.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Using archives on both sides of the Atlantic, Larson describes the Lusitania‘s ominous delayed departure and its distressing reduced speed. He vividly illustrates how these foreboding factors led to terror, tragedy, and ultimately the Great War. Verdict: Once again, Larson transforms a complex event into a thrilling human interest story. This suspenseful account will entice readers of military and maritime history along with lovers of popular history.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “This comprehensive history reads almost like a novel, and that’s exactly how Scott Brick narrates it. He adds emphasis where needed, goes quieter when appropriate, and varies his pacing effectively. His narration doesn’t get in the way of the writing—it enhances it. Yet during the sometimes dry and lengthy history sections early in the work, he carries listeners along. In print, readers might be tempted to skim or even skip these passages, but Brick makes them easy to listen to. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “With a narrative as smooth as the titular passenger liner, Larson delivers a riveting account of one of the most tragic events of WWI… Larson crafts the story as historical suspense by weaving information about the war and the development of submarine technology with an interesting cast of characters…Larson convincingly constructs his case for what happened and why, and by the end, we care about the individual passengers we’ve come to know.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A BookPage Top Pick for March 2015
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A March 2015 LibraryReads Pick
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015 for Nonfiction
  • A 2015 Library Journal Best Audiobook
  • A 2016 Winner for the ALA Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration

Listener Opinions

  • 3.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 53.333333 out of 5 by Will | 4/26/2016

    " I really found this book enjoyable from the history of the Lusitania, U boat 20, and world war 1/11. What I didn't like about the book as the author seemed to go into extreme detail as to the background and story lines of the passengers of the Lusitania. Many of the stories were the story lines behind these individuals were uneventful and didn't add to the main subject of the book. "

  • 4.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 5 by Sue Sew | 9/12/2015

    " This novel is excellent. It provides a helicopter perspective of The Lusitania sinking, by telling not only the story of the ship & passengers, but of the u boat, war trenches and US President. It is detailed without being overwhelming and it flows like fiction. The narration is clear and even toned, which perfectly suits the topic. My only criticism is that I didn't feel I got to know the passengers very well. Whilst the post-torpedo description was moving, I wanted more connection to them. "

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