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Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Dead Wake

by Erik Larson

Quick take

Experience the drama and dread as the ship heads towards its destined encounter with German submarine U-20.

Why I love it

Book of the Month

An author needs a special kind of talent to be able to depict historical events in a way that is both factual and captivating. In this regard, Erik Larson is one of the best. The tragic last voyage of transatlantic luxury liner Lusitania, bound from New York City to Liverpool is one of many terrible tragedies of World War I. Reads experience the drama and dread as the ship heads towards its destined encounter with German submarine U-20. Anyone with an interest in the War, naval- or maritime history, will enjoy this meticulously researched work. This is an epic story that reads like a novel and delivers a truly satisfying reading experience.

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Member thoughts

All (384)
All (384)
Love (246)
Like (129)
Dislike (9)
408 ratings
  • 60% Love
  • 32% Like
  • 2% Dislike
  • Monterey, CA

    He writes this as if it was fiction, so many details!! he paints the picture so you feel like you see everything, from all sides of history. Tragic event of the past, felt deeply in present here.

  • Bastrop, TX

    Erik Larson transports you to another time. I love how well researched his books are. You learn more than just the event the book is based on. Interesting anecdotes make this book very enjoyable.

  • Arden, NC

    If you like reading historical fiction, check him out—he writes non-fiction as if it were fiction. Evening knowing what I learned about the Lusitania from school, Larson kept me in suspense!

  • Chinook, MT

    This was a great book to read....very in depth, lots of inside couls almost see yourself there......I read his other book, Devil in the White City, liked that story too.

  • Oberlin, OH

    It never ceases to amaze me how well Erik Larson brings these events to life and builds suspense - I know the ship sinks, but I was still reading like crazy to see what happened next!

  • Milwaukee, WI

    I know Erik Larson isnt everyones cup of tea but I love him! This book despite being technical at times built so much suspense while respecting the tragedy of what happened.

  • Livonia, MI

    Since becoming a Larson fan, I have enjoyed seeing all the in-depth looks into the time period and surrounding details of the sinking of Luistania. Another amazing novel.

  • Grafton, OH

    So well written. I learned a lot with out even trying. I really enjoyed seeing the actual film referred to on line . Larson did an excellent job recreating the trip.

  • Stanford, CA

    Larson weaves together perspectives related to The Lusitania in such a deft manner. I found myself wishing for a miracle even though you know what is about to happen!

  • Manahawkin, NJ

    This book was phenomenal. I knew only what was taught in school (which really, wasnt much). This book was so eye opening. I liked seeing all sides of the incident.

  • Castle Rock, CO

    I'm such a history geek and I unexpectedly loved this book! I know nothing about boats or naval operations, and this book was both educational and enthralling.

  • Nanuet, NY

    Larson really is a master of narrative nonfiction. If you want an intimate, breathtaking description of the Lusitania and its demise, this is it.

  • Brooklyn, NY

    Amazingly detailed recounting of the sinking of the Lusitania and the start of World War One. This is not your average history novel!

  • New Richmond, WI

    Erik Larson never disappoints! The connection to the victims of this tragedy was strong. I wanted to keep reading after I finished.

  • Logan, IA

    Another Lason book for the win. Lots of details and it reads faster than you think it will. Super book and a great author.

  • Mechanicsburg, PA

    Anything Erik Larson is great - but this may have been my favorite of his books I’ve read.

  • Elmhurst, IL

    I was drawn into this book immediately! It’s my favorite from this author.

  • Dublin, OH

    A fascinating, well-researched, and heart-breaking read. What's not to like?


    With all the research and details, it's almost like you're really there.

  • Lake Arrowhead, CA

    Erik Larson does it again. He can weave together events like no other.

  • Caste
  • The Devil in the White City
  • The Splendid and the Vile
  • Dead Wake