Book Review: The Ship of Dreams

TitanicIn the century since her tragic demise, Titanic’s story has been told time and again. From books (both fiction and non) to movies and television series, we’ve heard the tale so many times it’s hard to believe there is anything new to discover. Are there any more stones to uncover? Acclaimed historian, Gareth Russell, set out to unearth those very stones, and in his gripping new work he polishes them to a shine. In doing so, Russell manages to accomplish the impossible: a fresh perspective on the most infamous shipwreck in history.

Walter Lord’s seminal opus, A Night To Remember, set a benchmark for works on Titanic that few have been able to reach. In The Ship Dreams, Russell not only meets that standard, he far surpasses it, raising the luxury liner from its established place as a martyred victim of human error to an example of cutting edge technology in a world on the edge of collapse. Rather than portrayed as a ferry of death, Russell holds up Titanic as a true prism of life in an era marked by human triumph, buoyed by unprecedented wealth and sheer moxie.

Poignant and meticulously researched, The Ship of Dreams is brilliant and heartrending. Sharp in his observations, Russell leaves no myth unchallenged. A gifted storyteller, each harrowing hour is rendered so vividly, one can almost feel the sting of the salty air and the bitter chill of the sea sinking into their bones. In Russell’s hands, the academic is both engaging and accessible; each detail finely wrought by a true master of the genre. Moving and elegantly constructed, The Ship of Dreams is a pure treasure; a gem not to be missed.

Many thanks to the publisher for an advanced review copy.

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