Titanic at 2 AM

Aug 5, 2005
If there is one book that I enjoy reading over and over again it is this one. Paul Quinn goes into exhaustive detail about the Titanic's final 20 minutes-- and what a riveting tale it is. What I like about the book is that is takes an all- encompassing look at the final 20 minutes of the sinking. Not only does it deal with when/how the final boats were lowered but it deals with how the ship was flooded and the major portions of the ship, that once submerged, accelerated the sinking (i.e. the collapse of the bulkheads bewteen boiler rooms 5 and 4, the submergence of the forward cargo hatches, and the separation of the forward expansion joint). I also particularily enjoyed the more minor details that the author delved in to, such as his description of the flooding the of 3rd class dining room, and the special mention he made of the fact that the Cafe Parisien's wicker tables were bolted to the floor and assumed a rather crazy angle when the Titanic began its final plunge. It was little things such as this that really brought the story of the Titanic home to me, and made me begin to view the Titanic story as more than just a glamorized Hollywood production (even though I have been a "fan" of the story way before Cameron's film came out), but rather as a tragic story of an event that cost so many people their lives. Titanic at 2 AM also chalked full of survivor testimonials, and a few original illustrations that are crisp and new (a lot of nice perspectives were used, that one does not find in most Titanic books-- i.e. interior sinking shots, etc). Overall, I am a huge fan of this book, and whenever I really need to feel the sheer terror of that night I read this book over again. It is gripping, poignant, and vividly written so much so that it is hard not to read the entire book in one sitting.

Tracey McIntire

Dear Jason,
I totally agree with you. Paul Quinn's book is one of the best books I have ever read on Titanic. I can also recommend his new book, "From Dusk To Dawn," which is full of wonderful survivor accounts.

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