Larson is one of the modern masters of popular narrative nonfiction . . . a resourceful reporter and a subtle stylist who understands the tricky art of Edward Scissorhands-ing narrative strands into a pleasing story. . . . An entertaining book about a great subject, and it will do much to make this seismic event resonate for new generations of readers.

Hampton Sides, New York Times Book Review

Larson is a journalist who writes non-fiction books that read like novels, real page-turners. This one is no exception. I had known a lot about the Titanic but little about the Lusitania. This filled in those gaps . . . this one is pretty damned good. Thoroughly engrossing.

George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

About the Author

Erik Larson is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, most recently Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which hit #1 on the Times list soon after launch. Erik’s book The Devil in the White City stayed on the Times’ hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over five years. It won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for a National Book Award. His other books include In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History, and Thunderstruck. Erik graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Russian history, language and culture. He received a masters in Journalism from Columbia University.

Larson currently lives in Seattle with his wife and three daughters.


In his gripping new examination of the last days of what was then the fastest cruise ship in the world, Larson brings the past stingingly alive. . . . He draws upon telegrams, war logs, love letters, and survivor depositions to provide the intriguing details, things I didn't know I wanted to know. . . . Thrilling, dramatic, and powerful.


This enthralling and richly detailed account demonstrates that there was far more going on beneath the surface than is generally known. . . . Larson's account [of the Lusitania's sinking] is the most lucid and suspenseful yet written, and he finds genuine emotional power in the unlucky confluences of forces, 'large and achingly small,' that set the stage for the ship's agonizing final moments.

The Washington Post

Both terrifying and enthralling. As the two vessels stumble upon each other, the story almost takes on the narrative pulse of Jaws—the sinking was impossible and inevitable at the same time. At no point do you root for the shark, but Larson's incredible detail pulls you under and never lets you go.

Entertainment Weekly


Scott Brick


13 hours 3 minutes


Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Publication Date


  • The track lingered on the surface like a long pale scar. In maritime vernacular, this trail of fading disturbance, whether from ship or torpedo, was called a 'dead wake'.
  • I think my thought and imagination contain the picture and perceive its significance from every point of view. I have to force myself not to dwell upon it to avoid the sort of numbness that comes from deep apprehension and dwelling upon elements too vast to be yet comprehended or in any way controlled by counsel.

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