The Band That Played on: The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with the Titanic (Hardback)
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Short Description for The Band That Played on "They kept it up to the very end. Only the engulfing ocean had power to drown them into silence. The band was playing 'Nearer, My God, to Thee.' I could hear it distinctly. The end was very close." --CHARLOTTE COLLYER, TITANIC SURVIVOR The movies, the documentaries, the museum exhibits. They often tell the same story about the "unsinkable" "Titanic," her wealthy passengers, the families torn apart...
- Published: 28 March 2011
- Format: Hardback 272 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781595552198 ISBN 10: 1595552197
- Sales rank: 155,380
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Reviews for The Band That Played on
The Titanic story from a different point of view
I must admit that I had a hard time getting into this book, and then finishing it. I found this book neither an absolute waste of time nor a fascinating story.
Whenever I heard of the Titanic, I used to think of the reasons, why these men would play until the end, how could they be so calm about what's coming and so on. The author obviously made the best he could to gather the information about the members of the band and to give us an insight into what could have led these men to make such a decision.
I found a few interesting facts about the Titanic in the book, the photos of various documents were well fitting with the story and made it more interesting, though there were also guesses and unverified assumptions.
I am quite sure that people who are highly interested in the Titanic story will find this book entertaining and useful; and maybe people who are generally interested in biographies and history, too. by xlacrimax
A investigative book on the extraordinary story of the 8 musicians
The Band that Played On is about the extraordinary story of the 8 musicians who went down with the Titanic. Note, its not about the story of the 8 extraordinary musicians, but the extraordinary story of the 8 musicians. You see, the 8 musicians were talented but in many ways, they are also ordinary people like you and me. Their courage in the face of death, to surrender to God by playing the hymn, "Nearer my God to thee" for the passengers of Titanic is testament of stoicism, charity and self-sacrifice in average people.
The book is an excellent product of the author's expertise in journalism and music. He does not take stories at its face value, and investigates into the truth of the story that the musicians indeed played the hymn as the "unsinkable" ship sank. He also gives an elaborate account of the lives of the 8 musicians.
The book was initially quite dreary and I was speed reading through the first few chapters. But the later chapters crystalizing the author's thesis that we can be courageous in the face of death nearly made me tear in the train! Of course, having done a moot about a shipwreck similar to the Titanic, the law nerd in me also enjoyed the chapter on the legal dispute between the dishonest agents and the families of the musicians. by Eunice Lim
A good holiday popular history read
Anyone who has seen films or read books about the Titanic will recall the ship's band which played as it sank. In this book Steve Turner focuses on these eight musicians. He explores the various claims regarding what they played, and in particular, what their last tune was and looks at the various stories that circulated regarding the band following the tragedy.
Turner makes it clear from the outset that this book doesn't seek to explore issues of why and how the ship sank, but rather, takes a much closer look at the lives of the musicians: what brought them to this ship; what their roles were; who they left behind, and various other interesting questions. The result is a very personal slice of history which tells a lot about the culture of the day. There are obvious points of intersection with the larger issues of the Titanic sinking, but essentially the book sticks to the stories of these eight men.
Turner has done a lot of research and does a good job of making it readable and approachable to a popular audience. Where the trail of documentation ends he sometimes gives speculation, and where there is contention he gives his opinion, and for what reason. At the end of the book he touches on the alleged 'Wallace Hartley Violin', but points out that due to its impending auction and resultant sworn-secrecy of all those involved, he was unable to garner any real information or corroboration. It is a slight anti-climax, though perhaps looks forward to a second volume in due course.
I found the initial biographical backgrounds to be a little dry, but worth persevering through, as the information paved the way for exploring the men's actions and characters, and the aftermath event, which is much more engaging.
It is quite a fast read, and one which I enjoyed. I don't think one need be a musician to appreciate this book. Anyone with an interest in the Titanic, sea-faring history or Georgian society in general ought to find it quite stimulating. A good holiday read (cruises excluded!).
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. by Andrew Finden