Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Band that Played On by Steve Turner

As a musician, I have always been drawn to the heroic tales that involve any type of artist. This book, which I received from Booksneeze, provided all of that and more.
The fate of the members of the chamber orchestra aboard the Titanic is well know, ingrained in our memories by the James Cameron film and by the many accounts we might have come across throughout our lives. None, however, have focused on who these poor men were, why they were together on the ship, what and whom they were leaving behind when they boarded the ship. Mr. Turner provides all of that in his sharp book.
The writing is concise yet entertaining, not an easy feat, especially when the Titanic facts are so well known. It’s difficult to imagine a fresh way to tell the story, and yet, this book manages to do that. There is not a moment of extraneous or superfluous information which detracts from the story being told. We follow the lives of these men as they grow up and become the musicians doomed to play the hymn “Nearer my God to Thee” as the ship bowed out and sunk into the freezing waters off of New Foundland.
I highly recommend this book for people with interest in the Titanic, for musicians and artists, or for anyone who wants to read about a group of talented and heroic men.

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