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The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic

par Allan Wolf

Autres auteurs: Jon Klassen (Artiste de la couverture)

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

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3663569,009 (4.33)3
Recreates the 1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finding first love, "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and others including the iceberg itself.
  1. 00
    Song of the Sparrow par Lisa Ann Sandell (Joles)
    Joles: Both books are written in verse and are written for a YA audience about historical events.
  2. 00
    The Dressmaker par Kate Alcott (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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» Voir aussi les 3 mentions

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( )
  sashathewild | Jul 2, 2023 |
Poetic narratives by doomed passengers of the Titanic recreate the emotional impact of that fatal event. Additional narratives from the ship’s rat, from an undertaker, and from the iceberg add a unique perspective to this tragic event.
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
This was a kids' book club pick and it was excellent. I've never really been a Titanic groupie, although the irony of the whole thing has always been appealing. This fictional account is a beautiful work of art that adds a lot to the Titanic lore and gives some life and heft to the known facts. The author has researched historical information quite thoroughly and then takes this in a personal direction. He has given voice to a couple dozen real people on the ship, and gives short fictionalized vignettes from their point of view over the course of 12 days in April, including the preparation to sail and the 3 days at sea. Most "official" are Captain EJ Smith, Thomas Andrews, the shipbuilder, and Harold Bride, the "spark" working the Marconi telegram system. The passenger voices portrayed include Margaret Brown, John Jacob Astor, some immigrants, some workers (all named, though not as recognizable as the first class passengers mentioned) and whimsically, Wolf gives voice to the ship's rat and the iceberg itself -- chilling, literally! He even includes the undertaker from Halifax responsible for retrieving the bodies. All have their own unique reasons for being aboard, with their own unique perspectives of what is happening. Some survive and some don't, but the effect is a haunting symphony of humanity. Even the words layout on the page is poetic and meaningful. One "fun" fact the author includes in the Notes is that is takes longer to watch the movie Titanic than it took the boat to sink. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
Fascinating.
Felt as if I was there.
Twenty-four distinct voices.
Ordering his book on Lewis and Clark NOW. ( )
  kimpiddington | Sep 16, 2020 |
I'm becoming intrigued by the genre of novels-in-verse and enjoyed this one very much.

This was written in free verse and included fourteen different perspectives on the voyage and sinking of the Titanic. It also included multiple wireless transmissions to and from the ship, and most (but not all) were real. I appreciated the range of perspectives, which included not only a variety of passengers and crew from all classes but also a convincing ship's rat and even the iceberg, and I'd recommend it for an exercise in point-of-view.

I know quite a few people have complained about the iceberg (and, near the beginning, its parent glacier) being included, but I thoroughly approved of it. I think we need to consider nature more often, especially since the number and severity of natural disasters is increasing because we haven't thought of nature nearly as often or as seriously as we should be. I also appreciated the touch of having the iceberg's poems get shorter and shorter as it eventually got swept into the Gulf Stream and began to melt. Its last poem was only two words.

The book also gave the perspective of Thomas Andrews, who designed Titanic and was sailing on it. One thing I didn't know before this was that he was an amateur apiarist, and so the poetry written from his perspective included a lot about bees and their behavior. This is true even in the last poem written from his perspective, when he compares the passengers on Titanic to a swarm of bees that must leave their hive but have nowhere to go. I also appreciated how, during this last poem, the lines of text began to tilt as the ship also began to list and sink.

The poem on pages 368-369 was absolutely chilling. The central circular section was meant to represent the pattern of the bodies of all the dying victims and composed of short phrases or even single words to represent their thoughts. The word “cold” was represented in the central text in nine different languages other than English, representing the diversity of all the third-class victims. And the other short phrases help illustrate the humanity of the victims and make the panic and confusion seem almost palpable. Not only that, but while the only words at the top of the circle were "help," the only words at the bottom were “heaven.”

It’s surrounded by alternating stanzas from the first-class promenade poem as well as the third-class promenade poem. To me the stanzas represent the wreckage of the ship (most of both promenades are now beneath the sea). Alternatively, the stanzas could represent the few lifeboats, especially since they are grammatically correct and in full sentences – much more orderly and without the sense of panicked confusion. Either way, the whole poem was spectacularly done.

I know the author said he used actual wireless transmissions for the most part. So I’m curious to know whether the pattern in the transmissions shown on page 360 actually occurred or whether it was artistic license:

MGY MGY SOS CQD
MGY MG- -OS CQD
M-Y -G- -OS C-D
M-Y -G- -O- --D

In other words, did the final transmissions really end up spelling out “My God” or not? We know the very first line was actually sent out; MGY was the call sign of Titanic and CQD was the predecessor of SOS. (Contrary to popular belief, Titanic was not the first ship to use SOS,. Also, SOS does not actually stand for anything; it was chosen for its short, simple, and distinctive pattern of dots and dashes). It's also virtually a certainty that they began to lose the ability to broadcast certain letters as time went on. Furthermore, we know the last series of V’s was real, although whether Titanic was its source is not known for sure. So I am truly curious about this, and if the wireless distress calls eventually decayed to "My God" that is also chilling.

Speaking of the wireless, I thought it was a great idea to incorporate actual Morse code into the poetry written from Harold Bride's perspective. The notes to the book included translations for each line, as well as the alphabet in Morse code for more ambitious readers to do their own decoding.

And as far as the “Notes” section goes, it was incredible. Profiles of all of the real people whose perspectives Wolf incorporated (including whether they survived or not), translations of foreign words and phrases, and of course the Morse code translations and alphabet. Very well done. ( )
  Jennifer708 | Mar 21, 2020 |
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Nom de l'auteurRôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Allan Wolfauteur principaltoutes les éditionscalculé
Dawe, AngelaReaderauteur principalquelques éditionsconfirmé
Gigante, PhilReaderauteur principalquelques éditionsconfirmé
Lane, ChristopherReaderauteur principalquelques éditionsconfirmé
Merlington, LauralReaderauteur principalquelques éditionsconfirmé
Page, MichaelReaderauteur principalquelques éditionsconfirmé
Klassen, JonArtiste de la couvertureauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Audio, Candlewick on BrilliancePublisherauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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Recreates the 1912 sinking of the Titanic as observed by millionaire John Jacob Astor, a beautiful young Lebanese refugee finding first love, "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Captain Smith, and others including the iceberg itself.

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