books and reading · reviews

Book Review: 101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic by Tim Maltin

Titanic expert Tim Maltin tackles the myths and legends surrounding one of history’s most famous doomed ships in this new book.  Methodically moving from the ship’s construction and launch to its notorious sinking, Maltin tackles the biggest stories about the big ship and tells readers what the real story was.  History buffs and fans of shipwrecks should take note: this book is detailed, compelling, and accessible.

Obviously this book is going to find a readership in hardcore Titanic fans.  This could mean the ship itself or James Cameron’s eponymous, epic 90s movie.  (Did anyone else see that it’s being re-released in 3D?  Is nothing sacred any more?!)  The book might also resonate with fans of shipwrecks and history in general, but because Maltin’s book is so detailed, Titanic fans are going to be the most entertained by his account of what happened.

Using a variety of sources, including actual interview transcripts from surviving passengers and crew members, Maltin dispels the myths surrounding the ship in a clear, concise manner.  Each of the 101 issues Matlin tackles is handled in a few pages, but it never feels overly rushed–his accounts are detailed and thoughtful.

It’s a book that will also work for individuals doing research about the ill-fated ship.  The writing is accessible enough to work for high school students (or even sophisticated middle-grade readers) looking for detailed information about the boat.  This book wouldn’t be a bad resource to have in classrooms or school libraries.

Overall compelling, Maltin’s book about the Titanic is a relatively quick read that offers a great deal of information to chew on.  Recommended to fans of the ship, the movie, or those just looking to learn more about what happened to that crazy ocean liner.

101 Things You Thought You Knew About the Titanic…But Didn’t by Tim Maltin. Penguin Books: 2011.  Electronic galley accepted for review via NetGalley.



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