Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Band That Played On by Steve Turner

Subtitled "The Extraordinary Story of the 8 Musicians Who Went Down with The Titanic," this book explored the lives of the musicians who continued to play as the Titanic sank to the bottom of the sea. While touching on a bit of history regarding the ship itself, its "creation," as well as the standard of sea crossing at that time, this book also allowed an interesting look into the occupation of musician in 1912. As the title suggests, the reader most importantly got a closer look at the lives of the eight men that played aboard the Titanic. All relatively young men, their choice of continuing to play their instruments while chaos and fear reigned among them was heralded as heroic. "While they were playing, the music would have acted as a mental safety rail and given them a purpose; but once they put down their valuable instruments, the true gravity of the moment they were facing would have rushed into their overly alert minds" (p.153). They sacrificed their chances of ever getting in a lifeboat, instead deciding that playing music would allow the passengers a maintain sense of calm and peace while tragedy roared around them.
The author not only introduced us to the musician as far back as his birth, but he also took the reader beyond the sinking and went on to talk about life for the family left behind, including the descendants of each musician. Reading this part of the book made me think beyond the musician as a specific person and made me contemplate human life/death in general: it was almost humbling to realize the impact (or lack of impact) that can be made by a single person.
I originally selected this book to review as it was a break from both fiction and spiritually "challenging" books. I somewhat enjoyed it for that reason alone, but think it would mostly appeal to a Titanic buff or at least someone interested in a look at life back in the early 1900's.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

Bonnie Gunkel said...

I had never heard of this book, but have now added it to my list based on what you said about it. Thanks!