The Band That Played On by Steve Turner is the first in depth look at the 8 musicians on board the ill fated Titanic. The story is intriguing because it gives more information about the Titanic and as much as is known about these 8 men on board. They were hired as musicians for the journey. The 8 men made up two separate groups that played aboard ship. The night of the tragic iceberg collision, these men choose to play music rather than secure seats on lifeboats that would have saved their lives.
Steve Turner does a great job of introducing us to these men and their families. He has done his research and brings the reader all that seems to be known about them. Unfortunately a lot of research was not done on the musicians when there would have been acquaintances and family members still alive that could have filled in the blanks. The musicians were not widely studied before this book so there is not a vast amount of knowledge about them. However Mr. Turner brings us what is available.
The remainder of the book is filled with data about the time, other passengers, ship details, pictures, and written accounts around the time of the accident. It is a terrific read for anyone interested in the Titanic or interested in history in general. I will admit that most of what I knew before this book came from the James Cameron movie Titanic and from general information I learned in school. I like histor,y and I enjoyed the tidbits of knowledge and the photos that were throughout the book. It was refreshing to get more information on a subject that I did not know a lot about. I think this book would also appeal to musicians as much information is included about the musician's union at the time.
It is not a quick read but an intriguing one. I think that this book is a fitting tribute to those 8 men that choose to play and calm the fears of all of those around them. I believe that their relatives would have been pleased with the job Mr. Turner did in presenting details of their lives and deaths.
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