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Interview: Erik Larson’s Fresh Eyes on a ‘Dead Wake’
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04-17-15 : Erik Larson Follows a 'Dead Wake'

Countdown to Destiny

We know, or think we know, what is going to happen. The Cunard liner Lusitania will be hit by a torpedo and sink; most of the passengers will die. What more can be said, and to what aim?

Erik Larson answers that question with 'Dead Wake,' a tightly written historical thriller that for all its meticulous documentation, creates character and suspense as well as any novel. Readers will find themselves in the peculiar position of rooting for the impossible.

It's important to note that Larson is a stickler for accuracy. Everything in the book is sourced. I mention this up front because the reading experience is so immersive and novelistic that it's easy to forget you're reading a work of non-fiction.

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What is The Agony Column?

"He took down the great book in which, day by day, he filed the agony columns of the various London journals. "Dear me!" said he, turning over the pages, "what a chorus of groans, cries, and bleatings! What a rag-bag of singular happenings! But surely the most valuable hunting-ground that ever was given to a student of the unusual!"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Red Circle


NEW!!! 04-17-15: Time to Read Episode 201: Erik Larson : Dead Wake
04-17-15: A 2015 Interview with Erik Larson


"...said to have been found in the arms of a dead German sailor..."
— Erik Larson

Erik Larson admitted that he was a bit nervous at the prospect of writing about the sinking of the Lusitania for his latest book, 'Dead Wake.' It's a well-known incident, though I have to say that "sinking of the Lusitania" probably summarized the extent of what I knew about it before reading the book.
04-15-15: A 2015 Interview with Peter Bell


"...I looked up some of the old books..."
— Peter Bell

I met Peter Bell at a lonely pub in the midst of the wilds of Yorkshire; the Lamb Inn. It was overcast, cool and breezy. We were the only customers, sitting in a cozy booth looking out onto the dour day and discussing his stories of life, death and life after death. The Lamb Inn served Black Sheep ale. It could not have been a better setting.
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A 2015 Interview with Marc Goodman : "...every physical object around us is being transformed, one way or another, into an information technology..."
A 2015 Interview with William Ury : "...he proceeded to shout at me for approximately 30 minutes..."
A 2015 Interview with Jennifer Senior : "...it becomes a source of enormous tension once a baby comes along..."
Podcast Archive
The ALL NEW MATERIAL, NO RE-TREADS Agony Column Literary Magazine for April 19, 2015, 6-7 PM PDT KUSP.org:
Erik Larson and Laszlo Bock of Google.... Email me.

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