The Band That Played On book review

I fell in love with the story of the Titanic when James Cameron released his movie Titanic in 1997. I went to the theater and watched it 3 times. I can’t exactly explain what draws me to the movie, the story, or the real life events surrounding the Titanic. I just know I am curiously involved with its prideful beginnings, its famous maiden voyage, its mysterious grave, and the human story of tragedy and survival.

When given the opportunity to read a book whose subject is on the musicians of the Titanic, I was pretty excited. Little is known or conversant about the eight musicians who worked diligently to create atmosphere and who worked tirelessly to calm passengers when death was imminent.

As I dug into The Band That Played On, I found myself unfortunately lost. As a warning up front by the author, if you are looking for a book about the Titanic, this is not the book. This is true. The very reason I was hindered in reading because the first 9 chapters is the historical and biographical accounts of all eight musicians. I have no clue where half of the towns and cities that were mentioned. Also being a novice to orchestrated music, I stayed lost through most of the beginnings of each band member.

If you can make it through to the tenth chapter, it begins the life aboard the Titanic, the story I was very much wanting to read about. It picked up rather well talking about how they spent their limited time aboard Titanic , where they would have played, how they would have mingled, how they would have related to each other and how they spent their last few hours becoming heroes for the remaining survivors.

I have to say the book was just ok for me because I was expecting more on the Titanic side of the story. The story of each of their lives did not regale me. I was bored to the extent of at times not wanting to finish. If you enjoy orchestration or if you enjoy life around Southampton, Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown (known today as Cobh), Ireland, then the first few chapters would be interesting for you. If not, I would just skip to the tenth chapter and read on.

The fine folks at BookSneeze gave me a free copy to review on my blog.


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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