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Every Man for Himself (ISIS Large Print) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Apr 1997

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Large Print, 1 Apr 1997
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: ISIS Large Print Books; Large type edition edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753151693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753151693
  • Package Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,725,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

After taking on the ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole in her previous book, The Birthday Boys, the novelist tackles a much larger 1912 disaster: the sinking of the Titanic. The narrator, a 22-year-old named Morgan, brushes up against real-life victims such as John James Astor early in the voyage, while falling in love with the beautiful and unobtainable Wallis Ellery. The deadly maiden voyage of the world's largest ocean liner becomes a journey of self-discovery in this portentous, postmodern work, short-listed for the 1996 Booker Prize. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Extraordinary... a wholly new and highly individual work of art... beautifully written (INDEPENDENT)

Marvellous... exquisite pacing... stunning descriptions (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

A narrative both sparkling and deep... the cost of raising [the Titanic] is prohibitive; Bainbridge does the next best thing (SUNDAY TIMES)

Bainbridge's masterpiece (EVENING STANDARD) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Depressing. I tried the book as peopted have recommended this author but it just made me sad
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good idea but not enough depth
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Format: Paperback
Morgan is young and wealthy, but unsure of himself, prone to self-aggrandisement, scared of women and not entirely secure in his upper-class position because of his ‘questionable’ birth and reliance on his uncle. Handily, he worked for a while as a designer in the Harland and Wolff shipyards, so he’s got a good knowledge of the Titanic when he finds himself on it, among various friends and acquaintances, on its maiden voyage. The ship is a sort of symbolic microcosm of Edwardian society with most of the steerage passengers out of sight down below, and the deck class involved in leisure, intrigue and combinations of both. The intrigues seem mostly pointless given what we know is about to happen, and the tension, such as it is, is about how the characters will react to the disaster, and who is going to survive, and how. Will Morgan remain a ‘gentleman’ when the time comes; will he show courage? It’s a fairly good story but having read so much Edith Wharton lately, I had credibility problems with the relative lack of snobbery, sexism, anti-semitism, hierarchical prickliness and disdain of commerce exhibited by the characters (basically, they all seemed far too modern) and by Wallis’ behaviour (as a married woman, yes, but not as an unmarried one – viz, House of Mirth?). It felt more like costume drama than an insight into how people really felt in those days. But the actual sinking is as exciting and dramatic as I’d hoped it would be.
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Format: Paperback
Whilst I would only give five stars to a handfull of books that I've ever read, this one merits it.

About the Titanic with an ending that could never fail to surprise, it was a riveting read. Bainbridge got beneath the skin of the characters and one felt more present at the scene than watching any film. The remarkable thing about reading it, though, was how it reminded me of Oscar Wilde's works. There really is a quotation to take from every page.
As Hilary Mantel said in the Sunday Times " ... the cost of raising the Titanic is prohibitive: Bainbridge does the next best thing." And it's true! I'm not on commission, I just love the book.
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Format: Paperback
This novel is a masterpiece, and infinitely more rewarding than the film 'Titanic' with which it shares its subject matter. The fateful voyage is seen through the eyes of Morgan, a rich, young man related to the owner of the shipping line. Concentrating mainly on the first class passengers, to which set Morgan belongs, it paints a portrait of an insular group with an impressive array of vices. The title of the novel says it all - "Every man for himself" - and there is plenty of selfishness, silliness and snobbery on display here. However Morgan himself is basically a decent young chap, and does his best to look out for his friends as the disaster unfolds its course; will he manage to save himself too? This is not a long novel, nor does it need to be, as every word has its place.
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Format: Paperback
Since you know what's going to happen to the Titanic it seems like madness to write a novel with this sort of backdrop. But Bainbridge is such a clever accomplished writer that she turns this inevitability very distinctly to her advantage. The story is magnetically dragged to it's conclusion by the ships date with destiny and along the way Bainbridge stimulates with writing that is perfection and characters that intrigue.
The pithy insights, the black humour and the spare but accurate descriptions fill her 'tardis' like writing. Bainbridge manages to convey in one sentence what it takes other writers several pages to achieve.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book quite hard to get into - the characters were difficult to get to know and it has an odd structure because every reader will know what happens to the Titanic, so the end is hardly a surprise. However, once I got about half way into it I was totally engrossed. I just felt so shocked that these characters were going to be involved in such a horrible tragedy - the way Bainbridge paces the book towards its conclusion is really clever. It has all the subtlety and humanity that the film Titanic lacked, and without the mawkish sentimentality.
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Format: Paperback
Wonderful book, but don't go expecting a novel about the Titanic. Yes, of course the Titanic features, but it's there as a plot device to expose the attitudes and insecurities of the upper class on board. Just as the iceberg rips through the underside of the ship, so it also rips though the underbelly of society, and for the main character at least the sinking literally washes away the chains of his past. It's all here - repressed sex, unrepressed sex, class divides, the insecurities of the privileged who have never had to work for anything. A satisfying streak of black humour runs through it all too. It's not perfect - the characters of Melchett and Van Hopper for example are pretty interchangeable (maybe that's the point?), but the plot rattles along nicely, without any wasted passages.
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