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[Read by Taylor Mali]
In his riveting and critically acclaimed bestseller, Nathaniel Philbrick returns an epic tale -- the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick -- to it's rightful place in American history.
In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex -- the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. In a harrowing page-turner, Nathaniel Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history.
In 1819 the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was repeatedly rammed and sunk by an eighty-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew, fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear.
In the Heart of the Sea tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever. Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of whale lore and with a brilliantly detailed portrait of the lost, unique community of Nantucket whalers. Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature. At once a literary companion and a page-turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man's relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.
(This book is the basis of a 2015 film starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Brendan Gleeson, and directed by Ron Howard)
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The appeal of Dava Sobel's Longitude was, in part, that it illuminated a little-known piece of history through a series of captivating incidents and engaging personalities. Nathaniel Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea is certainly cast from the same mold, examining the 19th-century Pacific whaling industry through the arc of the sinking of the whaleship Essex by a boisterous sperm whale. The story that inspired Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick has a lot going for it--derring-do, cannibalism, rescue--and Philbrick proves an amiable and well-informed narrator, providing both context and detail. We learn about the importance and mechanics of blubber production--a vital source of oil--and we get the nuts and bolts of harpooning and life aboard whalers. We are spared neither the nitty-gritty of open boats nor the sucking of human bones dry.
By sticking to the tried and tested Longitude formula, Philbrick has missed a slight trick or two. The epicenter of the whaling industry was Nantucket, a small island off Cape Cod; most of the whales were in the Pacific, necessitating a huge journey around the southernmost tip of South America. We never learn why no one ever tried to create an alternative whaling capital somewhere nearer. Similarly, Philbrick tells us that the story of the Essex was well known to Americans for decades, but he never explores how such legends fade from our consciousness. Philbrick would no doubt reply that such questions were beyond his remit, and you can't exactly accuse him of skimping on his research. By any standard, 50 pages of footnotes impress, though he wears his learning lightly. He doesn't get bogged down in turgid detail, and his narrative rattles along at a nice pace. When the storyline is as good as this, you can't really ask for more. --John Crace, Amazon.co.ukFrom the Publisher:
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Book Description Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon and C, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Used; Acceptable. We are committed to providing each customer with the highest standard of customer service. All books are picked, packed and dispatched from the United Kingdom. Seller Inventory # PH3292251
Book Description -. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. In the Heart of the Sea: The Epic True Story That Inspired "Moby Dick" (Windsor Selection) This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-9780754016229
Book Description Chivers Press, Bath, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good-. Reprint; First Printing. Minor shelf wear to unclipped DJ with some cat clawing to base of spine, slight grime to edges of reading block. ; Green cloth boards with gilt lettering to spine. Nice tight copy, no names or marks inside. DJ artwork by Melvyn Smith. Very heavy book and priced accordingly. ; The Windsor Selection; 376 pages; The epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the 19th century, which was the inspiration for Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick. The sinking of the whaleship Essex by an enraged spermwhale in the Pacific in November 1820 set in motion one of the most dramatic sea stories of all time. The twenty sailors who survived the wreck took to three small boats, three months later another whaleship spotted a tiny boat with only two survivors after resorting to cannibalising their mates. Seller Inventory # 28759
Book Description Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C 01/09/2001, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9780754016229