Excellent and disturbing! I found the scientific notes about the effects of starvation especially interesting. It gave me a whole new appreciation for other tragedies involving people lost and in dire straits i.e. The Donner Party, the soccor players marooned in the mtns of South America, etc.
About This Item
Penguin Publishing Group
|Number of Pages|
In the Heart of the Sea
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.30 x 6.30 x 1.03 Inches
Customer reviews & ratings
Excellent and disturbi...
An excellent historica...
An excellent historical re-account. I wish I didn't want to rely on cliche adjectives, but truly it was gripping and compelling page turner. I think the author did a very nice job of re-accounting a history from what was known then and what is known now and just good common sense. This book is a much better "horror" and "realism" story than any other fictional, historical accounts that I have read. This is a enlightening book that you might recommend to a friend that is into "thrillers." Although, my track record kind of stinks when it comes to these switch-over recommendations.
I watched the movie fi...
I watched the movie first and have always been interested in whales. After falling in love with the movie, as soon as I found out about the book I had to read it. I was not disappointed. It is gut-wrenching, honest, brutal, and beautifully educational without drenching the reader in big words and complicated concepts. It highlights how dangerous, exhilarating, exciting, and grossly underappreciated whaling was as well as the monetary importance it had to Nantucket and US economy in general. Pollard, Chase, Joy and Nickerson are astounding in their own ways, Pollard possibly more interesting than the others in my eye. Would recommend to anyone. (less)
Without the Essex, the...
Without the Essex, there would have been no Pequod. Without Captain Pollard (or perhaps it was First Mate Chase), there would have been no Captain Ahab. Without the great whale that smashed the Essex, there would have been no Moby-Dick. Nathaniel Philbrick tells the thrilling story of the tragedy of the whaleship Essex in 1819 and its connection to Herman Melville's great novel (1851) in his book "In the Heart of the Sea" (2000). Along the way he tells his readers much about the whaling industry at that point in history and about the town of Nantucket, then one of the most prosperous communities in North America. It was from Nantucket that the Essex and most other whaling vessels sailed, usually for years at a time. The story of the Essex, although all but forgotten before Philbrick resurrected it, was well known in the middle of the 19th century. Melville couldn't have helped hearing about it. Yet there was one place, the author says, where the story was rarely told, and that was Nantucket. Residents there were not embarrassed by the loss of the ship (that happened frequently), or the fact that so few survivors made it back alive or even that those survivors survived only by eating their less fortunate shipmates (that wasn't all that rare either). Rather, to their credit, the people of Nantucket were ashamed of the fact that the first men to be eaten were black. The black whalers were not singled out for consumption before they died, but they did die before their white shipmates, whether because of a poorer diet aboard the ship (the best food was reserved for officers and the men from Nantucket) or less fat content in their bodies. Nantucket had always prided itself on its opposition to slavery and its treatment of black people. There were several black men aboard the Essex, as on most whaling ships. So eating blacks first did not send the message the people of that town wanted to hear. George Pollard, the captain of the Essex, was in command of his first ship. Unfortunately, he was never truly in command, usually yielding to the wishes of his other officers when they had a different opinion. This trait proved deadly after the whale deliberately crashed into the ship. Pollard wanted the three boats carrying survivors to head west, with the wind behind them, to Tahiti, which was relatively close. His officers, ironically as it turned out, feared being eaten by cannibals and favored sailing east toward South America. Pollard agreed, and the resulting journey took three months and cost most of them their lives. Melville used the story of the Essex but, to his credit, reinvented it. "Moby-Dick" is a fictional masterpiece. The Essex story as told by Philbrick proves a masterpiece of the nonfiction variety.
I finally got around t...
I finally got around to reading about the inspiration for Melville's Moby Dick - the tragedy of the Essex whaler. What a tale of endurance by men on the open sea. Philbrick is a masterful storyteller, his prose sweeping up the facts and anecdotes with effortless aplomb. A must read for anyone who likes reading about who go down to the sea in ships......!!
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