Love to listen and walk or run and knit, knit knit
The historical perspective and the ties to Moby Dick made it a read that is relatable. Of course, I was a Melville fan in college, but knowing that the basis of the Moby Dick was based on this story captured me.
Probably the captain Pollard, but others were equally brillinat
It went so fast. Never thought I would like this read, but I loved it. One of my best reads this year.
I was hoping for more out of this Book but it just wasn't there. It is an OK Book. I guess you just have to take a chance at it, you might like it.
After reading Philbrick's "Mayflower", another well researched historical account, I decided to dive into another one of his books. Yes... it is little slow in the early parts, but I thought the background was necessary to frame the story. It soon turned into something I couldn't put down. There's tons of action in this historical account. The narration is very good. However, the splicing leaves something to be desired. It was too choppy and disrupted the flow of the book. Still, I highly recommend it!
This story has many interesting points that are worth considering even at this late date, and I think the author does this quite well. Yet, I do take exception with at least a couple of comments he made. First, the mention of the ignorance of the sailors about the whale does not seem to jive with what Herman Melville wrote in Moby Dick. Although it was their business to carve up whales and they went about it in a business like manner, surely they had some understanding of the anatomy of the whale including the size of his reproductive organs. Really, the mentioning of this organ and its size by the author is just typical of our sex crazed times. Totally out of place and unnecessary. Second, the author goes to some length to explain how painful it is to suffer dehydration and starvation. But, as he noted, as one approaches the end, all the pain starts to go away. Then, amazingly, he comments how the various supporters of euthanasia in America consider this a painless way to die. Did I miss something?! Yes, it is not very painful at the end but what about all the suffering involved to get to that point? It seems clear to me that such digressions are politically motivated and have no place in a work like this.
This is a well written story of a famous and particular whaling voyage, one that was famous in it's time and was likely the inspiration for Melville's "Moby Dick". Until recently the account that dominated knowledge of the voyage was written by the first mate Owen Chase. But an account written by the cabin boy, Thomas Nickerson, surfaced a few years back; it provides more and different reports that cleared up many questions.
Nathaniel Philbrick interleaves the various accounts of the Essex, along with other extensively research descriptions of Nantucket, the Quakers, and the whaling industry. I titled this review "Better than Melville" because Moby Dick tries to do something similar, but Philbrick has produced a more compelling narrative.
The narration was excellent.
The only negative was that some chapters seemed to start a sentence or two into the chapter; some kind of technical glitch. A bit frustrating, but don't let it stop you from listening.
Would definitely recommend to those who enjoy historical fiction or stories of survival.
I learned a lot from this book and I felt as if I where on the ships myself. Other books that I enjoyed that are similar are
It made me feel like i was actually there.
the descriptions of life on a whaler in the 1800s..the island
a fight for survival thousands of miles from land in the 1800s
This absoutely should be made into a film...a great story that more people should be made aware of. Excellent writing and fact gathering by NP and dead on narration by brick. i wish it had gone on longer....a
A great adventure story for those who know and are new to the dangers of the sea!
Author Nathaniel Philbrick did his homework giving a well rounded view of the times and culture surrounding the whaling business and Nantucket Island in particular. The Captain and First Mate initially appear very two dimensional. As the story progresses the author brings them to life by comparing and contrasting their historical journals with those of their shipmates and other historical data. I felt like I was looking through a time portal viewing clips of events. The telling is more high tragedy than high adventure. This did not make the book less interesting, but more so. Nathaniel did a phenomenal job reviewing the ethics of survival and survivor's guilt.