The story itself is a tale of the impossible. It's incredibly grim, depressing, heroic, and pathetic. Very descriptive and horrific. Yet, the narrator speaks with an upbeat, cordial tone throughout while describing people literally starving to death and resorting to cannibalism in order to live like he's talking about an adventure story on an exotic island. His voice doesn't adequately capture the desperate nature of the event. The real story is only a small portion of the book. The first part is a detailed manual on how to be a whaler, then the last 3+ hours is the epilogue, aftermath, and life as a whaler in Nantucket. The ordeal is only about 2 hours of the whole book. Pretty disappointed. Watch the movie instead of this audiobook.
The story finished with about 3 hours left and I got bored with the epilogues, afterwords, etc. I finally gave up with about 1 hr 48 minutes left. The reader was ok, but not great.
At times I was pretty into this book, but before you buy it, just know the story is really about 5 hours. After 5 hours the story of the Essex is done, people who died are dead and people that survived are still living. Then there are three hours left over to talk what happened to the survivors..... You could have done that in 30 min tops. Buy it but don't feel bad to end it after 5 hours.
Great story of some tough dudes. Shows the lengths people will go to survive and provide for their families.
What an amazing account of the whalers of the Essex! I almost felt like I was there, but am most grateful I wasn't! Not only did I feel I enter erred that period of history, I came to really care about these men and their incredible struggle.....and also had sympathy for whales. The incredible perseverance and indomitable will so often shown was awe-inspiring even while the grim, feral nature this also took was appalling. It raises interesting moral questions, too.
The narrator was quite good, which is a necessity because even an excellent audiobook on a variety of levels will be sunk by an annoying narrator..and probably faster than the Essex was.
As an aside, Philbrick's Mayflower was equally excellent, if not a bit better.
Wonderful narration. Amazing story. Highly recommended. I vote: listen to this after reading Moby Dick, since most of the action takes place after the whale attack - the place where Moby Dick ends- this book is a sort of coda to that story. High marks all around. Can't wait to see the Ron Howard movie. (Although, I'd wager he doesn't quite go into all the gory detail. Note: don't listen to parts of this audiobook while eating anything but vegan food.)
The audiobook was supposed to be over 10 hours. Instead it was barely 8, and full of audio glitches, with strange voice and pacing issues, chapters that abruptly cut off mid-narrative (and sometimes mid-sentence), and missing material. Heck, the final word of the narrator's "This has been a [X Publisher] Audio production" is cut off half-way through. A real shame, since the book itself is really gripping! Or at least, what i heard of it was...
...Character? They really need to stop auto-generating these questions.
...This was clearly a "form" question, since this question has nothing to do with the book.
I would have restored the 2 hours apparently cut haphazardly out of this glitch-filled version of the audiobook.
I expect better from Audible.com.
Once the story got going, it was gripping.
The narration sounded like it was done in several studios with completely different setups, and the narrator sounded like he was telling the story to children.
Great story! Great narration! It provides a thorough education of the whaling industry in New England in the first half of the nineteenth century. My only complaint is that throughout the recording, the volume would spike as each new section began.
Inspiring Survival Story
Drawing lots while starving at sea to see who would sacrifice his life so the rest of the crew could live.
When the whaling ship was rammed by a pissed off whale and eventually sank.
The actual story was spellbinding, but the last hour and a half consisted of author footnotes on his research. Tedious.