I most enjoyed the section in the book that covered the 89 days of survival at sea. The biggest surprise bonus in the book was the great history of Nantucket during the hay day of whaling. I like the way the book starts when the survivors were found and then goes back and tells how they got into the predicament. The author gives so much great detail about life in those days and life aboard those ships for 2 and 3 years as well as how whaling started even before we had those large ships. And as another bonus he covers many years after the Essex's disaster going into the details of how and why Nantucket declined.
And the author adds to the book by referencing other similar sea disasters that have occurred since and how they were similar and different. And he also adds insights from modern knowledge of whales.
When the did battle with the giant sperm whale that rammed them twice. And then the tough decisions they had to make to survive. I was particularly moved by the Australian Captain who went out of his way to find the 2 survivors on the island when he had been told the wrong island but decided to search other islands after the first one had no survivors.
So very hard to choose but the scenes when they were struggling against the extreme weather elements were exciting.
When most of the main city on Nantucket burned down - fueled by the whale oil - as the author called it "The Revenge of the Leviathan".
A Father, a Photographer and a Computer Geek in Chester County PA - #photography #restoration #science #physics #space @alseymour
Yes because some of the details/facts are lost because one is absorbed with the hardships that these folks endured.
Even though I have read Moby Dick, and have been to both Mystic and Nantucket several times, there are things I missed that this book seems to fill in.
There were a couple of times when the playback seemed to skip ahead, and audio was not consistent, which cause some angst while listening.
Love Reading, happy I found Audible. Listen to books, on my way home, while working out, and at work. Been reading a lot of Non-Fiction history and science.
This is a great book, that not only brings to life the true and sad story of the Essex. But it dives in to the history and practices of whaling, it is not for the faint of heart. It is very well written and keeps to the story, never swaying to far to bring in backstory and fact. If you like history or tales about the sea you should definitely pick it up, but like I said it is not for the faint of heart. Whaling is a brutal profession, and surviving a ship wreck to be stranded at sea proved to be even worse. As far as the performance, I enjoyed the reader he set a great tone through out the book. There are issues between chapters, at times a following chapter would almost start on top of the previous, it was jarring at first but not a deal breaker.
The true story of the shipwreck of the Whaling Ship Essex. It is sadly everything we have come to think about, when we think about sailors who starve and thirst as they clinging to a life raft at sea.
Lost in the Ocean for 90 days, the few survivors paint a grisly picture of the lengths they were willing to go to, to stay alive. The style of writing is more "journalistic" than other notable survival stories, and the reference to quotes and historical references, can at times seem cold and objective.
Included in this history of the shipwreck, is: a background of Nantucket, Mass.; background of the whaling industry; complete character profiles of all involved- before and after; and how the shipwreck affected all involved.
I would have preferred just the survival story as written from start to finish, but it was interesting, if not compelling.
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.