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Atlantic Audiobook

Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories

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Audible Editor Reviews

Tackling a subject as deep — and I mean that literally — as the ocean is not a task for just any writer. But Simon Winchester, a former reporter who has put his research skills to use on books about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary, ably turns out a detailed and dramatic history of one of our most valuable resources. He also provides the book’s narration, with an expert’s reading that brings plenty of passion to an otherwise dry subject.

Winchester structures the book around Shakespeare’s famous passage about the seven stages of man — the one that starts out, “All the world’s a stage” and traces life from its “infant beginnings” to its “sans everything” end. Here, the seven stages belong to the ocean, starting with its geological development and ending with a look at just how long it may last. In between, Winchester draws together countless stories, anecdotes, trivia, and facts, showing just how influential the Atlantic has been on life as we know it: Piracy, Moroccan snails, naval development, the age of exploration, whaling, poetry, literature, art, music, the Lusitania, global warming, international laws, pollution, submarines, seafood, overfishing, the slave trade, Lord Nelson, NATO, air travel, the Titanic, deadly battles, hurricanes, and Columbus all get their spot in, as Winchester says, “the immense complexity of an ocean that has been pivotal to the human story”.

Though it’s not always purely chronological, the organization by theme makes wading through this epic biography easy, and Winchester’s authoritative British accent lends a pleasant tone. And once you’ve heard about all the misconceptions people used to have about the ocean — like that heavier objects would sink not just faster but farther toward the bottom than lighter ones, which would stay suspended at shallower depths — you’ll wonder just how much more we have to learn. —Blythe Copeland

Publisher's Summary

From best-selling author Simon Winchester comes the immense and thrilling story of the world's most mysterious and breathtaking natural wonder: the Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic is a biography of a tremendous space that has been central to the ambitions of explorers, scientists, and warriors, and continues to affect profoundly our character, attitudes, and dreams. Spanning the ocean's story, from its geological origins to the age of exploration, from World War II battles to today's struggles with pollution and over-fishing, Winchester's narrative is epic, intimate, and awe inspiring.

Until a thousand years ago, few humans ventured into the Atlantic or imagined traversing its vast infinity. But once the first daring mariners successfully navigated to its far shores - whether they were Vikings, the Irish, the Basques, John Cabot, or Christopher Columbus in the north, or the Portuguese and the Spanish in the south - the Atlantic swiftly evolved in the world's growing consciousness of itself as an enclosed body of water. Soon it became the fulcrum of Western civilization. More than a mere history, Atlantic is an unforgettable journey of unprecedented scope by one of the most gifted writers in the English language.

©2010 Simon Winchester (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Double Eagle Maker westfield, in, United States 12-07-13
    Double Eagle Maker westfield, in, United States 12-07-13
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    "another excellent book by Simon Winchester"
    Where does Atlantic rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The top audiobook I have listened to so far, and like the other Winchester books, I have learned a great deal and his books always seem to help my understanding the world.Bravo! and Aldas, bekesseg!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Del Simcox 02-25-13
    Del Simcox 02-25-13
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    "Another great Simon Winchester book."

    I first became acquainted with Simon Winchester when I listened to him read his book Krakatoa several years ago. Since that time, I think I've enjoyed all of his audio book presentations. Atlantic is one of the best.

    Many of his works have a geology story associated with them - and the connections between geology the subject of the book are fascinating. He has a gift for sharing insights about phenomena that leave the listener wondering - "I never knew that - why haven't I heard that before".

    I've grown to love Simon Winchester's writing style - wrapping a thought in layers of adjectives to create a rich, thought-provoking visual picture of a concept he is teaching.

    I really like the fact that this author reads his own works. His reading performance is wonderful and I never tire of hearing his personable, authentic and empathetic voice.

    Atlantic weaves a fascinating story from the ocean's creation to its exploration and plundering by mankind. Simon Winchester explores the role of the Atlantic ocean in history and speculates about its future.

    Take the opportunity to listen to this book, or any of Simon Winchester's other well-reseached books to learn much from this master teacher.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Cole 09-24-12
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    "Excellent, as always, from Simon Winchester"

    Simon Winchester has once again, researched in depth, and found a great theme. He has personalized it with his own experience, and turned in a superb performance!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc SOUTHINGTON, CT, United States 09-19-12
    Marc SOUTHINGTON, CT, United States 09-19-12 Member Since 2002
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    "A very thought provoking story"
    What did you love best about Atlantic?

    The way it explained changes in the earth and some of the consequences past and possible future.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Atlantic?

    At the end of the book when the writer goes to the site of a naval disaster and what he finds, the whole story of the calamity and the timeline made it very real.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the writer described the scene of one of mans first communities near the ocean.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I think it would have been too much for one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    This book got me thinking of the present changes in our weather patterns and what might be causing the changes, man VS nature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Berkeley, CA, USA 08-04-12
    Frances Berkeley, CA, USA 08-04-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Couldn't finish this one"

    I loved Simon Winchester’s Krakatoa and thought I would like this as well. Unfortunately I found it unfocused and didn't like the first few stories. I usually finish books I start, but I abandoned this one early on. Maybe it gets better further into it?

    Simon Winchesters voice is a delight to listen though.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Barclay 07-26-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Another Masterpiece by Simon Winchester!"
    Where does Atlantic rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    This book is easily among the 10 best audiobooks I own.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Simon Winchester tells a story like no one else writing today. His classical education simply sparkles in this book. He looks at the history and geography of an entire ocean and asks questions no one else would think of, and then goes on to answer them using the old oral tradition of true storytelling.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're not farmilliar with Simon Winchester, this is a good book to read as an introduction to his work. Atlantic will surprise you with how interesting a subject can be, when most of us would simply think of it as an ocean that we learned all we needed to know about years ago. If you don't purchase this book, do try something by Simon Winchester. You'll be glad you did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Enumclaw, WA, United States 05-31-12
    Stephen Enumclaw, WA, United States 05-31-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A beautiful book"

    This book is amazing. It covers a broad span of subjects with sufficient depth to be interesting. It is coherent, cogent and concise. It is also poetic and emotional without being sappy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James R. Ellis sacramento, ca 10-08-11
    James R. Ellis sacramento, ca 10-08-11 Member Since 2009

    dancing fool

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    "Magnificant overview of the magestic Atlantic"

    Simon Winchester at his best. If you yearned for more books like Outposts (30 years ago) then this is a treasure. The author has had 30 years to refine his already great skill with prose into a truly unique view of the Atlantic Ocean. A must read for everyone! William Manchester glanced off the topic in a World Lit By Fire but Winchester hits his target right on. I have an English professor friend who refuses to go on the the next Winchester book until she has relished every word. That person is now four books behind in reading and has yet to get to Krakatoa or the Man Who Loved China. What a loss.
    Thank you Simon Winchester once again. Maybe a book about Chaucer and Phillipa next?

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Galant 01-22-11
    Galant 01-22-11
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    "More of, brilliant, same."

    Simon Winchester once again charms with an inspired framework and ever lilting tongue, wrapping the deep history of the Atlantic Ocean in beautiful language, personal narrative and a sprinkling of Kiplingesque turns of phrase. My only disappointment is that Winchester occasionally speaks with undue authoritative confidence about some ‘facts’ of history and science, without putting them in their rightfully muddied and complex context.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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    Chelsey 09-08-15
    Chelsey 09-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Ehhh kinda good"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probly. Audio book only.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Simon Winchester?

    No. His accent was so pompous and waaay to english. Some parts were good just too many random facts that did not connect well.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no way


    Any additional comments?

    Modern historians like Winchester just cant seem to help themselves from critiquing people in the past from an arrogant progressive stance, as if hes saying, "If i where back then i would have been a moral giant that would not have put up with ignorant ways or thinking." This is the historians blunder. Writers cannont superimpose modern beliefs on people of the past, it just doenst make good history. Sadly of course when it came to right moral historical contributions he jumped right over William Wilberforce and his efforts to end the slave trade. Biased is he? Yup. There were some really interesting facts but just tell the story of the Atlantic man! Its not that hard!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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