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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex | [Nathaniel Philbrick]

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819 the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, and disease and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2000

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819 the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with 20 crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific, the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, and disease and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.

Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents, including a long-lost account written by the ship's cabin boy, and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

©2000 Nathaniel Philbrick; (P)2000 Penguin Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

  • Alex Award Winner, 2001

"A fascinating tale, well told." (Booklist)
"[Told] with verve and authenticity...a classic tale of the sea." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1010 )
5 star
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4.4 (618 )
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4.2 (618 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Taylor J Weigand 03-15-15 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, inconsistent narration"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike R. 03-05-15
    Mike R. 03-05-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "Fascinating"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DEMC1221 02-23-15
    DEMC1221 02-23-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Glitchy recording"

    The book was great but the recording was poor. Several times the edits made it sound like the beginning of a paragraph was recorded in one place and the end of it recorded in another. Very distracting. And the playback jumped a few times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 02-22-15
    Catherine 02-22-15 Member Since 2012

    Love to learn, cook, bake, garden and always love a great book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    18
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Story
    "What a Great Book!!"

    This story is epic. It's an amazing story and a piece of history that should be heard. This book is so great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Potter 02-13-15
    A. Potter 02-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    REVIEWS
    19
    1
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    Story
    "Proof poor editing can ruin a great story"

    This is the worst edited audiobook I've ever heard. I tried to make it through it but couldn't. Even within the chapters, the sound quality and background noise level differed, which was distracting. But, the biggest problem is that each new chapter starts by cutting off the end of the previous one. The narrator will literary be mid-sentence when it cuts in with the start of a new chapter. It's disorienting and jarring -- each time it happened, I had to take time to collect myself and figure out what was happening. After about 4 chapters of this, I just gave up. It was too jarring, and I found myself on edge the entire book; it prevented me from getting into it.

    It would be like buying a book that has the last few sentences (or even more -- I have no way to know how much of each chapter is missing) cut off or that is missing a page or two throughout the book. If I ordered such a book, I would return it, and I'm thankful that audible allows returns. This one is going back. It's a shame the poor editing can ruin such a fascinating story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Leal 02-06-15
    Eric Leal 02-06-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    Story
    "Good story, horrible audio"

    Interesting story but the production value / quality of the audio is absolutely terrible. The volume and clarity of the narrator varies wildly even within chapters. Better to read this in book form vs audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 02-04-15
    Matthew 02-04-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
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    Story
    "Shoddy transitions..."

    Amazing story... Good narration... For some reason there were very awkward transitions and cut-offs which made it seem like i was jumping ahead, but turned out to just be shoddy editing i guess.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Eliot 02-04-15
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    4
    2
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    Story
    "Fascinating survival story!"

    I thought this was an excellent book! The detail about the life of a Nantucket whaler was incredibly interesting to me, and I thought the narrator did a great job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-03-15 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great story! Very poor editing!"

    This is the very first review I have ever left on audible since becoming a member nearly 8 years ago. So let me say..... This was a great story! I always love Scott Brick as a narrator. Unfortunately, the sudden stops at what I can only assume is almost the end of a chapter were very annoying, to say the least. The last couple of words (I hope it was only the much) were always cut off and a new scene started immediately. I made it through the book despite this, but it definitely impacted my enjoyment. I hated to leave only 3 stars, but I really have no idea how much story was left out. I hope it was very little.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CindyC 01-30-15
    CindyC 01-30-15
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Amazing true story!"
    If you could sum up In the Heart of the Sea in three words, what would they be?

    Riveting, heart-wrenching, true


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book years ago and noticed it is being released as a movie in March 2015. My husband and I listened to it in Jan. 2015 on our road trip from Chicago to Tucson and the states flew by! He loved it! It's a wonderful moment when we share the same passion for the same book.
    Philbrick is an amazing writer. I will try again with Mayflower:)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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