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
"A fascinating tale, well told." (Booklist)
"[Told] with verve and authenticity...a classic tale of the sea." (San Francisco Chronicle)
The book was great, super compelling. The performance was good, but the editing was terrible. The end of each chapter was cut off and the sound was very uneven. This is such a good book, it's such a shame that the audio quality is so bad. Still worth listening to, but the publisher really needs to fix these files.
I liked this book. It was my first non fiction. I'm into much different books than this type of book. But I found it interesting. From the point the story actually began, about a 1/3 into the book it started getting interesting. So the last 2/3 was awesome. Lol
It makes me wanna go to Nantucket Isle now.
I loved the story and the historical facts in the book. However there are times when it feels like the playback ends mid sentence and starts on the next chapter. Doesn't ruin the book, just annoying.
The author appears to have done his research. He adds medical facts about starvation and survivor trauma. A good read, but the audio quality was not the best.
Scott Brick's narration was solid but the production was very uneven with changes in speed and quality, particularly noted at about the halfway point when he suddenly sounded like he had a slight dose of helium. I deducted a star for that issue, not for Mr. Brick's work on the story.
This book was unbelievably good! My dad had been after me to read it for years and I kept thinking it was his thing - not mine. How wrong I was. This isn't just about whaling. It's about life in Nantucket in the 1820's. Survival, triumph, action. The book had it all.
Also, if you have not listened to Scott Brick read a book you are absolutely missing out. After the four books I've listened to him read I might be in love...
Every now and than parts would get cut off. It is well read. Fascinating story but it gets a little gross.
I thought the author did a good job of telling an interesting story while also giving the reader plenty of context in order to fully appreciate the degree of the tragic events told in this book. Often the author will take time aside from the narrative thrust to compare the sorts of decisions the men of the Essex had to make with similar situations. In particular, I enjoyed Philbrick's comparison between the captain of the Essex and Ernest Shackleton regarding leadership decisions in a crisis situation.
One thing that bothered me about this audiobook version of the book is that it had these moments where the audio seemed to jump forward, the reader seemingly cutting himself off. It was strange and it happened multiple times throughout the book.
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