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In the Heart of the Sea Audiobook

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 (1518 )
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4.3 (1080 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tammy Nebraska 12-13-15
    Tammy Nebraska 12-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    41
    7
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    Story
    "I enjoyed this book completely "

    Once I started listening I could not stop. The author goes into great detail. He did his research. I also enjoyed the further research he added into the book after the epilogue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie Fayman Boynton Beach, FL United States 12-06-15
    Natalie Fayman Boynton Beach, FL United States 12-06-15 Member Since 2014

    Vampyrvet

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stop when the story's over!"

    This book is an excellent account of a true historical event of unspeakable suffering and tragedy. I very much enjoyed the retelling of this old story from the perspective of one of the survivors. However, when the survivors are rescued and finally brought back to civilization to be reunited with their homes and families, the book still goes on for another three hours! All the subsequent historical footnotes and accounts of modern-day Nantucket could be nothing but a letdown after such an epic story. I would've given this book a five star review if the author had just known when to say "the end"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 11-19-15
    Steven 11-19-15

    Steve L.

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    "Incredibly wonderful tragedy"

    This is the rare book that once starred cannot be put down. When I finished I felt like I had lost a member of my family. I hope the upcoming movie will be half as good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn Starkweather, ND, United States 11-18-15
    JoAnn Starkweather, ND, United States 11-18-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting but not quite what I expected."

    I was expecting book to be simply about the Essex story but it also encompassed a great deal of the history of whaling, the culture and history of Nantucket Island, and touched on other shipping history. I'm a history buff so I enjoyed the additional materials. But someone looking to purchase a book only about the story (especially if in prep to see the movie) may not appreciate all the additional background information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent Story"
    If you could sum up In the Heart of the Sea in three words, what would they be?

    Big Giant Whale


    What was one of the most memorable moments of In the Heart of the Sea?

    Several Big Moments


    What three words best describe Scott Brick’s performance?

    OK but a bit dry and rigid.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many moments moved me


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel V. Smith San Antonio, TX United States 09-27-15
    Daniel V. Smith San Antonio, TX United States 09-27-15 Member Since 2014
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    1
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    Story
    "History we must not forget"

    The history recounted increases appreciation for Moby Dick, the fiction it inspired, but it also echoes the tragedy of the Titanic and the Life of Pi.

    The story starts as a venture for bountiful profits, but tacks between examples of egregious waste, penny wise economy, and dire rationing.

    Poetry grows on this story like gooseneck barnacles on a whaler's hull. It's hard to think of the burning island -- the point where a whaler's joke wipes out entire species -- as unrelated to the later whale attack and sequence of deadly setbacks; instead, the blazing oasis feels like the final provocation that looses the thunder of a vindictive Providence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Mina Philadelphia 09-13-15
    Mrs. Mina Philadelphia 09-13-15
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    70
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    "Mesmerizing true story"
    Where does In the Heart of the Sea rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my favorites. And now I will re-read Moby Dick, which is one of the greatest novels ever.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No favorites


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    Scott Brick was an excellent reader. He isn't one of those readers who over-dramatize and put too much expression in the reading. He is clear and appealing.


    Any additional comments?

    What an amazing story. And there is a wealth of information about whaling and ships and Nantucket and more, that is integrated into the story so that our historical understanding is much enriched by the author's thorough research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-11-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    ""Sea of Glory" Crushed "Heart of the Sea""
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes to some extent, I felt "The Survivors of the Chancellor" by Jules Vern was better and more in tune with in some way the agony and despair and plight even though the Essex survivors endured similar circumstances - as it was more detached and focused on facts albeit up to par with Philbrick's deep research of the material.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Nathaniel Philbrick? Why or why not?

    Yes, historical fact recreated continues to make me appreciate the ease of today's life in first world countries - while still feeling great disdain for TV like "Housewives of Orange County" or "Jerry Springer" or "Housewives of Atlanta" and "Judge Judy" - which I hope folks realize does not reflect the majority of America.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He is a great reader and can not be faulted, However "Atlantic" written and read by Simon Winchester wins out as he would given he has a true depth to his understanding of the material - I would recommend his other books as well "Crack in the Edge of the World"(SW), "Krakatoa" (SW) as well (these historical novels are also well researched and have a closer feel to "Sea of Glory" (NP).


    Did In the Heart of the Sea inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, to cherish the bounty we have in every day life more. And to still understand that some parts of the world have horrible governments, leadership, and poor outcomes for their citizens. However, people that want to can change their own circumstances - when they realize the change must come within and when they start faulting external causes of their problems.


    Any additional comments?

    These books will create a strong appreciation for things that most take for granted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin ARLINGTON, VA, United States 06-25-15
    Erin ARLINGTON, VA, United States 06-25-15 Member Since 2012

    I live in Charlottesville, Virginia, not Arlington.

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    5
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    "Telling in each suspenseful and historic detail"

    Telling in suspenseful and historic detail. A carefully-crafted account of a whaleship voyage from Nantucket.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandie De Medeiros Walnut Creek, CA United States 05-29-15
    Sandie De Medeiros Walnut Creek, CA United States 05-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    17
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    "Good audiobook but only 5 hours not 7+"

    Could have done without the 2+ hours of bibliography at the end. Actual story was only about 5 hours not 7+ hours it appears to be when downloaded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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