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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 19th century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th. 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, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival.
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Publisher's Summary

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the 19th century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th. 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, 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

4.4 (59 )
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  •  
    12-06-06
    12-06-06 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    20
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    "Wow"

    If you like history and are intrigued by the sea, then please give this book a listen. I learned so much about the history of trade, as well as the whaling industry. The book is a fast listen, and a story that couldn't have been written better as fiction. The narrator did a fine job as well.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Sauquoit, NY, United States 12-10-08
    Vincent Sauquoit, NY, United States 12-10-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    Overall
    "Very Interesting"

    I bought this one on a whim not having much to do with or knowledge of Nantuckett or whaling. I found it very captivating and quite entertaining. The historical accounts of the surviving crew members and Nantuckett in general was a great touch to the main portion of the book. Made me want to visit the museum.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Springfield, VA 03-31-10
    Jim Springfield, VA 03-31-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    147
    25
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    "Excellent"

    Well worth the listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richelle Pittsburgh PA USA 01-23-13
    Richelle Pittsburgh PA USA 01-23-13 Member Since 2012

    seashelleobx

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "unreal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Great story of human spirit


    What three words best describe Edward Herrmann’s performance?

    Great voice


    Any additional comments?

    I did not care for music, Sometimes it played as story went on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann WHITEHALL, PENNSYLVANIA, United States 09-10-12
    Ann WHITEHALL, PENNSYLVANIA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveting story that I just couldn't turn off"
    What made the experience of listening to In the Heart of the Sea the most enjoyable?

    The reader was fantastic. He made you beleive that you were actually there seeing what he was reading to you about.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The believeablilty of the reader


    Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

    Any of the boatmen. They all had a tale to tell that was just engulfing.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was just so involved in the story and the whalemen and the events that happened I could almost smell the salt sea air as Edward had us sailing along on the Essex. Fantastic!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a keeper that I will listen to again and again. I always learn more each time I re-listen to a book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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