• Farther Than Any Man

  • The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook
  • By: Martin Dugard
  • Narrated by: Jack Chekijian
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (321 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the annals of seafaring and exploration, there is one name that immediately evokes visions of the open ocean, billowing sails, visiting strange, exotic lands previously uncharted, and civilizations never before encountered - Captain James Cook.

This is the true story of a legendary man and explorer. Noted modern-day adventurer Martin Dugard, using James Cook's personal journals, strips away the myths surrounding Cook's life and portrays his tremendous ambition, intellect, and sheer hardheadedness to rise through the ranks of the Royal Navy - and by his courageous exploits become one of the most enduring figures in naval history.

Full of realistic action, lush descriptions of places and events, and fascinating historical characters such as King George III and the soon-to-be-notorious Master William Bligh, Dugard's gripping account of the life and death of Captain James Cook is a thrilling story of a discoverer hell-bent on going farther than any man.

©2001 Martin Dugard (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A thoroughly readable biography of the famed sea captain and explorer.... [General readers are] likely to enjoy Dugard's well-made narrative, and to come away sharing his abundant admiration for the admirable - and ultimately unfortunate - Cook." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Farther Than Any Man

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Sloppy History

You could play sailor-myth-bingo with this title. Tired and long disproven myths populate Farther Than Any Man so that you feel more like you're on a not particularly interesting guided tour by an ancient volunteer docent that a maritime museum doesn't have the heart to dismiss, rather than embarking on an exciting sea adventure. It's all here: sailors are called Jack Tar because they intentionally coated their hair and clothes with tar, sailors were atheists, sailors were beaten all the time and for no reason. Then there's the silly assertions that come out of nowhere, like when Dugard claims that Cook is the first common sailor in Royal Navy history to become an officer, he bizarrely claims that real sailors didn't occupy the lower decks, and entirely omits the presence of landsmen and ordinary seamen.

It doesn't help that the performance is languid when not needlessly heavy as if imparting the gospel, but the fault really lies with the text. It isn't exciting, nor even interesting.

There are much better books about Cook out there. Skip this one.

16 people found this helpful

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Author fills the pages with his own perspectives

Cook's life and adventures are truly amazing, so I wish the author would tell the story and emphasize what actually happened; instead he fills the pages with commentary, imagining what he thinks Cook might be thinking. Although much of the story is very interesting, the last few chapters are light on events and heavy on the author forcing his interpretation of Cook. The author becomes condescending and presumptuous regarding Cook's motivations and behavior. Poor historical writing, but brilliant historical story.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narration

Do yourself a favor, listen to the sample first. The narrator is insufferable. I think he might shoot himself. Somebody call him a doctor. I became depressed listening to him for two minutes.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed the book...not so much the narration voice

Enjoyed the story and history of Captain Cook; author did a marvelous job of bringing us inside his psyche. We did not enjoy the narrator voice and thought it detracted from the story: extremely morose and depressing voice. Probably better to read this one if you have the option.

1 person found this helpful

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Enter Text Here

Easy read. Well written, Dugard brings Cook to life in this book, even if some of the things are embellished slightly...that makes for a good read from the driest of histories. Cook was a very appealing character, until he wasn't. The author's theme of boy commoner to near Admiral in the Royal Navy beat me over the head every time. History that reads like a novel is a fun read and I'll listen to more of Dugard, I'm sure.

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History that reads like a novel

What a story! The author did a superb job in connecting the author to history. Entertaining and educational. Well done.

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An accessible version of history

this gets too close to being a " popular history ". it makes Cook accessible to a large audience, which is certainly a contribution, but there are moments where the author speculates on what must have been thinking that I find off-putting.

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Great writing, not as good performance

Martin Dugard has written a very compelling story covering an extensive period of time and locations all across the globe. The reader, unfortunately, was rather poor. Monotone, and some mispronounced land masses took away from the book. It is still worth the read because of the overall quality of Dugard's research.

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What an explorer

Loved the book. Great story, well told. Couldn't put it down. Really understood the psychology of the man, not just the dates and places

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Told the true story better that a school teacher

When people take on the challenge and leave the family behind three times. He was the right man for the job as he cut his teeth as a cartographer in Canada. That is what Britain needed in exploration. Written very well and very entertaining read for those who enjoy history. I have read three Dugard books (Into Africa, Training Ground) as I have never been disappointed.

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