Farther Than Any Man

The Rise and Fall of Captain James Cook
Narrated by: Jack Chekijian
Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (192 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 members say
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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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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 assertion 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.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tougher than any man

Great historical documentation of Post Captain James Cook. What drives a man to lead such a courageous life?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great story but not narration not so much

Very interesting & informative. Not sure what narrator was going for but in my opinion could have been better.

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the age of sail at its finest<br /><br />

Cook was an exceptional mariner. Wished there was more detail for careening a wooden ship

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Great Story/Distracting Narration

I almost didn't listen to it as the narrator was so slow and deliberate in his presentation it was distracting. By speeding it up to 1.6x it became bearable. The story and writing were incredible. it gives the reader an idea for what it would be like aboard a vessel at that time. Would readily recommend it!

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Spellbinding story of a fascinating explorer

Excellent read. Had both the non-fiction history side which I enjoy and the author’s explanation, tying it to today’s world. I moved the speed to 1.25X which sounded more normal, vs the slower 1.0X. As an American, I had barely heard of Capt. James Cook, but after a recent visit to New Zealand, I thought I’d learn more about him. His life and exploration was fascinating: secret British military missions to Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Tahiti, Hawaii, Canada, Antarctica. Couldn’t stop listening. Topics include British history, navigation, leadership, politics, cannibalism, loyalty, career advancement, sex, money, etc. Was excited to get up each day and hear a new chapter. Looking at a map during the book, you can see how many places on the globe he actually named or were named after him. His circumnavigations were around the time of the American revolution.

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Spell binding. I couldn't put it down!!!!

Spell binding. I couldn't put it down. The writing put me right there with every word.