Norman Dietz sounds like a manly grandfather with a history you would be lucky to learn. With an audiobook career longer than a blue whale, he lends his talents here to Peter Nichols’ Final Voyage: A Story of Arctic Disaster and One Fateful Whaling Season.
The title of this non-fiction audiobook is a bit misleading. While the book does cover a particularly harrowing event in the American whaling industry in 1871, it is by no means limited to that disaster. Rather, this is a portrait of the oiling industry of New Bedford, Massachusetts in the 19th century, when Quaker settlers took to the seas and established whale oil as a massively profitable - and doomed - business enterprise. Fans of Moby-Dick, here is the backstory.
The author tends to stray from the subject of the book. I understand that he is trying to place the circumstances surrounding the whaling industry into prospective, but I found the tangents distracting and took up too much of the book. I did not need to know about the rise of Quakers in New England nor the beginning of the petroleum industry in Pennsylvania. I would have preferred concentrating more on the whaling ships and their plight.
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