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Publisher's Summary

Author Mark Kurlansky pleasantly surprised the world with this engaging best-seller that garnered rave reviews from critics and casual readers alike. His subject for this whimsical biography is the codfish, a species remarkable for its influence on humanity.

Cod, Kurlansky argues, has driven economic, political, cultural and military thinking for centuries in the lands surrounding the Atlantic Ocean. Nations like England and Germany have waged wars for cod. Vikings survived on frozen cod during their expeditions to the present America. And, it turns out, European explorers were driven toward North America in pursuit of this humble fish.

Kurlansky fills this biography with fascinating anecdotes that show cod surfacing time and again throughout history. The book also serves as a wake-up call, alerting us that the species has nearly been fished out. Richard M. Davidson delivers a reading that is often amusing and always enlightening.

©1997 Mark Kurlansky (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • United States
  • 07-02-15

Informative and fun.

I enjoy this sort of single subject narrative and would like more. For instance I have The Story of Salt; a similar history of apples, and of course The Caelocanth 'prehistoric' fish. There must be others!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

end a little dull. history great

historical part of the book is terrific. There's a lot of recipes that become kind of tedious. All in all it was fun

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another excellent food book by Kurlansky

While Salt ranges the whole world and far deeper in time, Cod offers a more compact but still lively tale of the humble fish. Great stuff must read for anyone interested in food history and lore.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Tanya
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • 08-01-17

Skip the last few chapters

I really enjoyed this except all the recipes (probably better in the written version). I was set to give this audio book 4 starts until I got to the last few chapters. They seem to be entirely recipes. Left me feeling like the book didn't really conclude and I honestly started skipping ahead until I was at the end.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Historical adventure!

Mark Kurlansky does a great job of walking you through time + culture with Cod!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • REDWOOD CITY, CA, United States
  • 05-13-15

Cod...who knew?!

Very interesting history. Great short read. I skipped the last three chapters because they were all recipes for salt cod dishes.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Beth
  • Durham, NH, United States
  • 02-20-12

A bit dull for my tastes

Any additional comments?

Although I learned a lot, this didn't work well for me as an audiobook. The subject matter was too dry for my taste.