In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (Paperback)
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DescriptionSoon to be a major motion picture starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Brendan Gleeson, and directed by Ron Howard. The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty 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 ninety 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.
- Published: 01 May 2001
- Format: Paperback 320 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780141001821 ISBN 10: 0141001828
- Sales rank: 28,857
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Reviews for In the Heart of the Sea
- Top review
Mightily rewards the reader...
Did I enjoy this book: I did. It was long and detailed. I read it over the course of six weeks where I put the book down to read some lighter comedy or chick lit. But the book continued to beckon my attention.
Smithsonian.com describes In the Heart of the Sea as the, Ã?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã??true life horror that inspired Moby Dick.Ã?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã?? Indeed, Melville himself documented in his masterpiece meeting the Captain of the Essex and described him as, Ã?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã??the most impressive man . . . that I ever encountered.Ã?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã??
Ok -enough with the name dropping. This book gets off to a slow start but mightily rewards the reader who sticks it out to the end. Great stories force us to examine some aspect of ourselves, our beliefs, and/or the culture around us. In the Heart of the Sea deals with the depths of human suffering and ultimately how we survive the unsurvivable. This novel sails somewhere south of Viktor FranklÃ?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢s ManÃ?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢s Search for Meaning but never quite reaches the depths of depravity that we see in Joseph ConradÃ?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã¢?Â¢s Heart of Darkness. But that undefinable grey area frequently described as Ã?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã??situational moralityÃ?Â¢Ã¢?Â¬Ã?? makes this story memorable and worth exploring.
Would I recommend it: Yes.
Will I read it again: I will not.
As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews by Chrissy