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By sticking to the tried and tested Longitude formula, Philbrick has missed a slight trick or two. The epicenter of the whaling industry was Nantucket, a small island off Cape Cod; most of the whales were in the Pacific, necessitating a huge journey around the southernmost tip of South America. We never learn why no one ever tried to create an alternative whaling capital somewhere nearer. Similarly, Philbrick tells us that the story of the Essex was well known to Americans for decades, but he never explores how such legends fade from our consciousness. Philbrick would no doubt reply that such questions were beyond his remit, and you can't exactly accuse him of skimping on his research. By any standard, 50 pages of footnotes impress, though he wears his learning lightly. He doesn't get bogged down in turgid detail, and his narrative rattles along at a nice pace. When the storyline is as good as this, you can't really ask for more. --John Crace, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
expertly blended historical accounts with a narrative that reads like fiction. got a tad textbooky at times, but was a fascinating story of the human spirit.Published 2 days ago by Steven Karlin
Very well-written non-fiction adventure tale. Author obviously spent a couple of years researching and writing this compelling, entertaining story about the voyage that inspired... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Betsy B
Good fast read about a famous boat & voyage through oceans. Bloody recounts of whale hunting & the story of the whale that fought back successfully. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Paul Brad B. Edwards
The story was well researched. The book includes the history of Nantucket, of whaling, of Quakerism on the island. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Jean Ann
I just randomly picked this book out. Though there are many losses of life in this book, the story of these men enduring 93 days in the vast Pacific ocean in the 1820's in 25 foot... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Size14Shawn
I couldn't put this book down! It is a heart wrenching and moving story of the whalers aboard the doomed Essex.Published 21 days ago by Over 50
Fast easy read. Trials, tribulations of a bygone era during our historic whaling era.
Survival techniques and tough choices, without sattelites, GPS, or even accurate time... Read more
learned lots of whaling terminology. excellent story. good preface to moby dick. nice character development. book focused on the human psyche.Published 24 days ago by Cs