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The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna Hardcover – June 25, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312353642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312353643
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 2004, off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, a young killer whale was discovered alone, separated from his pod. Because whales are so social and dependent on their families, the sight of the lone young whale roused concern as he lingered and initiated contact with humans, even allowing people to rub his tongue. Whales are intensely social animals, traveling in pods, caring for their young, and maintaining relationships across generations. Fishermen, locals, and tourists offered social and spiritual interpretations of the meaning of the presence of the whale they called Luna. But marine biologists were alarmed and enlisted the government in an effort to disconnect Luna from humans and reconnect him to his pod, triggering confusion and conflict among those concerned about the young whale. Writers and filmmakers, husband-and-wife Parfit and Chisholm were able to trace Luna’s backstory—how he may have come to be separated from his pod—and to detail the complexities of affection between species in this first-person account of an encounter that led to their critically acclaimed films, The Whale and Saving Luna. --Vanessa Bush

Review

"I loved The Lost Whale. It’s an important book, but also funny and moving and unforgettable." --Ric O’Barry, star of the Academy Award winning film The Cove and author of Behind the Dolphin Smile

"I first fell in love with Luna when I saw The Whale in 2011, and the bond is even stronger after reading The Lost Whale, the compelling story-behind-the-story of the beautifully filmed documentary.  And though I consider Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm to be friends and colleagues, I feel no conflict of interest in stating they are journalists, filmmakers, and now authors of the highest order. In short, they are master storytellers. Let them tell you the beguiling story of Luna, the lost whale. You will never forget it as long as you live. I guarantee it."--David Kirby, author of Death at SeaWorld and Animal Factory

"The Lost Whale is an epic story that has it all - drama, controversy, humor, emotion, humans you care about, and an orca named Luna you will never forget.  This wonderful book clearly shows how empathy and compassion easily cross species lines. It reminds us that we all need someone we can lean on. Read this book and share Luna's story as widely as possible. It is that special and important."--Marc Bekoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and editor of Ignoring Nature No More

"The story of Luna is about mystery, empathy, and friendship, and The Lost Whale is as engrossing as a novel. You have to read it. It's an unforgettable story."-- Ken Balcomb, Chief Scientist, Center for Whale Research

"The Lost Whale recounts an incredible, complex and heart-wrenching story, a drama of science, ethics, politics and emotion from which no reader can remain impassive. Ultimately, the question at the heart of The Lost Whale explores the nature of empathy. That question, and so many others raised by this book, will stay with me for a long time. This book is a fitting tribute to the whale called Luna, and to all the people who cared so deeply for his well-being."--Eva Saulitis, author of Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss in the Realm of Vanishing Orcas


“Luna’s story brings a thorny dilemma to the table—what should humanity’s role toward nature be?—and the book does a surprisingly good job of showing the range of emotions behind that question.”--Publishers Weekly

"A tender, nail-biting account of an orca’s fate."—Kirkus Reviews


 


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Customer Reviews

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The excellent films "Saving Luna" and "The Whale", both made by the same authors as this book.
Sharon
In this very wild country, where most travel is by boat or float plane, a large wild animal exhibiting friendly behavior was a novelty.
Mark J. Palmer
I don't want to go into details about this book because if you're on this page and some how found this book, you need to read it.
Jeff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sharon on July 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The "Lost Whale" is a "must read" for anyone interested in Orca whales and their interaction with humans...and governments. The excellent films "Saving Luna" and "The Whale", both made by the same authors as this book. are about the same heartbreaking episode of the young Orca separated from his family, and how well meaning but contradictory government efforts prevented his being reunited with his family. The book the authors have written about the episode is actually much better than the the films at humanizing all the players involved and offering a full view of the efforts involved. Buy the films for the beauty of the location and images of the human-orca interaction that took place. Read the book to get the fuller story of the events!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on July 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't want to give anything away in this "review". Most times I read a review someone writes on amazon and buy the end of it there is no need to actually read the book. I don't want to go into details about this book because if you're on this page and some how found this book, you need to read it. It's a very well told (to the point that it could be completely made up, except it's not) story about life, and how we treat not only each other but other species we live with. This is from the Editorial Reviews I saw here on Amazon a sort of behind the scene's book on the Film - The Whale which is narrated by Ryan Reynolds. I did not however see the movie before I read this and it didn't take away from the book at all. They basically give you a run down of the story in the first few pages so you know what's going on and then it goes from there. I plan to rent the movie and see how much the book adds to it, I'm sure like any book/movie there is a lot left out from the movie which adds to the book and gives you more information. I believe it's a good thing that Orca's are becoming more in the public eye, for too long we've kept them in tanks, not really questioning it. Thanks to book's like this one and Death at Sea World by David Kirby, the film this book comes from, The Whale and the soon to be released Blackfish, the story of these animals and how amazing they truly are is starting to get out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DeepCoveCarolyn on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended. This book has at its heart the story of Luna, the young Orca who made headlines around the world when he appeared - as alone as a lost child - in the waters of a remote village on the west coast of Canada's Vancouver Island. A solitary Orca is not merely a rarity, it is unheard of. People long for a glimpse of a whale, this whale seemed to long for contact with humans. It seemed that everyone had an opinion about what to do about Luna. The First Nations saw in him a reflection of their ancestral mythology, the Canadian government saw a problem that needed to be solved, members of the community saw either a nuisance or a joy. The authors of this book saw all these opinions and responses, and then found the larger picture, the greater story, the one that touches all of us. Even though I knew the story (and how it ended) I found this meticulously crafted account impossible to put down. Beautifully written, never stooping to sentiment, all points of view are presented with respect and understanding. The authors had previously released two versions of their documentary film, the first called "Saving Luna" and the second, narrated by Ryan Reynolds, called "The Whale." Both are exceptional (I've never seen more stunning photography of the Pacific Northwest), yet the book adds a dimension not present in the films; brief glimpses into the lives of the authors during the saga provide a personal and moving counterpoint to the story of Luna.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By anthony d'amico on December 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this. I bought it after watching "Black Fish" which got me very interested in the treatment of Orcas and drew me to this book. Now "Black Fish is a very one sided documentary that goes a little too extreme for my liking because after reading Sea Worlds rebuttal and doing some research on my own to check what the film makers said the movie is not entirely what it seems. But this book is what it seems and shows both sides of the story and paints an extremely vivid picture of the story of LUNA.......I definitely also recommend the movie The Whale which is very well done in showing the kindness of LUNA and the dilemma of both sides in helping him.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Howgar on August 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover
You'll love getting to know Luna. The Lost Whale tells about Luna's unlikely life, alone with only his own seeking intelligence, hungry for companionship in remote reaches of Nootka Sound BC. Mike Parfit and Suzanne Chisolm tell his story in many ways - as journalists , so we're always in touch with the strange thread of events, and as a personal, emotional tale of deep involvement in Luna's life. As observers and participants, the authors tell how Luna stirred up an almost constant sense of wonder and reflection. Through it all, each page adds a brush stroke to a portrait of a very young whale, a member of the most social mammal known to science, lost and alone, on his own in a vast natural paradise, needing only to play and find company and share long, loving looks with humans, who were prohibited by law from looking back. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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