• List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $1.59 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 17? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by BizNextDoor
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Fast shipping direct from Amazon warehouse. Hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Tracking number provided in your Amazon account with every order.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Presence of Whales: Contemporary Writings on the Whale Paperback

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
"Please retry"
$7.49 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

The Presence of Whales: Contemporary Writings on the Whale + National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World (National Audubon Society Field Guide)
Price for both: $34.94

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Up to 50% Off Materials & Chemistry Books
For a limited time, enjoy special savings on materials and chemistry titles from Springer. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books; First Edition, General edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0882404644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882404646
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,080,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Stewart's contemporary essays on whales blends works by marine scientists and nature writers who share both science and their personal experiences with whales. Enjoy an exceptionally diverse collection of insights and works which creates a well-rounded portrait of whales. -- Midwest Book Review

Book Description

Frank Stewart, an observer, writer, storyteller, and lover of whales gathers the most compelling contemporary essays on cetaceans in the first anthology to bring together many of the foremost  marine scientists and nature writers, including Diane Ackerman, Barry Lopez, Farley Mowat, Faith McNulty, and Jonathan White.  

The essays are organized in five sections that celebrates our ongoing fascination with these fragile giants.

Sharing the World of Giants

contains essays inspired by being in the presence of whales,

Songs from the Deep

concentrates on whale vocalizations,

Sightings of the Leviathan

are compelling accounts of personal observations of whale behavior,

Death at Sea and On Shore

touch on the mystery of whale groundings and other violent encounters, and

A Splendid but Uncertain Company

explores teh privilege humans sense when near whales and the compact human contact has had on these glorious but gentle beasts.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Montagano on February 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
Poignant and deeply satisfying. After reading just one chapter I ordered another copy to give as a gift.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harry Eagar VINE VOICE on December 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
This collection, described as "contemporary writings on the whale," is full of fine writing.

Not good. Fine.

Awed, as they all are by the size of whales, almost all the writers feel obliged to say something awesome. Since they don't have any really big thoughts, they fall back on "creative writing" as taught in the lit'ry schools.

Thus we get the inane adjective: "luminous sunlight" (Frank Stewart, the editor, a professor of English literature at the University of Hawaii); and the simile more obscure than the event it purports to clarify: wind rattles a hut until the "walls gyrated like a rocket during liftoff" (Diane Ackerman, writing for the New Yorker).

And padding, including half a paragraph devoted to explaining how "the spout's character changed with wind conditions" (Kenneth Brower).

And unclassifiable nonsense, of which my favorite instance is Charles Bergman's description of a leaping whale as "unavoidably phallic." Now there, despite what I just said, is a man with a big idea.

Despite this, the book is readable, thanks to the whales, about which it is possible to write badly but not dully.

The whales, however, are not the stars of "The Presence of Whales."

The star is Roger Payne, the scientist who turned humpback whales into recording artists in the '60s.

This apparently is because Payne and his wife, Katherine Payne, keep open house for vagrant nature writers, several of whom came away with the impression that Payne discovered the fact that cetaceans make a lot of noise.

Credit for that really is due to Kenneth Norris, one of the two writers in this book, along with Farley Mowat, whose writing is unpretentious. (Norris is not merely good; at his best, he's wonderful.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?