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Whale for the Killing, A (The Farley Mowat Series) Paperback – July 28, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

When an 80-ton Fin Whale became trapped in a Newfoundland lagoon, conservationist Farley Mowat rejoiced: here was the first chance to study at close range one of the most magnificent animals in creation. Some local villagers thought otherwise. They blasted the whale with rifle fire and hacked open her back with a motorboat propeller. Mowat appealed desperately to the police, to marine biologists, finally to the Canadian press. But it was too late. Ravaged by an infection resulting from her massive wounds, the whale died.

World-renowned for his passionate tales of survival, Farley Mowat wrote his new book to symbolize the plight of all whales preyed on by man for commercial profit. A Whale for the Killing is an urgent, eloquent plea to stop the massacre now...before the entire species is doomed to extinction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Farley Mowat is one of the world's foremost nature writers and conservationists. He is the author of 39 books, including Never Cry Wolf, Sea of Slaughter, and The Snow Walker. He and his wife, Claire Mowat, divide their time between Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Product Details

  • Series: The Farley Mowat Series
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (July 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811731863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811731867
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,998,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
"A Whale for the Killing" chronicles the unlikely and you might also say, unseemly doings in a small Newfoundland outport in the 1960s. In what soon proved to be a run of bad luck, one of the largest of the sea mammals, a Fin whale, found itself trapped in a huge body of water near the town of Burgeo. It had managed to just slide over a rocky underwater escarpment and get into the bay, but try as it might it could not get out again.
Farley Mowat's part in the story is rather extraordinary and I won't go into it in detail here, for fear of spoiling it. Suffice it to say that he becomes, as far as such a thing is possible, the trapped whale's guardian and broadcasts the story of its plight throughout the world. His relationship with the mammal develops in conjunction with his relationship with the townspeople of Burgeo and the local and provincial authorities. I would not like to call this a thrilling story, because that seems hardly appropriate, but it is a dramatic one whichever way you look at it. In the process of attempting to rescue the whale, Mowat (and now, through the book, us) learns a great deal more about human nature than he might have imagined he would, beforehand.
Farley Mowat has written innumerable books about wildlife, the environment and the Canadian wilderness in general. This is a book he scarcely planned to write but he brings to it all the skills of the writer who has practised his art over many years. It is a first-rate story about living on Earth in the twentieth century, and it should be widely read for the message it contains about the frailty of all existence.
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Format: Paperback
Newfoundland is the easternmost outpost of Canada in the North Atlantic, and in 1962, Farley Mowat, already a well known writer, moved to the town of Burgeo on its desolate south coast. The area was remote, reachable only by the weekly steamer and an occasional chartered seaplane. Mowat loved it there, and in the first fifty pages says much about the beauty of the place and the friendly inhabitants.

The local economy was based on fishing, with a recently opened fish-freezing plant. Mowat is scornful of the fish-freezing plant, and generally of much of the modern influences he sees around him -- he calls it "compulsive consumerism, the universal sickness of modern society". In early 1967, the contrast between his views on the world and those of his fellow-villagers were brought shockingly into focus when a seventy foot pregnant Fin whale was trapped in a "natural aquarium" called Aldridge Pond.

It was several days before Mowat found out about the whale. In that time numerous locals had used up almost all the ammunition in the village shooting the whale with high-powered rifles, and had rammed it in a speed boat to carve open its back, for sport. When Mowat found out he tried with little success to get the local authorities to protect the whale, and sent some information to a Canadian news organization to try to get academic interest in the chance to study a big Fin whale up close. That led to a flood of publicity, and simultaneously to much of the village turning against Mowat for being an "outsider" and refusing to let them do as they pleased. Mowat tried to keep their boats from Aldridge Pond and their bullets away from the whale, and many of the locals saw him as an interfering foreigner.
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Format: Turtleback
This Farley Mowat book, written in the early 1970s, is one that grabs ahold of you. I could not set it down. It's a true story of a trapped whale off the Newfoundland coast and what happens because of the stupidity of humans. Farley Mowat uses the story to tell of the plight of all whales in human hands. Though much has changed since this was written, whales are still threatened and the story will still disturb you.
A touching, honest, beatifully written true story. This is book that you will not forget after reading.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Farley Mowat has often been criticised for his "embellishments", but while his facts may be suspect his motives are sincere. 'A Whale For the Killing' is a gut-wrenching look at the way we treat our oceans and our world in general. Mowat, always a pleasure to read, made me feel both angry and ashamed in this wonderful book.
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