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The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales
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The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The largest creatures to inhabit the Earth, whales have long inspired awe in human beings. Because they spend almost 95 percent of their time beneath the ocean surface, however, little has been known about their lives--until recently. With advances in technology and more intense study, fresh facts are coming to light about these magnificent mammals, and to be a whale watch ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 2nd 2006 by Sierra Club Books
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Five chapters each focusing on one species of whale: humpback, northern bottlenose, orca (actually a dolphin), minke, and blue. Lots of good information paired with a flowing writing style (I didn't find it dry as others have noted). Chadwick does an excellent job of combining scientific inquiry with true wonder, a fine line territory to dwell, and a mark of the new approach to ethology that is becoming more and more prevalent:

"Humans think they are special creatures, and we are. But trying to h
Jan 11, 2010 Nikki rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nature lovers, anyone awed by whales
This was a very good introductory book on five different whale species. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's humor and the way he mixed stories with facts. There were only two problems I had with the book, first the section on blue whales seemed a mix and match of ideas. I suppose this is most likely due to there being less information on the whales than others. In addition, the section where the author consumes whale meat disturbed me the most. Although he did say he would not do it outside the jo ...more
Casey Hampton
Focusing on five different species of whales, this book brings attention to both the lifestyle and jeopardy, which confront these amazing animals. Whether you are merely interested in whales or harbor a deep passion for all cetaceans regardless of mass, this is a great book.

I'm giving it 4 stars rather than 5 because of some clunky writing which acted as a slight distraction. But this is pretty damn minor. If you are in any way interested in whales, this is a good book to pick up and read. Who k
As a whale lover from way back, I was very excited to get this book! Aside from a few bits of dry prose, it did not let me down.

The book details the latest scientific studies available for five whale species. Facts and statistics are listed as well as social habits (where known), breeding locations, food sources and feeding techniques. Environmental pressures (excessive noise levels, pollution, ship collisions, commercial hunting) are explained.

Scientists endure long hours, temperature extreme
A must read for any whale lover - or ocean lover for that matter!
Tim G
I went on a reading binge about whales last summer, and this was the best book I read. While addressing whales in all their wonder--their intelligence, sophisticated communication, and family bonds--it didn't indulge in the quasi-mystical silliness that plagues some whale books. Whales are smart, yes, but they can't read your mind.
Liz Brau
i only read the section on humpback whales b/c they are my favorite. i want to go see humpbacks in the ocean sometime. i guess i will have to get over my fear of scuba diving first...
Loved it. Easy to read and understand. INteresting facts on some little known whales. Would have liked a few more species to be represented.
A great introduction to 5 types of whales, discussing their differences and the things research has learned about each.
John Yunker
A wonderful portrait of five whales: minke, orca, humpback, bottlenose, and blue.
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