In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
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I was also surprised that Joy's boat was ever found--yes, found only with four skeletons, but still...that boat could have simply vanished, never to be seen again. And how awful that Bond was one of those skeletons when he was probably a HUGE part of the reason anyone survived at all by grabbing the navigational equipment from the ship, which no one else thought of collecting before it sank. (less) (hide spoiler)]
Okay, okay. Really there are two things you need to know about me: I distrust people who walk on the balls of their feet. You know, that little bounce? Call it instinct, but I see something morally deficient in it. It's like Nature is giving the rest of us a heads-up ...more
—Owen Chase, first mate of the whaleship Essex.
“There she blows!” was as much ...more
a.) Someone who experienced something interesting, but who can't write about it in an interesting way, or
b.) Someone who perhaps usually writes about things in an interesting way, but who wasn't able to experience the critical subject firsthand.
Philbrick bridges ...more
This deadly true story of the 1820 (85' long, 80 ton) whale attack on the Essex was not exactly what I expected, but oh so much more. It begins with background of Captain and crew, the unimaginable time spent away from home and how their wives coped in their absence often resorting to use of l...more
If you have any interest in whaling, the age of sail, and shipwrecks, you'll not do better than In the Heart of the Sea. It's very much like the non-fiction version of Moby Dick, made all the more intense for being the real deal.
In fact, the historic event depicted in this book is the basis for Melville's story. Philbrick gives ...more
In 1820, the whaleship Essex was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean when a massive whale rammed the ship not once, but twice, sinking it. The crew had to scramble for provisions and escaped into three boats. They set sail for South America, which was nearly 3,000 miles away. They soon ran out of fresh water and food, and eventually resorted to cannibalism. Only eight men out of 20 sur ...more
This was SO gruesome and weirdly gripp ...more
-go on one of their epic whale-killing journeys;
-slaughter a bunch of whales;
-capture, abuse and slaughter a huge bunch of Galapagos tortoises;
-set fire to an entire Galapagos island for a fucking lark;
-get COMPLETELY UNFAIRLY, UNPROVOKEDLY AND WITH MALICIOUS INTENT attacked by a sperm whale (I mean, how very DARE that fucker?) so their s ...more
That was a mouthful!!!
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex: So much more than a survival tale or a seafaring story or Nantucket legend or the catalyst for the literary classic: Moby Dick.
"The Essex disaster is not a tale of adventure. It is a tragedy that hap ...more
I got sucked into the idea behind this in part, and mainly due to, the imminent release of the film adaptation -- and seeing in the trailer that this is the story which inspired Moby Dick (another classic I have yet to read, but that's another story for another time). Beyond that limited knowledge, I went ...more
Any reader who has read 'The Life of Pi' and 'Moby Dick' should be all over this as both works of fiction were inspired by the tragic events of the Essex. The Essex was an American whaling ship that was attacked by a disgruntled sperm whale (well the whalers had attacked it with harpoons) and sunk in the south-western Pacific in 1820. All the crew survive the sinking but they are stranded in the middle of the Pacific, in a region desolate of life, ...more
Brave men set out for a 3 year journey to find and kill whales and process the blubber into oil. The owners of the ship and the captain stand to get rich; most of the crew will make barely enough to survive. But on this voyage, after their ship is battered by a huge sperm whale, many do not survive. ...more
The detail and research! The maps, the retained evidence and not the least is the history and onus of Nantucket.
Nathaniel Philbrick not only relates all minutia of this chronological multi-year saga of the Essex, but also sets that in the proper setting- like a gem in an elaborate piece of jewelry.
The Quaker religion, worldview and how that worked into the patterns of work for whaling! The language itself surrounding itself ...more
O início do livro contém o necessário enquadramento da partida do Essex da ilha de Nantucket, à data a ...more
We are all probably at least somewhat familiar with the story of the Essex, especially with the movie being released just a few weeks ago. Most of us know that it was t ...more
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is an excellent historical account that has been well researched and includes the journal entries of the Whaleship Essex's cabin boy. I personally did not finish it because the writing is a bit dry for my personal taste as a reader - kind of textbook-ish if that makes sense. There are fans of history books who would absolutely devour this title, but I personally need my history reading to feel a bit more like a flowing story in ...more
An artist's rendition of the revenge of the sperm whale attacking the Essex:
An actual photo of a sperm whale which is about the size of a school bus:
In college I was forced to read parts of Herman Melville's cla ...more
I've been wanting to read this book for years. Patiently it sat, right behind me, waiting. I enjoyed Philbrick's Mayflower and Sea of Glory. Given how much I love Moby-Dick, I'm kinda surprised it took me so long (15 years) to read this history of the Essex.
Philbrick paces this narrative well. He patches t ...more
This one started off slow for me as it was primarily about ships and killing whales, two topics that hold little interest to me. Around 1/3 of the way through is when the tragedy occurred and from there on, it was a very engaging survival story.
I still have a hard time with the ignorance mankind had in the past and continues to have today in regards to our planet's resources. I find it very interesting that subsets of cultures historically had more awareness and were bette ...more
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After grad school, Philbrick worked for four years at Sailing World magazine; was a freelancer for a number of years, during whic ...more