Heidi's Reviews > Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

Leviathan by Eric Jay Dolin
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's review
Sep 01, 2008

really liked it
Read in September, 2008

I wrote a lovely (I think) review, but I couldn't save it because for some reason GoodReads signed me out in the middle of composing it! Rats. Anyway, here is my (failed) attempt to recreate it:

Although today the thought of whaling is repugnant to most, the history of whaling continues to make a fascinating read, especially since the author's writing is so engaging. From the first beached pilot whales that colonists found on the shore to the end of whaling in America, Dolin drew me in. The chapter on the sperm whale (the whale's whale) was particularly good. Since we still know so little about the Leviathan even with our technologic strides, I also found it amazing how capable the whalers were given the (lack of) tools available.

I really liked this book, but I couldn't give it 5 stars because I was constantly comparing it to the lecture a docent gave at the Whaling Museum in Nantucket several years ago. If you ever have a chance to visit, and they are still giving this lecture, stay for it. I've never so enjoyed sitting my butt in a hard, wooden, straight-backed chair for 60 minutes.

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