In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
In the Heart of the ...more
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)]
—Owen Chase, first mate of the whaleship Essex.
“There she blows!” was as mu ...more
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
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
This review is a Chris Hemsworth-free zone!
Yes, he was in the crappy film version of this book.
No, I won’t use any pics in my review.
There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who was so big he could…
The island of Nantucket has loads to answer for beyond smutty limericks. About 200 years ago, they were at the very pinnacle of the whale slaughtering business.
Top of the world, indeed.
The Nantucket whalers were about due for a cosmic bitch slap, hence the events depicted in this book.
Avast ye, Capta ...more
Nathaniel P ...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
-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
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
For anyone not knowing: this is a true story. The Essex, a ship full of whalers, ventures into the Pacific to kill a lot of animals, usually in a very horrific way, and the men get what they've got coming when a male sperm whale attacks and sinks the ship.
The story even inspired Herman Melville, the famous writer of Moby Dick, who met the son of Owen Chase (the first mate on the Essex).
This book presents a detailed account of the life ...more
This was SO gruesome and weirdly gripp ...more
The book follows the last voyage of the Nantucket whaleship “Essex” and the trek for survival made by the ship’s crew. It is an adventure tale, interspersed with lessons on everything from the behavior of sperm whales, the intricacies of sailing ...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
Here, too, is Nickerson’s account, presented alongside that of Pollock, the Captain of the Essex; and Chase, first mate. There are also accounts from other whaling ships of the day ...more
No disrespect to Herman Melville, but this true story of the Essex is MUCH better than Moby Dick. MUCH!
5 Stars = Great book! The story really came alive, and leapt off the page.
In 1819, it left Nantucket and went a'whaling. An enraged sperm whale (is there any other kind?) rammed the ship in the South Pacific. The Essex sunk and its crew ...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
But it was really i ...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
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
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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