Emily asked:

What did you think the most surprising part of the story was?

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Mike I've read quite a bit on the age of polar exploration, Shackleton, Amundsen, the Northwest Passage, the mutiny of the Bounty and Bligh's open-boat voyage. I think what surprised me, the real tragedy here, was how much of it seemed so avoidable. So unnecessary. There's a heroism in Shackleton and Bligh's stories that I don't get here. It just seemed so awful and pathetic. AMAZING true story and hats off to the survivors. But there was no parade in my mind at the end, I felt really, really bad for them in a way that, right or wrong, I often don't in other true survival tales.
Kay Inability of a starving person to metabolize lean protein without the presence of fat.
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F.C. Schaefer The effects of starvation on the human body and the will to keep going and survive despite a body eating its own tissue and vital organs.
Pat Rizzi I was surprised that as many survived as did.
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Tom Brooks
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Janelle Trees
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Thomas Cooper Hi all, I'm a newby but saw this listed and had to throw in. I read this on holiday while in Nantucket, August of 2001. I bought it because Melville himself interviewed the captain at his home there while researching Moby Dick. Melville's great grandson, Moby had just had a hit single on the charts, so I thought it would be a good cross historical read.
Even without the backround, this is an incredible story. Philbrick does a terrific job.
Judi Ruckstuhl The endurance of the human spirit under an absolutely horrific situation.
Thought it was better than Moby Dick in its explanation of the pecking order on a whaling ship.
Arsh Walia The most surprising part is the mental strength to keep going and survive even though a body is eating similar body parts.
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by Nathaniel Philbrick (Goodreads Author)
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