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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Cover

ISBN13: 9780141001821
ISBN10: 0141001828
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

The heyday of whaling examined through the plight of the Whaleship Essex. This is the best sort of popular history writing.
Recommended by Barb, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex — an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. In a harrowing page-turner, Nathaniel Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history.

In 1820, the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage for whales. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was repeatedly rammed and sunk by an eighty-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew, fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear.

In the Heart of the Sea tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever. Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of whale lore and with a brilliantly detailed portrait of the lost, unique community of Nantucket whalers. Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature, drawing on a remarkable range of archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship's cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a page-turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man's relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.

Review:

"A book that gets in your bones...Philbrick has created an eerie thriller from a centuries old tale....Scrupulously researched and eloquently written...it would have earned Melville's admiration." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Fascinating...One of our country's great adventure stories...when it comes to extremes, In the Heart of the Sea is right there." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"[Told] with verve and authenticity...a classic tale of the sea." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Nathaniel Philbrick has taken one of the most horrifying stories in maritime history and turned it into a classic....One of the most chilling books I have ever read." Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm

Synopsis:

The riveting and critically acclaimed bestseller, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard

Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson will star in a new film based on this National Book Award–winning account of the true events behind Moby Dick.

In 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents and vivid details about the Nantucket whaling tradition to reveal the chilling facts of this infamous maritime disaster. In the Heart of the Sea—and now, its epic adaptation for the screen—will forever place the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

Synopsis:

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Brendan Gleeson, and directed by Ron Howard.

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship's cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

About the Author

Nathaniel Philbrick, is a leading authority on the history of Nantucket Island. His In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award. His latest book is Sea of Glory, about the epic U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. His other books include Away off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (which Russell Baker called "indispensable") and Abram's Eyes: The Native American Legend of Nantucket Island ("a classic of historical truthtelling," according to Stuart Frank, director of the Kendall Whaling Museum). He has written an introduction to a new edition of Joseph Hart's Miriam Coffin, or The Whale Fisherman, a Nantucket novel (first published in 1834) that Melville relied upon for information about the island when writing Moby Dick. Phillbick's Why Read Moby-Dick? was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award.

Philbrick, a champion sailboat racer, has also written extensively about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor (1987) and Second Wind: A Sunfish Sailor's Odyssey. He was editor in chief of the classic Yaahting: A Parody (1984).

In his role as director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies, Philbrick, who is also a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association, gives frequent talks about Nantucket and sailing. He has appeared on "NBC Today Weekend", A&E's "Biography" series, and National Public Radio and has served as a consultant for the movie "Moby Dick", shown on the USA Network. He received a bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Master of Arts in American Literature from Duke. He lives on Natucket with his wife and two children.

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Preface: February 23, 1821

Crew of the Essex

Chapter One: Nantucket

Chapter Two: Knockdown

Chapter Three: First Blood

Chapter Four: The Lees of Fire

Chapter Five: The Attack

Chapter Six: The Plan

Chapter Seven: At Sea

Chapter Eight: Centering Down

Chapter Nine: The Island

Chapter Ten: The Whisper of Necessity

Chapter Eleven: Games of Chance

Chapter Twelve: In the Eagle's Shadow

Chapter Thirteen: Homecoming

Chapter Fourteen: Consequences

Epilogue: Bones

Notes

Select Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

jksquires, July 9, 2013 (view all comments by jksquires)
Having just read, and loving, Philbrick's latest, Bunker Hill, I picked up a copy of In the Heart of the Sea and was not disappointed. This is a truly amazing story of survival and endurance of the crew of the Essex. Philbrick has a gift of capturing a bygone time and place and thoroughly humanizing it. An excellent read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Amanda Scott, January 15, 2012 (view all comments by Amanda Scott)
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It's a horrible tragedy, but it's written beautifully. Lots of description and emotion...I felt like I was right along with these men in their vessels. Historic, heroic, insane, a great story written wonderfully. A highly recommended page turner.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
allisondoke, January 9, 2011 (view all comments by allisondoke)
One of the best books I have ever read. Nathaniel Philbrick is a genius in terms of weaving nonfiction into a gripping tale. This survival story rivals all others.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 7 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780141001821
Author:
Philbrick, Nathaniel
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Philbrick, Nat
Author:
Brick, Scott
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Ships & Shipbuilding - Shipwrecks
Subject:
Maritime History
Subject:
United States - 19th Century
Subject:
Shipwrecks
Subject:
Pacific ocean
Subject:
Shipwrecks -- Pacific Ocean.
Subject:
Essex (whaleship)
Subject:
Nautical-Ships and Ship History
Subject:
Nautical-Shipwrecks
Subject:
Nautical - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
FS-145-00
Publication Date:
20010531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Award Winners
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Transportation » General
Transportation » Nautical » General
Transportation » Nautical » Nautical Lore
Transportation » Nautical » Ships and Ship History
Transportation » Nautical » Shipwrecks
Transportation » Nautical » Whaling

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages PENGUIN PUTNAM TRADE - English 9780141001821 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The heyday of whaling examined through the plight of the Whaleship Essex. This is the best sort of popular history writing.

"Review" by , "A book that gets in your bones...Philbrick has created an eerie thriller from a centuries old tale....Scrupulously researched and eloquently written...it would have earned Melville's admiration."
"Review" by , "Fascinating...One of our country's great adventure stories...when it comes to extremes, In the Heart of the Sea is right there."
"Review" by , "[Told] with verve and authenticity...a classic tale of the sea."
"Review" by , "Nathaniel Philbrick has taken one of the most horrifying stories in maritime history and turned it into a classic....One of the most chilling books I have ever read."
"Synopsis" by ,
The riveting and critically acclaimed bestseller, soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard

Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson will star in a new film based on this National Book Award–winning account of the true events behind Moby Dick.

In 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents and vivid details about the Nantucket whaling tradition to reveal the chilling facts of this infamous maritime disaster. In the Heart of the Sea—and now, its epic adaptation for the screen—will forever place the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

"Synopsis" by ,
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Wishaw, and Brendan Gleeson, and directed by Ron Howard.

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship's cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.

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