Synopses & Reviews
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 rammed and sunk by an 80-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew 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.
Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of detail from archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship's cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a riveting adventure tale, In the Heart of the Sea is a vital work of American history.