Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
( 157 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(103)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 157 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8
  • Posted October 4, 2010

    An Interesting Viewpoint on a Historic Event

    This book opens with an interesting preface which introduces the reader to the entire Nantucket whaling man's lifestyle. This encompassing view into the early 1800's handily sets the scene into the readers mind for the rest of the book.

    This book was written by Nathaniel Philbrick. As a resident of Nantucket island he has a personal viewpoint to write this story from. His book begins with the excitement of a young man going on his first whaling journey. The book quickly throws you into the story and never gives you a chance to pull yourself away.

    15 months into the journey of the Whaling ship Essex, during a routine whale hunting expedition the Essex was attacked by "a great white whale". Utterly destroying the ships bow and stranding the crew at sea. The 20 man crew was forced to travel in 3 small whaleboats in hopes of reaching shore. Being only 1500 miles away from the western islands, they decided to forgo that route in fear of cannibals. Instead they took the route to South America. A 3000 mile voyage in 3 25-foot boats with less than 2 weeks of very limited provisions. In the end Eight people survived, after being forced to the point of cannibalism to survive.

    The Essex was the most sensational story of its time. The story was larger then the story of the Titanic is today. This book brings back into the spotlight the tragedy that happened that fateful day and the sheer bravery of the men who persevered and survived the gruesome ordeal fate threw them into. This book also ends with explanations of the whaling lore and the effect this event had on American Literature, the largest of which is the Basis for the great American novel Moby Dick.

    I would greatly recommend this book to anyone interested in whaling lore or the whaleship Essex. I was given this book as a gift from my cousin with no previous knowledge of the event and I can honestly say it was a struggle to put it down. Philbrick spins a fantastic story and draws you into the scene to where you can almost smell the sea breeze blowing over your face.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Amazing

    I hesitated in purchasing this book for a long time due to my expectation that a the majority of the story about sailors trapped at sea would get boring and I would loose interest based on may past reading experience. I however, I have rad other Philbrick books including Sea of GLory so I took a chance. Wow I am glad I did. Philbrick has done it again. I could not put the book down. What an amazing story and Philbrick's style once again is excellent. My next read is The Last Stand and then Mayflower and after The Heart of the Sea I want to re-read Sea of Glory. I look forward to more great books from Philbrick.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Thoroughly enjoyed

    As a fan of history, this was an event that I honestly can admit I didn't know much about so I thought I would read the book. This is a well written, thoroughly gripping book that makes you appreciate what our forefathers went thru to earn a living. A great book that you will not be able to put down.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2009

    One of the best told true stories

    Why would anyone want to read a novel with non-ficton books like this on the shelf. Whether your into whaling or not reading about the life and times of the typical seaman this book is inlightening and obsorbing. The struggles they went though on the open ocean in 25' boats thousands of miles from land goes beyond what any common dry lander can comprehend. I give this book almost a 5 across the board.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    bewildering

    Anyone who enjoys Nantucket, or history, or a good thriller will love this book. As the saying goes, the truth is stranger than fiction. A whaleboat and its hardy crew, a bull whale and its pod, the brutal harpooning of a mother whale and its calf, the "revenge" of the biggest whale in the pod, the sinking of the mother ship and the fight for life that ensued. combine this with true historical accounts and you have your summer read. Dig your toes into Nantucket's warm summer sand, open a Corona and sit back listen to the waves and let your eyes pass over the words of the pages that will take you away to a day when Nantucket was an oil refinery and no whale was safe.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Very good

    While slow in the beginning, this was a very good historical story that kept me captivated while stirring a wide range of emotion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating Gripping from the first pages through the Epilouge.

    Fascinating
    Gripping from the first pages through the Epilouge. Educational and exciting all in one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Gripping acount of a tragic true story

    Well researched and well written.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Excellent book that reads like Fiction

    I can't add to the glowing reviews of this book. Others have said some pretty nice things about it and I have to agree. The only complaint I have with the nook book is the price tag and again maps are illegible. The book is all of 238 pages long, as the rest of the book is notes and bibliography, so it isn't a long book to read but the nearly $16 price tag for an ebook is a little rich.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    recommended

    very good book. i read it very quickly. it ended faster than i thought it would due to all the references. i learned a lot and highly recommend it to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    great

    Really enjoyed reading this

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Vc

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Interesting read about the life of whalers

    I enjoyed this book because I like reading about history and learned much about what life was like for 19th century whalers. The author was very thorough in his research on the subject.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    A great read!!

    This book is a great intro to the world of a whaler in the days of sail! I lived very close to where this crew sailed from where the history of whaling is still taught, and I think this book taught me more of it then did the field trips and history classes. Its not all about the whales either, its more about what the crew went through to survive the sea. Fascinating book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Great quick read

    Very good quick read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Great saga

    Interesting tale of enduance

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  • Posted August 29, 2013

    I felt like I was there

    For a non eyewitness account of what happened, the author really makes you feel like he saw it all first hand. Very good, I enjoyed it very much and still think about the people who were part of this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Don't waste your money

    Unless you are very much interested in a text book version of this story, don't waste your time or money on this book. It was extremely boring and a waste of money.

    Huge disappointment.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    a great and shocking story

    Philbrick tells the story of a whale that rammed and sunk a whaling ship in 1820 - being the inspiration for the classic tale, "Moby Dick." What happened to the crew over the coming weeks and months is nothing short of riviting. I read this cover to cover in a matter of days, and found it difficult to put down. Philbrick knows how to tell a story as few others do - highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Great book!

    If it wasn't for me being obligated to read and write about an Ocean related book for my Ocean studies college class I would never have come across this masterpiece! I had no previous knowledge/interest in sailing or whaling and this book has sparked a new obsession for me truly amazing and very well written. Philbrick does an amazing job at creating a picture of the hardship which the men had to go through after their ship was attacked by a sperm whale. It is a must read.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 157 Customer Reviews
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