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

In the Heart of the Sea The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours and the inspiration for the climax of Moby Dick With its huge scarred head halfway out

  • Title: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
  • Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
  • ISBN: 9780141001821
  • Page: 112
  • Format: Paperback
  • Tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby Dick With its huge, scarred head halfway out of the water and its tail beating the ocean into a white water wake than forty feet across, the whale approached the ship at twice its original speed at least six kTells perhaps the greatest sea story ever an event as mythic in its own century as the Titanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby Dick With its huge, scarred head halfway out of the water and its tail beating the ocean into a white water wake than forty feet across, the whale approached the ship at twice its original speed at least six knots With a tremendous cracking and splintering of oak, it struck the ship just beneath the anchor secured at the cat head on the port bow 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.

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    One thought on “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex”

    1. ”I turned around and saw him about one hundred rods [500 m or 550 yards] directly ahead of us, coming down with twice his ordinary speed of around 24 knots (44 km/h), and it appeared with tenfold fury and vengeance in his aspect. The surf flew in all directions about him with the continual violent thrashing of his tail. His head about half out of the water, and in that way he came upon us, and again struck the ship." —Owen Chase, first mate of the whaleship Essex.“There she blows!” was a [...]

    2. There's one thing you need to know about me: I’ve never listened to a song by Rush all the way through. Really. If Alvin and the Chipmunks were re-imagined as opera singers, the lead singer could be bass. I can't take them seriously.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- [...]

    3. I have never, ever, in my LIFE, met a nonfiction book I was unable to put down before. This may be because I am stupid, but I like to think it's because I'm interested in the details. Most nonfiction I've encountered is either written by:a.) Someone who experienced something interesting, but who can't write about it in an interesting way, orb.) Someone who perhaps usually writes about things in an interesting way, but who wasn't able to experience the critical subject firsthand.Philbrick bridges [...]

    4. Best piece of non-fiction I’ve read in years – I know it’s a cliché but you can’t make this stuff up! In 1819, a whaling ship is rammed by a sperm whale, not once but twice and the surviving crew drifts for 90 days in three tiny boats, Captain Bligh’s 48 day ordeal pales in comparison. They eventually turned to cannibalism which call me weird I didn’t have a problem with. A card carrying organ donor I figure I’m dead anyway - eat me. When it came down to drawing lots though, that [...]

    5. 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.HehThere 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, C [...]

    6. This book was a fantastic tale, the facts of which were an inspiration to Melville who met the surviving captain years later. The ship Essex headed to whaling groups in - as Phlibrick excellently describes as the most desolate spot on Earth - a thousand miles off the coast of Chile in the Pacific. Beset by bad luck, the boat is stuck for weeks in the doldrums with no wind, struck by an unhappy (but not white) whale which founders the boat, and then struggle (mostly unsuccessfully) to survive wit [...]

    7. "It was a tale of a whale-man's worst nightmare: of being left in a boat far from land with nothing left to eat or drink and perhaps worst of allof a whale with the vindictiveness and guile of a man."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 laudanu [...]

    8. WAY more exciting than I expected! Nathaniel Philbrick knows how to resurrect history into a living, breathing present, a present filled with tension and full-immersion. 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 [...]

    9. Onvan : In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nevisande : Nathaniel Philbrick - ISBN : 141001828 - ISBN13 : 9780141001821 - Dar 238 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 1999

    10. This book was so engrossing that I felt as if I had worked on a whaling ship and had survived a disaster at sea. 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 [...]

    11. Buddy-read with Jeff-fah-fah and Holly! Guys, it was awesome!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 [...]

    12. If I had to come up with a torturous way to die, I would immediately start talking about this book. Holy mackerel, how much tragedy can one group of people endure? This story was an atmospheric and truly terrifying account of an ordeal that defies comprehension. I have had a visceral reaction throughout this one. It's a shock to the system. My muscles are cramped from tension, my heart is pounding, and I am overcome with guilt (and gratitude) for every glass of water I drink. A wonderful histori [...]

    13. This was a fascinating and very readable true account of the whaleship Essex and its crew which left Nantucket in 1820 only to meet with disaster fifteen months later in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. I have been interested in learning more about this tragedy for some time, but honestly didn't expect to become so absorbed in this book! Having very little knowledge of the whaling industry and maritime travel in general, I was nevertheless easily able to follow the story thanks to the tale [...]

    14. Hang on. So the crew of the Essex (quite apart from their whole whale-killing society being an early contributor to majorly endangering the species as a whole):-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 [...]

    15. IMPORTANT UPDATE: The great reader in the sky has answered my prayers and made a movie based on this story - starring Chris Hemsworth - so I already count one ironclad reason to watch this. The trailer states that the Essex goes beyond the known world, which no it didn't, but I'm also fairly sure that Owen Chase's jaw wasn't nearly as square as Hemsworth's, so I'm willing to allow poetic license. Also, I may root for the whale. The first trailer is here.----This was SO gruesome and weirdly gripp [...]

    16. One of the most riveting, enlightening, gut-wrenching, macabre, unfathomable, heart-pounding, culture-defining, era-appalling, extremely well-written and fastidiously researched non-fiction books I've read this year. 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 [...]

    17. youtube/watch?v=iAv6dTrailer do filme "No Coração do Mar" - realização de Ron Howard. O meu fascínio por baleias e baleeiros decorre de ter vivido nove meses na Ilha do Pico, no início dos anos 90. As Lajes do Pico, a sul da ilha, foram um dos locais emblemáticos da indústria baleeira, agora apenas consubstanciada numa perspectiva museológica e na actividade lúdica e científica da observação de cetáceos – através do Museu dos Baleeiros e, mais recentemente, do Centro de Artes e [...]

    18. Meticulously researched, written in a way that is easy to follow the narrative, and excellently narrated by the ever-reliable Scott Brick. Looking forward to another book by Nathaniel Philbrick!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 [...]

    19. “In the Heart of the Sea” is my first time reading the work of Nathaniel Philbrick. It will not be my last. This is an excellent and engaging text, and like the best nonfiction the reader feels the immediacy and importance of the events described therein.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 [...]

    20. A terrific read, based on original documents recovered long after the events described in the book, which took place mostly in 1820. Part of the true story formed the basis for Melville's "Moby Dick."Brave men set out for a 3 year journey to find and kill whales and process the blubber into oil. The owners of the ship and the captain stand to get rich; most of the crew will make barely enough to survive. But on this voyage, after their ship is battered by a huge sperm whale, many do not survive. [...]

    21. Once I was well into this non-fiction record, I could not put it down. 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 [...]

    22. Also on my blog The Periodic Table of Elephants.Any reader who has read 'The Life of Pi' and 'Moby Dick' should be all over this as both works of fiction were inspired by the tragic events of the Essex. The Essex was an American whaling ship that was attacked by a disgruntled sperm whale (well the whalers had attacked it with harpoons) and sunk in the south-western Pacific in 1820. All the crew survive the sinking but they are stranded in the middle of the Pacific, in a region desolate of life, [...]

    23. "Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee." - Moby-DickI'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 patch [...]

    24. Superb rendering of the Nantucket whaling community and the disaster that befell the Essex in 1821. 1,500 miles off the coast of Chile, it was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale. Eight of 20 men survived the 4,500 mile, 3 month journey to safety in whaleboats. Cannibalism is an uncomfortable part of the story and is thoughfully, not luridly, treated. The story helps elucidate some of what it means to be human, our mastery of amazing feats as a collective and the courage and resourcefulness of indi [...]

    25. I wrote a paper on Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” for my senior year AP English class and received an “A+” for it WITHOUT HAVING READ THE DAMNED BOOK! Not bragging (okay, maybe a little), but it’s a testament to two things: 1) the great in-depth class discussions about the book in Mr. Milheim’s class from which I took copious notes and 2) my talent for bullshit. I could write a paper on any topic, not knowing anything about said topic, and make it sound great, by simply bullshitting [...]

    26. This is such a fascinating book. I’ve never really lived close to a coastline in which the ocean itself is the source of income and sustenance, and have only visited New England once, but this book makes me want to take a trip to Nantucket Island right now to see and experience at least some of the history of this harsh lifestyle.We are all probably at least somewhat familiar with the story of the Essex, especially with the movie being released just a few weeks ago. Most of us know that it was [...]

    27. Um livro de não-ficção a relatar o naufrágio de um baleeiro norte-americano em 1820. À partida, não seria algo que me suscitasse muito interesse, mas como a sua adaptação cinematográfica estreou há pouco tempo e a história aqui relatada inspirou o famoso Moby Dick, de Herman Melville (que ainda não li), senti a motivação suficiente para viajar até ao século XIX e embarcar nesta perigosa viagem.O início do livro contém o necessário enquadramento da partida do Essex da ilha de N [...]

    28. So much more than I expected! I anticipated this book may be a bit boring since it was about a whale ship and a true story. Not the case! An informative history lesson that caused me to experience so many different emotions. The book was well researched, it moved at a nice pace and held my interest from beginning to end. Great read!

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