The epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the nineteenth century – and inspiration for ‘Moby-Dick’ – reissued to accompany a major motion picture due for release in December 2015, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker and Cillian Murphy.
When the whaleship Essex set sail from Nantucket in 1819, the unthinkable happened. A mere speck in the vast Pacific ocean – and powerless against the forces of nature – Essex was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale, and her twenty crewmen were forced to take to the open sea in three small boats. Ninety days later only a handful of survivors were rescued – and a terrifying story of desperation, cannibalism and courage was revealed…
One of the greatest sea yarns ever spun, ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ is the true story of the extraordinary events that inspired Herman Melville’s masterpiece ‘Moby-Dick’.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is another book that I was introduced to because I saw the film first. The movie I felt was more the fluffed up storytelling side while the book was driven home with solid hard facts. The movie I enjoyed but the book is pure quality.
The book begins with facts, who is who, their backgrounds, details of the ships the recruitment of the crew. The pay they were expected to make and the work they were required to do. I was spellbound with the remedies of treating illnesses, which at times made me physically gip! This was a true history book of facts.
I was introduced to each person that would sail on the ill-fated ship The Essex, what happens was documented by the 14-year-old cabin boy in 1820, as they encountered disaster after disaster in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The whaling ship was not due back home for 2 years and the crew of twenty would be diminished.
For the unlucky crew of The Essex, nature was about to hit back at them when a huge whale attacked the ship causing so much damage that the crew had to take to three rowboats. What follows is an account of how some of the crew managed to survive the 90 days they were at sea.
This is an absolutely engrossing book to read, there is little or no emotion from the author but he certainly stirred up enough in me for both of us. There are glimmers of hope, like a preverbal carrot continually been hung in front of these desperate men, that were just like cruel taunts. An island with no visible water, calculating the wrong direction and what to do when the food ran out?
The book goes on after the investigation of what had happened and the lives of the survivors afterward.
The book Moby Dick was created because of this factual event, a book I must revisit. This book is not just memorable it is unforgettable.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Philbrick was Brown’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978; that year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, RI; today he and his wife Melissa sail their Beetle Cat Clio and their Tiffany Jane 34 Marie-J in the waters surrounding Nantucket Island.
After grad school, Philbrick worked for four years at Sailing World magazine; was a freelancer for a number of years, during which time he wrote/edited several sailing books, including Yachting: A Parody (1984), for which he was the editor-in-chief; during this time he was also the primary caregiver for his two children. After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. He was offered the opportunity to start the Egan Maritime Institute in 1995, and in 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea, followed by Sea of Glory, in 2003, and Mayflower. He is presently at work on a book about the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award for nonfiction; Revenge of the Whale won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; Sea of Glory won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society, and the New England Book Award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association.