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In the Heart of the Sea

Cover of In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea

The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
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 listen, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.
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 listen, 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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About the Author-
  • Nathaniel Philbrick
    Life at a Glance

    Born
    1956 in Boston, Mass.

    Educated
    Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.; BA in English from Brown University in Providence, RI, and an MA in America Literature from Duke University in Durham, NC

    Sailing
    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.

    Married
    Melissa Douthart Philbrick, who is an attorney on Nantucket. They have two children: Jennie and Ethan.

    Career
    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 Yaahting: 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 Foundation in 1995, and in 2000 he published In the Heart of the Sea, followed by Sea of Glory, in 2003, and Mayflower, in 2006.

    Awards and Honors
    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, and the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Written from the journals of two survivors, this true-life story is said to be the inspiration for Melville's MOBY-DICK. Narrator Scott Brick introduces the listener to the nuances of whaling in l820. Following the voyage of the ESSEX, whose port is Nantucket, Brick's reliably tracks the mission of its crew, before and after it is rammed by a bull sperm whale and left in peril in the Pacific Ocean. Brick's casual yet composed manner reports this chronicle of courage and survival, creating an appreciation for the tale it tells. B.J.L. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 1, 2000
    With woody intonation and a suitably somber cadence, Tony Award-winning actor Herrmann reads this chilling tale of the Essex, a whaling ship that was sunk in the middle of the Pacific by an 80-foot sperm whale in 1820. The story would come to mark the mythology of the 19th century as the Titanic did the 20th--Herman Melville, for one, based Moby Dick on certain key elements of the tragedy. In Philbrick's spare, well-paced version, we learn much about how Nantucket's culture was affected by the whaling industry boom, from its economy to its social habits. But the horrific heart of the narrative details the fate of the 20 sailors who attempted to sail several thousand miles back to Chile using only three pathetic open boats. Reaching home 93 days later, only eight sailors survived the ordeal of thirst, starvation and despair. Near the tape's end, Herrmann delivers one of the finest funereal orations ever offered on behalf of seamen. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Forecasts, Apr. 10).

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In the Heart of the Sea
In the Heart of the Sea
The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Nathaniel Philbrick
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