National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2000
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 20 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 90 days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, and 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 read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Reminds me of Krackauer's Perfect Storm, men who go down to the sea in ships. Good story of desperate men doing desperate things to survive a shipwreck.
Great, yet harrowing adventure. Scott Brick is the icing!
In the Heart of the Sea
I found this book to be very gruesome. A huge per cent of the story deals with many gory details of cannibalism and a very small percent with whale encounters.