Revenge of the Whale

  • by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by Taylor Mali
  • 5 hrs and 29 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Can a whale attack a ship? The shipwrecked crew of the whaleship Essex was living proof that it could when a whale displayed a fury never before witnessed, ramming and sinking their vessel in a matter of minutes in November 1820. The story of their survival is one rarely spoken of by Nantucketers even to this day, but National Book Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick courageously brings every shocking detail into the light. The result is this unforgettable and riveting account of the horrors of survival at sea.Award-winning performance artist and poet Taylor Mali again brings another exciting and important slice of American history alive.

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What the Critics Say

"One of our country's great adventure stories." (The Wall Street Journal)
"Vivid and compelling....History at its best." (Bookpage)
"A compelling saga of desperation and survival." (School Library Journal)
"Mali makes sure that listeners ride the waves of exhilaration, fear, tragedy and joyous relief as he introduces the crew and their plight." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Incredible Story

This is one of those stories that captures the imagination and if it were not for the fact that it is a true story, you might think a work of fiction or an old sailors yarn.

This account of what happened to the men of the Whaler Essex was the basis for Herman Melville's Moby Dick. However, where Moby Dick ends is the start of the harrowing story of the Essex crew. A tale of survival while at sea in small boats after their 87 foot long whaler vessel was rammed and sunk by an 85 foot bull sperm whale in a deliberate and frighteningly calculating attack.

A riveting telling of the plight of the 20 men left to fend for themselves in three small whale boats and how thirst and starvation gripped them as days at sea hundreds of miles from anywhere turned into weeks and then resorting to cannibalism in order to survive. I would like Audible to obtain the unabridged version which is some three hours longer for a fuller account at some point in the future. The unabridged version entitled "In The Heart of The Sea" has now become a Ronald Howard movie scheduled for release in March 2015 and if it tells the story nearly as well as this book should be a very powerful film.

An incredible tale and one that will leave you wondering how the survivors ever coped.

Highly recommended.
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- S. Morris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-01-2005
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.