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

     by Philbrick, Nathaniel

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

Plot/Summary:
In 1819, the Whale Ship Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. Their target were sperm whales, each of which could contain as much as three tons of whale oil. At that time, kerosene and other petroleum products were not yet available, and whale oil was a highly valuable fuel used for lighting, candles, and other purposes. It took almost a year for the ship to reach the best whaling grounds, west of the Galapagos islands. While pursuing a pod of whales, the ship was struck repeatedly by an angry whale, causing the ship to sink. A harrowing journey follows as the survivors attempt to make their way thousands of miles across the open sea to the coast of South America. 

Comments:
In the Heart of the Sea is a story of tragedy and survival. This true story was the inspiration for Herman Melville's classic Moby Dick.


Reviewed by pk, 03/12. Other reviews by pk.