• by Mark Kurlansky
  • Narrated by Richard M. Davidson
  • 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The innocuous cod has been the subject of international wars, national diets, economies, livelihoods, and health in general. Mark Kurlansky approaches the cod with his love of food and food culture, and leaps into history, folklore, and even recipes dating to the fourteenth century and forward. This famous fish spurred interest in the development of North America, and caused a whole nation of people to jump into fishing and ocean exploration. Including word origins, this audiobook also contains recipes and uses for all kinds of cod.


What the Critics Say

"Every once in a while a writer of particular skills takes a fresh, seemingly improbable idea and turns out a book of pure delight...No one who reads this charming tale will ever think the same of either the fish or the history." (David McCullough, author of John Adams)
"History filtered through the gills of the fish trade." (The New York Times Book Review)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A great fish story

This review will be short and sweet. Fascinating but a bit long. I rate it a "4" due to it's length. Now...for a definite "5" rating, read "Salt" by the same author.
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- Karen

Seven and a half hour about COD???

Yep, that's what you get from Mark Kurlansky... over seven hours of engrossing information and storytelling about a fish. What a successful blend of journalist, historian, and novelist Kurlansky turned out to be as proven by this very readable book.

Who would have thunk that the cod played a significant role in the maintenance of the american slavery trade and keep? That the fish nearly started a war between UK and Iceland in modern time? That the Vikings discovered the American continent because of the darn cod? That our pilgrims of Thanksgiving fame failed to eat the bounty of the sea and elected rather to starve than feast on lobster and cod?

The chapters on the Basques made me pick up the next book by Kurlanski; he clearly has a tremendous knowledge of the area and the history of the Basque people.

Each segment is capped off by a number of appropriate recepies based on cod from the area narrated. I guess this is probably better suited to the printed page than in the audible edition.

The narration is very good and helps keep the attention throughout the story.
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- B. W. Larsen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-07-2002
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books