In the Heart of the Sea

  • by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say



Alex Award Winner, 2001
"A fascinating tale, well told." (Booklist)
"[Told] with verve and authenticity...a classic tale of the sea." (San Francisco Chronicle)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good story, horrible audio

Interesting story but the production value / quality of the audio is absolutely terrible. The volume and clarity of the narrator varies wildly even within chapters. Better to read this in book form vs audio.
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- Eric Leal

Proof poor editing can ruin a great story

This is the worst edited audiobook I've ever heard. I tried to make it through it but couldn't. Even within the chapters, the sound quality and background noise level differed, which was distracting. But, the biggest problem is that each new chapter starts by cutting off the end of the previous one. The narrator will literary be mid-sentence when it cuts in with the start of a new chapter. It's disorienting and jarring -- each time it happened, I had to take time to collect myself and figure out what was happening. After about 4 chapters of this, I just gave up. It was too jarring, and I found myself on edge the entire book; it prevented me from getting into it.

It would be like buying a book that has the last few sentences (or even more -- I have no way to know how much of each chapter is missing) cut off or that is missing a page or two throughout the book. If I ordered such a book, I would return it, and I'm thankful that audible allows returns. This one is going back. It's a shame the poor editing can ruin such a fascinating story.
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- A. Potter

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-20-2005
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio