In the Heart of the Sea

  • by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Narrated by Edward Herrmann
  • 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the 19th century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the 20th. 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, 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.


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


If you like history and are intrigued by the sea, then please give this book a listen. I learned so much about the history of trade, as well as the whaling industry. The book is a fast listen, and a story that couldn't have been written better as fiction. The narrator did a fine job as well.
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Very Interesting

I bought this one on a whim not having much to do with or knowledge of Nantuckett or whaling. I found it very captivating and quite entertaining. The historical accounts of the surviving crew members and Nantuckett in general was a great touch to the main portion of the book. Made me want to visit the museum.
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- Vincent

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-13-2005
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio