The whale is the largest, loudest, oldest animal ever to have existed. It is improbable, amazing and - as anyone who has seen an underwater documentary or visited the display at the American Museum of Natural Historycan attest - a powerful source of wonder and delight to millions.
The Whale is an extraordinary journey into the world of this fascinating and mysterious animal. Acclaimed writer Philip Hoare visits the historic whale-hunting towns of New Bedford and Nantucket, wanders the streets of London and Liverpool in search of Melville's whaling inspiration, and swims with sperm whales in the middle of the Atlantic. Through the course of his journey he explores the troubled history of man and whale; traces the whale's cultural history from Jonah to Moby-Dick, Pinocchio to Free Willy; and seeks to discover why these strange and beautiful animals continue to exert such a powerful grip on our imagination. A blend of the travel and nature writing in the tradition of Jonathan Raban and John McPhee, The Whale is a gripping voyage into the heart of Hoare’s obsession - and ours.
"[A]deeply moving and thought-provoking biography of the planet’s toughest, yet most vulnerable of prehistoric survivors. The Whale takes us well beyond the limits of what we can see, hear or otherwise objectively "know" about whales, and offers a much more vivid sense of their true magnitude." (Amazon.com review)
"This tour de force is a sensuous biography of the great mammals that range on and under Earth's oceans." (Publishers Weekly)
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Some great insights, but too much digression
DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY ON THIS