The Whale

The Whale

In Search of the Giants of the Sea

Book - 2010
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A lively travelogue through the history, literature, and lore of the king of the sea. Since his childhood fascination with the gigantic Natural History Museum model of a blue whale, author Philip Hoare has been obsessed with whales. Journeying through human and natural history, this book is the result of his voyage of discovery into the heart of this obsession. Taking us deep into their domain, Hoare shows us these mysterious creatures as they have never been seen before--Hoare's sparkling account of swimming with these incredible behemoths will delight wildlife aficionados. And following in Ishmael's footsteps, he explores the troubled history of man and whale; visits the historic whaling locales of New Bedford, Nantucket, and the Azores; and traces the whale's cultural history from Jonah to Free Willy.
Publisher: New York : Ecco Press, ©2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780061976216
Characteristics: 453 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.


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Aug 19, 2015

Small print, ebook, CD, AD.

This is hard for me to rate of the audio download form because he sounds like he's reading in a giant metal tank or a phone booth. The subject matter would be interesting, but when he got to the part describing watching a Beluga whale in a tank I stopped from angst. Early 18th C study of whales was so understandably primitive I shuddered in disgust. Having personally watched Gray Whales off Mexico & so many TV programs these mighty creatures are magnificent.

Mar 01, 2011

Spellbound by the model of the blue whale at the Natural History Museum and inspired by the elusive white whale in Herman Melville?s classic novel Moby-Dick, biographer Philip Hoare turns his attention to his favorite subject: whales. Combining science, nature, history, literature, and personal experience, Hoare waxes poetic about all things whale. From the creation of that infamous whale model to the arctic narwhal?s horn to the exotic uses of ambergris (not to mention explaining what exactly ambergris is), The Whale is an eloquent exploration of our enthrallment with the giant beasts of the deep. Hoare delights in little known facts, curious anecdotes, historical photographs, and elegant illustrations to round out his portrait of the ages-long relationship between man and the original sea monster. Winner of the 2009 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for nonfiction, you?ll have a whale of a time reading The Whale (sorry; couldn?t resist!).

ser_library Jul 03, 2010

many pages, but a quick read because the subject matter is interesting and its organization and presentation are well done. the many illustrations are a bonus.

i loved the references to Moby Dick

unfortunately some of those to whom i have highly recommended this title have found it a slog

May 11, 2010

One of the best non-fiction books I have read. A blend of history and science and sociology, concentrating on the interactions of whales and humans. A lot of delightful arcana.

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