The Whale

The Whale

In Search of the Giants of the Sea

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
4
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"Unpredictable and amusing and informative and original, cavorting between biology, history, travel writing, and memoir."

--Mark Kurlansky

The Whale by Philip Hoare is a enthralling and eye-opening literary leviathan swimming in similar bestselling waters as Cod and The Secret Life of Lobsters . Winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, The Whale is a lively travelogue through the history, literature, and lore of the king of the sea--the remarkable mammals that we human beings have long been fascinated with, from Moby Dick to Free Willy . Bestselling author and naturalist Bernd Heinrich calls it, "a moving and extraordinary book," and Hoare's sparkling account of swimming with these incredible behemoths will delight whale and wildlife aficionados, lovers of the sea and sea stories, as well as the socially and environmentally conscious reader.

Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2010.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780061976216
0061976210
Characteristics: 453 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.

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IV27HUjg
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.

k
kalio
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

a
allanmiller
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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