With the recent popularity of the TV show "Survivor," the movie The Perfect Storm, and the Shackelton exhibits and books, IN THE HEART OF THE SEA shines as the best of the best. Scott Brick's soothingly melodious voice is perfect for this tale of the experiences of the 20 man crew of the Essex as the 238-ton whaler headed for the open ocean from its safe harbor in 1819, the height of whaling on the Quaker Island of Nantucket.This book is more than a journal of whaling and whalers, it is a chronology of whale facts, of ships, and of the men who sailed and lived whaling. This is a factual account, based on stories told to family and friends as well as journal writings, of the 15 months of the Essex journey and the three months that followed.This emotional telling is full of facts, dates, history, religious beliefs, leadership, and men struggling to survive in the face of incredible odds --- the men of the whaleship Essex can teach us much about life. Nathaniel Philbrick has crafted a chronology for the ages that is not easily heard, as it challenges the listener to question his or her own actions and at every turn to do the right thing. It is a rewarding story, and there are lessons to be learned. As always, enjoy!
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher on October 9, 2000
In the Heart of the Sea