Saturday, December 31, 2005

50 Book Challenge #75: In the Heart of the Sea

For my last 50 Book Challenge selection, I picked In the Heart of the Sea, a dramatic tale of nautical woe. It tells the true story that inspired Moby-Dick: that of the Essex, a Nantucket whaling vessel attacked and sunk by an implacable cetacean. Thanks to their unwarranted fear of cannibals, the survivors of the Essex chose to sail against the prevailing winds and currents toward South America, instead of the one week voyage to Tahiti. After three months at sea, the remaining whalers were rescued from their tiny boats, but not before they resorted to cannibalism.

Philbrick does a good job of illustrating both the rigors of the whaler's life and the horror of the survivors' long trip home. If you liked Regina v. Dudley & Stephens, you will like this book.
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