The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Deep

Philip Hoare, Author . Ecco $27.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-197621-6

A young boy’s first glimpse of a whale in captivity matures into a writer’s paean to the giants of the deep in this poetic blend of nautical history, literary allusion, personal experience, and natural science by British biographer Hoare (Noël Coward ). With Melville as his mentor and Ishmael as his muse, the author haunts one-time whaling town New Bedford, Mass., America’s richest city in the mid–19th century thanks to whale oil and baleen (whalebone); recreates the cramped life on board the whalers of 200 years ago; weaves writing about whales by Emerson and Poe into his narrative; and finally revels in face-to-fin encounters with his obsession, swimming with the whales in the Atlantic. Though Hoare rhapsodizes most about the fabled sperm whale, the world’s largest predator with a history dating back 23 million years, he also describes with succinct precision other species—the beaked, blue, fin, humpback, and the killer whale, the sperm whale’s only nonhuman predator. This tour de force is a sensuous biography of the great mammals that range on and under Earth’s oceans. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/07/2009
Release date: 02/01/2010
Genre: Pick of the Week
Paperback - 453 pages - 978-0-06-197620-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61657-692-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-1571-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4001-6571-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-4001-4571-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4001-9571-8
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-06-199261-2
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