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Download Compass: A Story of Exploration and Innovation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Compass: A Story of Exploration and Innovation Audiobook, by Alan Gurney Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (67 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alan Gurney Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2004 ISBN: 9781415921784
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From the time man first took to the seas until only one thousand years ago, sight and winds were the sailor’s only navigational aids. It was not until the development of the compass that maps and charts could be used with any accuracy—even so, it would be hundreds of years and thousands of shipwrecks before the marvelous instrument was perfected. Its history up to modern times is filled with the stories of disasters that befell sailors who misused it. In fascinating detail, Alan Gurney brings to life the story of the perfection of the essential navigational device—the instrument Victor Hugo called “the soul of the ship.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Looks as if it might do for magnetic north what Longitude did for, well, longitude.”

    Times (London)

  • “[An] engaging foray into vistas and voyages of the past.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An engaging sequence of stories for the maritime set.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiamat_the_red | 3/13/2013

    " Enjoyable, especially if you happen to like histories of tools like I do. Watching the evolution of such a basic thing is pretty fascinating. Interesting tidbits about the men involved and how much attention they paid to making connections with the right sorts of people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 10/24/2012

    " Great history of the evolution of this simple but critical outdoor device. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry | 10/12/2012

    " Good history book. Full of Knowledge we will need to know when we are the few to survive the Apocalypse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 5/31/2012

    " Very interesting, and much wider in scope than I ever expected. The author's style is very readable and often laugh-out-loud funny, and many of the personalities involved are stranger than any in fiction. Would be great for someone into sailing or maritime history. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 1/27/2012

    " Boring and poorly written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Curtiss | 11/8/2011

    " In intriguing chronicle of the development of the nautical compass. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J. | 9/12/2011

    " a good straight forward read about the history of the development of the compass. well done without excessive detail or discursiveness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richie | 7/15/2011

    " Overall a fairly interesting book on the history of the compass. I think this book would have been more enjoyable had I already had an understanding of the inner-workings of a compass. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ghostchaser | 6/3/2011

    " Good history book. Full of Knowledge we will need to know when we are the few to survive the Apocalypse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J. | 4/12/2011

    " a good straight forward read about the history of the development of the compass. well done without excessive detail or discursiveness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiamat_the_red | 11/4/2009

    " Enjoyable, especially if you happen to like histories of tools like I do. Watching the evolution of such a basic thing is pretty fascinating. Interesting tidbits about the men involved and how much attention they paid to making connections with the right sorts of people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Curtiss | 8/12/2009

    " In intriguing chronicle of the development of the nautical compass. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 8/13/2008

    " Great history of the evolution of this simple but critical outdoor device. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 3/11/2008

    " A look into the efforts to perfect the magnetic compass during the age of sail. Entertainingly written and highly informative. "

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About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.