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Download Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them Audiobook, by Donovan Hohn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,416 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Donovan Hohn Narrator: Christopher Evan Welch Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781461804024
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A revelatory tale of science, adventure, and modern myth.

When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. Hohn’s accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories.

Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable. With each new discovery, Hohn learns of another loose thread, and with each successive chase, he comes closer to understanding where his castaway quarry comes from and where it goes. In the grand tradition of Tony Horwitz and David Quammen, Moby-Duck is a compulsively readable narrative of whimsy and curiosity.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This dazzles from start to finish.”

    Booklist, starred review
  • One of the 2011 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Karlee | 2/18/2014

    " Way too much detail. A snoozer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Koz | 2/9/2014

    " A book that, at the start, is about a bunch of rubber ducks tumbling into the ocean, becomes a story of the ocean itself. It's a full book, in the best sense of the word, and it passes that fullness onto the reader. I, for one, will never think about bath time the same way again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monna | 2/6/2014

    " Very enjoyable. I loved the mix of quest, science, and travel. I had no idea of the extent of plastic pollution in the oceans! The book reminds me of the best of another favorite nonfiction author, Tony Horwitz. The narrator was excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lydia | 1/31/2014

    " If the title is any indication, this guy sure likes to hear himself talk. It took concerted effort on my part to get through some sections without skimming or skipping pages outright. There is some good information in between the drivel, but it is often hard to pick it out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne Auckerman | 1/28/2014

    " Interesting book and I am glad that I read it--but the author was continually going off on tangents, some fascinating about ocean currents, storms, waves, etc, but I think he managed to insert most of Moby Dick in the book with quotes and comparisons, one very lengthy commentary about fatherhood examples in Moby Dick and the author's fatherhood based on how the birth of his son had impacted him. (Obviously not a lot, since he had quit his job and was off in the Artic researching this book when the child was born and an infant.) The author was a high school English teacher focusing on poetry and so there is some poetry written by him in the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/23/2014

    " Good overall, but dragged at times - the author can be very wordy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 1/22/2014

    " Started well and then fell apart. Way, way too long. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 David Drickhamer | 1/20/2014

    " Starting with the prologue, Moby-Duck is mostly about the author, and secondarily about the story. It's too bad, I was interested in the latter, but not the former. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jinksb | 1/15/2014

    " A delight to read. I look forward to Hohn's next adventure, whatever it might be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Cox | 1/7/2014

    " A brilliant and wide-ranging book--well worth reading! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sheila Wall | 12/9/2013

    " I liked it, liked it, liked it and then it was too much and went on too long. Didn't really finish, barely skimmed the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Phil | 10/18/2013

    " Not the best book about oceans or ocean currents I've read. The author also has a derogatory way of describing people that he interacted with that I don't care for. These folks were helping you on your journey, dude... they deserved to be described nicely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 9/20/2013

    " Information-heavy and a bit tangential at times, but an overall interesting, entertaining read. Hohn takes something as simple as a rubber duck and leads us into a world of ships, factories, and scientific characters, fueled, quite simply, by his own curiosity and passion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Myra | 9/1/2013

    " While there was a lot of information in here, it wasn't as interesting or amusing as I had hoped, and it didn't really all seem to come together in the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kirsten | 5/23/2013

    " The writing style is godawful. Like reading a Victorian writer with ADHD. I won't be finishing this. I can't believe it got such good reviews. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dani | 3/28/2013

    " This is not a bad book. Actually, it was quite informative. It was just dry. Terribly dry and slow paced. So although I had it out from the library for 9 weeks, I only got about halfway and eventually had to return it. Maybe someday I'll try to finish it, but I doubt it.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachelle | 2/19/2013

    " couldn't/wouldn't finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 6/23/2012

    " Just when you think you're well informed, you learn something new. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Noyes | 2/18/2012

    " started kind of slow, but picked up, tremendously engaging throughout. Ending kind of weak. Page 129, the background of the "crying Indian" ad is maybe worth the entire book! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tina | 11/17/2011

    " I loved the title and premise of this book, but the execution was uninteresting, so I eventually stopped listening to it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 11/6/2011

    " A subject with interesting potential utterly ruined by the author. It was a shame to see this topic bungled by terrible and meandering writing. Where was the editor? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Miriam | 5/19/2011

    " It drags in places. That's why it only got two stars. I like the idea of the book and I enjoyed the information and story inside, but it ranges far from the ducks that started the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jinksb | 5/3/2011

    " A delight to read. I look forward to Hohn's next adventure, whatever it might be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 4/23/2011

    " book has a lot of information about climate change and locales where that is evident plus the danger of plastic to the oceans. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tina | 4/22/2011

    " I loved the title and premise of this book, but the execution was uninteresting, so I eventually stopped listening to it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 4/19/2011

    " I really enjoyed this. Wonderful story, though slightly depressing at times, but entertainingly told. I learned a lot about plastics, oceans, rubber ducks, and any number of other things. Highly recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 4/15/2011

    " The first half or so was riveting...and there was enough of interest through the end to keep going. "

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About the Author
Author Donovan Hohn

Donovan Hohn is a recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award, NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, Hopwood Award in essay and poetry, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship. His work has appeared in Harper’s, New York Times Magazine, Outside, and The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 2. A former English teacher and former senior editor of Harper’s, he is now the features editor of GQ. He lives in New York with his wife and sons.