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Download The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, by Mark Kurlansky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,363 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Kurlansky Narrator: Tom Stechschulte Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky tells the remarkable story of New York by following the trajectory of one of its most fascinating inhabitants–the oyster.
For centuries New York was famous for this particular shellfish, which until the early 1900s played such a dominant a role in the city’s life that the abundant bivalves were Gotham’s most celebrated export, a staple food for all classes, and a natural filtration system for the city’s congested waterways.

Filled with cultural, historical, and culinary insight–along with historic recipes, maps, drawings, and photos–this dynamic narrative sweeps readers from the seventeenth-century founding of New York to the death of its oyster beds and the rise of America’s environmentalist movement, from the oyster cellars of the rough-and-tumble Five Points slums to Manhattan’s Gilded Age dining chambers. With The Big Oyster, Mark Kurlansky serves up history at its most engrossing, entertaining, and delicious.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ruben | 2/15/2014

    " Interesting history of the oyster in America that was entertaining but at times too concerned with US history. Many parts of the book--especially within part 1--read as if the author was writing a history of New York and would merely sprinkle references about oysters that fit the time period he was discussing. That is not true for the entirety of part 1, but there are many instances where Kurlansky delves into US history so much that he neglects the oyster. Part 2, on the other hand, was very precise and focused, really giving you the sense of the oyster's place in America from colonial times to the present. I would give it an additional half-star if able. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sias | 1/31/2014

    " An interesting and entertaining account of the oyster industry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Steven R. | 1/29/2014

    " I'm addicted to books like this, what can I say. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bridgid | 1/28/2014

    " Once again Kurlansky makes the trivial fascinating. I enjoyed his method of tracing social, natural and cultural history through a single object. Now I want to feast on oysters (but none from New York City!) "

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