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Extended Audio Sample The Voyage of the Narwhal, by Andrea Barrett Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,201 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrea Barrett Narrator: Peter Riegert Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Capturing a crucial moment in the history of exploration, the mid-nineteenth century romance with the Arctic, Andrea Barrett focuses on a particular expedition and its accompanying scholar-naturalist, Erasmus Darwin Wells. Through his eyes, we meet the Narwhal’s crew and its commander--obsessed with the search for an open polar sea—and encounter the far north culture of the Esquimaux. In counterpoint, we see the women left behind in Philadelphia, explorers only in imagination. Together, those who travel and those who stay weave a web of myth and mystery. And they finally discover—as all explorers do—not what was always there and never needed discovering, but the state of their own souls.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/19/2014

    " highest rating from me. terrific book, well told story with provocative historical backdrop, filled with a history of late 19th century ideas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Susan | 2/11/2014

    " A story about a 19th century Arctic exploration - but also what comes before & after the expedition. The ethics of gathering relics, the jousting for discoveries, the treatment of native people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jama | 2/7/2014

    " A postmodern take on 19th century exploring expeditions. Thoughtful and engrossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by J9nnorm | 1/13/2014

    " This was really interesting. I enjoyed learning about exploration at the last turn of the century. I don't know how much of the facts presented were really true but I felt I learned many things from this book. AND I got to go on a trip far away & long ago. "

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