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Download The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea, by Philip Hoare Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (567 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Philip Hoare Narrator: Michael Page Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The whale is the largest, loudest, oldest animal ever to have existed. It is improbable, amazing, and—as anyone who has seen an underwater documentary or visited the display at the American Museum of Natural History can attest—a powerful source of wonder and delight to millions. The Whale is an extraordinary journey into the world of this fascinating and mysterious animal.

Acclaimed writer Philip Hoare visits the historic whale-hunting towns of New Bedford and Nantucket, wanders the streets of London and Liverpool in search of Melville’s whaling inspiration, and swims with sperm whales in the middle of the Atlantic. Through the course of his journey, he explores the troubled history of man and whale; traces the whale’s cultural history from Jonah to Moby-Dick, Pinocchio to Free Willy; and seeks to discover why these strange and beautiful animals continue to exert such a powerful grip on our imagination.

A blend of the travel and nature writing in the tradition of Jonathan Raban and John McPhee, The Whale is a gripping voyage into the heart of Hoare’s obsession—and ours.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This tour de force is a sensuous biography of the great mammals that range on and under Earth’s oceans.”

    Publishers Weekly, starred review

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Joel A. | 2/8/2014

    " kind of boring for such a fascinating subject because it's a lot of Hoare's ruminations about how magnificent and awesome whales are. But all that crap writing aside, this book is totally worth it for Hoare's steamy rehashing of Melville's totally pervy homoerotic whaling adventures and how he used them to seduce Hawthorne. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Roland | 2/8/2014

    " Can't believe it could be as interesting as it was. Great writer. Bonus: Author weaves Herman Melville and Moby Dick into the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bookmarks Magazine | 1/30/2014

    " Hoare's obsession with whales results in a fascinating exploration of the whale's role in literature, history, travel, science, and society. In his attempt to understand the whale's ""mysterious narrative power,"" Hoare uses Moby-Dick as his touchstone, but he explores other writers' perceptions and descriptions of whales as well. He is a fascinating, quirky, compelling writer, but The Whale, though filled with scientific fact, will likely interest more literary types. A few critics commented that Hoare's fervor sometimes gets the better of him, and his anthropomorphism irked others. Above all, however, The Whale is a worthy mediation on the power of the endangered whale and the mysteries of nature. This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stephen | 1/23/2014

    " A fine, if at times dispiriting meditation on the (essentially) modern history of our relationship with whales, a history that has until recently been more marked by indiscriminate slaughter than compassion or understanding. At times the book feels like a companion piece to Moby-Dick (how could it not?) and Hoare's biographical chapter on Melville is moving. Despite some reservations - Hoare seems too eager to attempt the clever turn of phrase at the expense of sustaining a cogent argument - it is a fine book, and one that fills the reader with necessary wonder. "

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About the Author

Philip Hoare is the author of several books, including Serious Pleasures: The Life of Stephen Tennant, Noel Coward: A Biography, Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand, Spike Island, and England’s Lost Eden. He lives in Hoxton, London, and Southampton, and each summer visits Cape Cod, where, as a member of the Center for Coastal Studies, he undertakes twice-daily expeditions to watch its whales.