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Jenny's Book Bag

I'm an avid reader, writer, and blogger. I have a diverse taste in books, everything from new releases to classics.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nathaniel Philbrick 3.5 Stars

This was so sad. It could have been four-stars, but I don’t think Scott Brick has the right voice to narrate this book. His voice made it sound like he was reading a financial statement instead of a true story about a horrific event.

I broke my own rule by seeing the movie before reading the book, but in this case, it worked out well. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, go see it. This book is very detailed and graphic, especially about the crew’s physical conditions as they were slowly dying from starvation and dehydration. You have to have a strong will to survive to endure what they experienced. They were stuck in these tiny boats for over 90 days and this was back in 1820.

Sometimes the writing was too matter-of-fact, but that may be because I read more fiction than nonfiction. Some of you who read mostly nonfiction may not have a problem with the writing style. There were moments that I thought should have been extremely emotional, but they didn’t sound like they were.

I don’t think I will ever use the expression, “I’m starving” ever again. Seriously. I’m not trying to make light of this because this event was devastating. We use that expression so loosely, but we really don’t know what it’s truly like to starve and I’m grateful for that. I don’t know if I could have survived this is if I was one of them because this is one of the worst ways to die — a slow, agonizing death. They survived off of mostly bread and water, but the rations were practically nothing. When someone died, they had to make a decision about whether they were going to partake in cannibalism.

I’ve never read Moby Dick. Since high school, people have been telling me that it’s boring. I’m glad I didn’t read it back then because I wouldn’t have appreciated it the way that I will now. Now that I’ve read the book and have seen the movie, Moby Dick will be on my short list this year.

History fans will enjoy this one and anyone who enjoyed the movie.