In the Heart of the Sea - Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Heart of the Sea

By Nathaniel Philbrick

  • Release Date: 2000-05-08
  • Genre: History
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 553 Ratings)


From the author of Mayflower, Valiant Ambition, and In the Hurricane's Eye--the riveting bestseller tells the story of the true events that inspired Melville's Moby-Dick

Winner of the National Book Award, Nathaniel Philbrick's book is a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of whaling, with deep resonance in American literature and history.

In 1820, the whaleship Essex was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale, leaving the desperate crew to drift for more than ninety days in three tiny boats. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents and vivid details about the Nantucket whaling tradition to reveal the chilling facts of this infamous maritime disaster. In the Heart of the Sea, recently adapted into a major feature film starring Chris Hemsworth, is a book for the ages.


  • Fascinating exciting educational.

    By susanb512
    Fascinating exciting educational. This book is a major page turner. Visiting Nantucket is high on my travel list now. Thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
  • Great Historical Detail

    By Dooooololol
    I remember reading this in 8th grade (by myself) and I remember being fascinated by the detail it got into, like the despair of the crew and how they had to decide to resort to cannibalism.
  • Well written

    By jennyswonderland
    Easy to get into the characters and their plight.
  • Great read!

    By John_Ervin
  • A cultural study

    By wildmick
    Very well written. Love the depiction of the Nantucket cultural system. Couldn't stop reading.
  • Incredible read

    By Cinrok
    Amazing true account of cannibalism and desperate tragedy and survival on the open sea after a New England whaling ship is attacked and sunk by a gigantic whale. Impeccably researched and well written. After reading this and "The Last Stand" back to back, Phlibrick has become among my favorite contemporary authors. Amazing book.
  • Heart of the Sea

    By Wdore
    Fascinating. Very readable.
  • Nantucketer's review

    By Skuppahs
    As an older Nantucket native I found this read to be an eye opening experience that is easily read from the 21st Centrist perspective while bringing to life the every day life of a Nantucketer in what now seems to be a very recent history.
  • Excellent

    By Johnnie Rules
    Great account of survival at sea!!