4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The real events behind stories aren't always dull,
This review is from: In the Heart of the Sea: The Epic True Story that Inspired 'Moby Dick' (Paperback)
The sinking of the whale-ship Essex is the real life event that inspired Melville's fantastic narrative "Moby-Dick". In his book Philbrick shows that the real life happenings are almost as thrilling as the book Melville made of them.
Philbrick takes great care in setting the scene: who was who and what they did on the ship. He explains whaling in some detail. I was for example surprised to find out that five people can sail a big ship like a whaler, if needs be.
Unlike "Moby-Dick" the book concentrates less on the whaling adventures on the Essex, but more on everything that happened after the Essex was 'stove by a whale'. That is a tale of the tortured survival of a few crew members in an open boat with little to no food except for their own flesh.
Written in a very matter of fact style, but with sympathy for his protagonists, this is a very good read that is highly recommended to all people who enjoyed "Moby-Dick" or are interested in whaling.