Nathaniel Philbrick
Penguin, New York, 2001, English
Nonfiction, General
ISBN: 9780141001821

From the Publisher. In 1819, the 238-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage to hunt whales. Fifteen months later the Essex was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale. Fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, the 20-man crew set out in three small boats for South America, almost 3,000 miles away. Three months later, only eight were left alive. This book shares a fantastic saga of survival and adventure, steeped in the lore of the whaling tradition, with deep resonance in literature and American history, and in the life of the Nantucket community.

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Greg Lynn

September 2013. The ironic story of how a ship avoided sailing a short distance to a tropical paradise for fear of cannibals only later to have those on the boat cannibalize one another after uncounted days at sea. It is all uphill after the first paragraph, describing the discovery of the last two survivors sitting in a boat full of bones.

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