The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea (Paperback)
"A love letter to the 'largest, loudest, oldest' mammal ever to have existed...exhilarating." -People Magazine
Winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction,
From his childhood fascination with the gigantic Natural History Museum model of a blue whale, to his abiding love of Moby-Dick, to his adult encounters with the living animals in the Atlantic Ocean, the acclaimed writer Philip Hoare has been obsessed with whales. The Whale is his unforgettable and moving attempt to explain why these strange and beautiful animals exert such a powerful hold on our imagination.
An enthralling and eye-opening literary leviathan swimming in similar bestselling waters as Cod and The Secret Life of Lobsters. The Whale is a lively travelogue through the history, literature, and lore of the king of the sea—the remarkable mammals that we human beings have long been fascinated with, from Moby Dick to Free Willy.
Bestselling author and naturalist Bernd Heinrich calls it, “a moving and extraordinary book,” and Hoare’s sparkling account of swimming with these incredible behemoths will delight whale and wildlife aficionados, lovers of the sea and sea stories, as well as the socially and environmentally conscious reader.
About the Author
Philip Hoare is the author of biographies of Stephen Tennant and Noël Coward and the historical studies Wilde's Last Stand, Spike Island and England's Lost Eden. He is also the writer and presenter of the BBC Arena film, The Hunt for Moby-Dick. He lives in Southampton, England.
âGenius âŠ THE WHALE (is) a rhapsodic mediation on all things cetacean. Hoare is always on the lookout for the revealing detail. He also has a finely tuned sense of perspective and pacing.â — Nathaniel Philbrick, New York Times Book Review
â[Hoareâs] work is rigorous, something every serious student of whales--and, more widely conceived, of the natural world--will want to have at hand.â — Washington Post
âHoare is a splendid writer and a beguiling guide. I found the spell (he) casts powerful and difficult to shake.â — Cleveland Plain Dealer
âYou donât have to love Moby Dick to love this book. But if you do, THE WHALE is probably one of the most sublime reading experiences youâll have this year.â — NPR's All Things Considered
âA love letter to the âlargest, loudest, oldestâ mammal ever to have existed, Brit biographer Hoareâs book romps through science, history and literature to chronicle his obsession with the mighty whale. Salted with astounding facts (the calls of blue whales were one mistaken for earthquakes), this is an exhilarating valentine.â — People
âPhilip Hoareâs THE WHALE is everything you want from a book. It is unpredictable and amusing and informative and original, cavorting between biology, history, travel writing, and memoir with an engaging sense of the subjectâs charisma. And the book is even handsome.â — Mark Kurlansky, author of SALT and COD
âThis singular, magnificent book inspires both awe and shameâawe of the whales, shame of the human species that has tried to destroy them. In the end, Hoareâs virtuosic sympathy for his subject makes you believe in the better angels of our nature.â — Alex Ross, bestselling author of THE REST IS NOISE
âPhilip Hoareâs writing is quite untrammelled by convention and opens up astonishing views at every turn.â — W.G. Sebald
âA wonderful read!... Hoare magnificently weaves together his own experiences with stories about literary giants whose writings were inspired by whalesâMelville, Hawthone, and Thoreauâand he captures the utter beauty, size, and power of the whale.â — Lynne Cox, author of GRAYSON
âA love letter to the âlargest, loudest, oldestâ mammal ever to have existed....Salted with astounding facts...this is an exhilarating valentine.â — People