The Whale by Philip Hoare
In Search of the Giants of the Sea

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Synopsis

“Unpredictable and amusing and informative and original, cavorting between biology, history, travel writing, and memoir.”

—Mark Kurlansky

 

The Whale by Philip Hoare is a enthralling and eye-opening literary leviathan swimming in similar bestselling waters as Cod and The Secret Life of Lobsters. Winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, 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 Philip Hoare

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Philip Hoare is the author of biographies of Stephen Tennant and Noel 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.
 
Published March 5, 2010 by HarperCollins e-books. 468 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Whale

Kirkus Reviews

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The author approaches his subject with fascination, with the creatures themselves, but also their environment: the ports that grew in their wake, the literature they spawned and, of course, the ocean, captured by Thoreau just the way Hoare likes it—“a wilderness reaching around the globe, wilder ...

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The New York Times

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Philip Hoare haunts whaling destinations in a quest to understand the whale, the cosmos, “Moby-Dick” and himself.

Mar 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Guardian

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Leviathan or, The Whale by Philip Hoare Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Philip Hoare has always been afraid of deep water, yet is obs...

Jul 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Guardian

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A performing killer whale at Windsor Safari Park provided the young Philip Hoare with his first experience of whalekind, but it was a sad-eyed beluga whale in a tank at Coney Island ("a huge ghostly baby fixing me with its stare") that sparked a continuing fascination.

Sep 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Guardian

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Indeed, Hoare's initial reaction on seeing a whale from a boat doesn't shift much when, later in the book, he dives in to swim with a sperm whale and ends up peeing himself.

Aug 02 2009 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Washington Times

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Mr. Hoare’s book incorporates history, literary criticism, pieces of memoir and travel narrative, scientific considerations of the whale, the accounts of naturalists, scientists and former whalers, biographical sketches of famous whale men, excerpts from great and obscure writers about whales, hi...

Apr 23 2010 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Independent

Philip Hoare is obsessed with whales.

Oct 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Telegraph

and anyone who writes about whales (or the sea or the great American novel) must find a way of avoiding a Zelig-like prose transference, where their writing morphs into second-rate Melville.

Oct 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Telegraph

Hoare is equally fascinated by the antiquity of the whale, by its mythological force (think of Jonah, of the Biblical image of 'Leviathan'), and by the brevity of our acquaintance with its life-habits - only with the invention of underwater photography a generation ago did we begin to see whales ...

Oct 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

Christian Science Monitor

Their ranks include some of the largest animals in the world and the loudest – if only we had the capacity to hear mating calls that can travel across the entire Atlantic Ocean.

Feb 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Philip Hoare has written a biography of Noel Coward and the history of a British military hospital, but The Whale is the book he was meant for.

Feb 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

Science News

Before the discovery and widespread use of petroleum and natural gas, oil from sperm whales lit major cities from London to New York, making the whaling port of New Bedford, Mass., the richest city in America for a while.

Jun 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

The Blurb

Philip Hoare is one of those authors who, like Geoff Dyer, would provide a great subject for a sweepstake: What will their next book be about?

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British Diver

Dominion – A Whale Symposium is a beautiful and thought-provoking look at the whale and its place alongside human existence over the last few centuries.

Oct 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Whale: In Search of the G...

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