Tuesday, on the subway, I finished up Owen Chase’s The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex. It’s an absolutely crazy account, although I guess not that crazy since it did actually happen. Basically, the case of the
Chase’s account is very to the point and factual, without any frills or over embellishing, but that’s part of what makes it so great. Even though the reader knows that it must have been an absolutely harrowing experience, we are spared the crews inner thoughts and spoken words, and thus the work doesn’t begin to take on the veneer of fiction. I believe that it would be very difficult for a reader (at least me anyway) to stay attached to this story if there was too much detail; it would be just too graphic and desperate. However, if you like that sort of thing, there is also Nathanial Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. I’m not sure I can read that one though.
I began reading
Now we’re back to