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Leviathan, or The Whale

by Philip Hoare
£8.99   paperback  HarperCollins Publishers (2009)

Leviathan, or The Whale by Philip Hoare The story of a man’s obsession with whales, which takes him on a personal, historical and biographical journey – from his childhood to his fascination with Moby-Dick and his excursions whale-watching.
 
All his life, Philip Hoare has been obsessed by whales, from the gigantic skeletons in London’s Natural History Museum to adult encounters with the wild animals themselves. Whales have a mythical quality – they seem to elide with dark fantasies of sea-serpents and antediluvian monsters that swim in our collective unconscious.
 
In Leviathan, Philip Hoare seeks to locate and identify this obsession. What impelled Melville to write ‘Moby-Dick’? After his book in 1851, no one saw whales in quite the same way again. This book is an investigation into what we know little about – dark, shadowy creatures who swim below the depths, only to surface in a spray of spume. More than the story of the whale, it is also the story of our own obsessions.

ISBN 13: 9780007230143 | ISBN 10: 0007230141