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.
Leviathan - Philip Hoare
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