The Last Whalers by Doug Bock Clark

The Last Whalers

A "magnificent book" (Sebastian Junger) and "monumental achievement" (Mitchell Zuckoff) that tells the epic story of the world's last subsistence whalers and the threats posed to a tribe on the brink "An extraordinary feat of reportage and illumination." --Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams. "From the very first lines, I was riveted." --Robert Moor, On Trails. "A true work of art . . . Lyrically written and richly observed." --Michael Finkel, Th...

Details The Last Whalers

TitleThe Last Whalers
Release DateJan 8th, 2019
PublisherLittle, Brown and Company
GenreNonfiction, Environment, Nature, Anthropology

Reviews The Last Whalers

  • Wonjun Lee
    The Last Whalers is an absolutely extraordinary work. Clark’s portrayal of the Lamalerans, a hunter-gatherer tribe inhabiting a remote Indonesian island, is both fascinating and moving. He expertly shows how the Lamalerans hunt the largest carnivore in history, the sperm whale, using centuries-old technology. By having lived amongst the tribe across three years, the author is able to describe the hunts in stunning and dramatic detail, with the ...
  • Alex
    Remarkable. Clark paints a vivid and unflinching portrait of life for a community in Indonesia that is - in ways large and small - wrestling with their hunter-gatherer past and an encroaching modern culture. Rather than romanticize the indigenous for its own sake (as many Westerners seem prone to), Clark allows the community to share their own multi-faceted views on their they were, as they are, and as they imagine them to be. A true a...
  • Liana
    This is a rich and wonderfully crafted book. Clark does an excellent job of laying out the intricacies of the tribe's history, blending of local beliefs and Catholicism, personal relationships, and factors pushing individual people and larger change. There is a lot of detail, but he creates a story that allowed me to still keep track of all the players and micro and macro scales described. Certain situations were painted with such amazing detail ...
  • Rachel Jackson
    I received The Last Whalers as an advanced readers' copy in exchange for a Goodreads review, and I regret to record that I had to abandon this book about 100 pages into it. I absolutely abhor giving up books before finishing them, and I don't close them for good without serious thought on the matter. But try as I might, I could not engage myself with Doug Bock Clark's writing at all. The idea behind the book was fascinating, and why I entered the...
  • David
    Clark lives among the Lamalerans, a hunter-gatherer group in Eastern Indonesia. They have merged Catholicism and their own beliefs to interpret a changing world. They are especially identified via their whale hunts and their truly cooperative and democratic way of life. But that lifestyle is under great pressure from the industrialized world.Clark presents a vibrant picture of this world by focusing on several people, men and women, younger and o...
  • Allie
    The author has the rare gift of weaving together years of stories and collective memories into a flowing, eloquent narrative. By the end of the book, I felt that I really knew the characters, flaws, strengths and all. I can’t wait to read future works by Clark!
  • Verne
    Great book.
  • Jk
    I received a free advance reading copy of this book via the Goodreads Giveaways program and would like to thank anyone involved in making that happen!I am completely fascinated by indigenous cultures and this book provides a stunning look inside the Lamaleran tribe of whale hunters in Indonesia. It follows the stories of a few families over a period of several years and focuses on how the Lamalerans as a group are struggling with ever encroaching...
  • John
    Excellent writing and research! Just started a few days ago, but I love the story and history of the whale hunter culture!