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  • Atlantic

  • Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories
  • Written by: Simon Winchester
  • Narrated by: Simon Winchester
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Atlantic

Written by: Simon Winchester
Narrated by: Simon Winchester
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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling author Simon Winchester comes the immense and thrilling story of the world's most mysterious and breathtaking natural wonder: the Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic is a biography of a tremendous space that has been central to the ambitions of explorers, scientists, and warriors, and continues to affect profoundly our character, attitudes, and dreams. Spanning the ocean's story, from its geological origins to the age of exploration, from World War II battles to today's struggles with pollution and over-fishing, Winchester's narrative is epic, intimate, and awe inspiring.

Until a thousand years ago, few humans ventured into the Atlantic or imagined traversing its vast infinity. But once the first daring mariners successfully navigated to its far shores - whether they were Vikings, the Irish, the Basques, John Cabot, or Christopher Columbus in the north, or the Portuguese and the Spanish in the south - the Atlantic swiftly evolved in the world's growing consciousness of itself as an enclosed body of water. Soon it became the fulcrum of Western civilization. More than a mere history, Atlantic is an unforgettable journey of unprecedented scope by one of the most gifted writers in the English language.

©2010 Simon Winchester (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Atlantic

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray
  • 2010-12-18

Starts Better Than it Finishes

The first half or so of the book is fantastic. I immediately put several of Winchester's books on my wish list. Unfortunately the book slides into a global warming boiler plate and never regains its initial grace. Regardless of one's view on climate change - and I agree that it is changing - this just isn't how the book was billed. So I wound up with a sack of oranges when I thought I was buying apples. Climate change activists that pick up the book because of a good review based on the book's climate credentials will be disappointed overall (though they will be happy that someone of Winchester's stature is championing the cause) and the reader just looking for a good historical story will be put off by the surreptitious nature of its activist message.

49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 2011-01-01

Another winner from Simon

I love Simon Winchester books. They are not for everyone though. If you are interested in trivia like what lured the Phoenicians out of the Mediterranean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean (mollusks that give off royal purple dye) and like the concept that the Atlantic Ocean has a history that is unbelievably interesting, this book is for you. Plus, I love Simon Winchester's reading.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy
  • 2010-11-12

a whale of a book

Atlantic is well researched, interesting and superbly narrated. Between the so very interesting details Winchester weaves together, ranging from geology to geography to science to the personalities, the story is captivating. Winchester's vibrancy of language, coupled with his wonderful voice, make this a most entertaining and very informative audiobook.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia
  • 2013-01-02

Stick it out for the second half

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I almost didn't finish this book, which is a rarity for me. The intro alone was 1 1/2 hrs long and the entire first part of the book seemed to be a snobbish name-dropping list of Atlantic coast towns and cities and his seeming assumption that everyone who reads his book is well traveled and has been to the same places. To have any idea of what the author is talking about you need to have, at the very least, an atlas beside you as you listen. He jumps from one place to another often quickly and doesn't say much of anything pertaining to the purpose of the book. However, the book redeems itself in the second half and turned out to be quite worth wading through to get there living up to it's advertising.
The author himself is a fine reader.

Has Atlantic turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Which character – as performed by Simon Winchester – was your favorite?

N/A

Could you see Atlantic being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Teej
  • 2019-12-30

Sail away ...

Simon Winchester does a fabulous job of narrating his own book. His accent is delightful and he puts emphasis in all the right places. I will never look at the Atlantic Ocean the same. It was a great listen very informative, as is all of his work

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TERRENCE P DUGAN
  • 2019-09-01

No Movie Here!

The mark of a great historical book is that there is no chance the dimwits in Hollywood will make a movie out of it. This book fits that bill, in a good way. Broad and in depth, the author covers the subject in an original way. As he does so well, in his other books, he makes the approach personal. From his own prospective, the author brings to life the myriad of characters within the story of this seemly inanimate geological feature. His narration is easy to listen to while being interesting and, dare I say, compelling.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gallantly Rabbit!
  • 2011-01-22

More of, brilliant, same.

Simon Winchester once again charms with an inspired framework and ever lilting tongue, wrapping the deep history of the Atlantic Ocean in beautiful language, personal narrative and a sprinkling of Kiplingesque turns of phrase. My only disappointment is that Winchester occasionally speaks with undue authoritative confidence about some ‘facts’ of history and science, without putting them in their rightfully muddied and complex context.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Frances
  • 2012-08-04

Couldn't finish this one

I loved Simon Winchester’s Krakatoa and thought I would like this as well. Unfortunately I found it unfocused and didn't like the first few stories. I usually finish books I start, but I abandoned this one early on. Maybe it gets better further into it?

Simon Winchesters voice is a delight to listen though.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James R. Ellis
  • 2011-10-08

Magnificant overview of the magestic Atlantic

Simon Winchester at his best. If you yearned for more books like Outposts (30 years ago) then this is a treasure. The author has had 30 years to refine his already great skill with prose into a truly unique view of the Atlantic Ocean. A must read for everyone! William Manchester glanced off the topic in a World Lit By Fire but Winchester hits his target right on. I have an English professor friend who refuses to go on the the next Winchester book until she has relished every word. That person is now four books behind in reading and has yet to get to Krakatoa or the Man Who Loved China. What a loss.
Thank you Simon Winchester once again. Maybe a book about Chaucer and Phillipa next?

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ross Smillie
  • 2019-06-29

endlessly informative and entertaining

loved this book. Winchester both writes and narrates with both great sweep of historical perspective and fascinating detail

1 person found this helpful