"When the lookout gives the signal, the rocket shoots into the air and 'Baleia Baleia is shouted from house to house; withing minutes the whaleboats are manned, launched and heading for the open sea. This is the scene when a whale is sighted at Horta, on the island of Fayal in the Azores, the only place [at the time of publication] from which the sperm whale is still hunted with the hand harpoon in small open boats, with only oars and sails and paddles, as it has been almost continuously since the first whaleboats crossed the Atlantic from Nantucket in 1765... The climax of the urgency pervading this book is the hunt itself, and the author gives an enthralling account of how the struggle, far out to sea, is brought silently and desperately to a finish, before the whale is towed home for the final cutting-in, the trying-out, and all the complex operations of the factory. Mr Venables follows every move in highly technical detail, and his descriptions of the hunt and kill have a gruesome reality." Many good illustrations by Bernard Venables, rather in the manner - appropriately enough - of those by Tunnicliffe and Sheppard in The Old Man and The Sea.