Journey to the End of the Whale

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Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005 - Travel - 250 pages
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'I was not yet grown up but I had already grasped the significance of the whale stone┐It had shaped my past, it had shrouded my dead, it would form my future, it was memory and prophesy, affirmation and warning alike. An ambition was born in me to allow no one but myself to become the hero of my own life.'

For Daniel Serraz, born on a ferry in the Straits of Malacca, orphaned two years later when his parents are lost at sea, the world beneath the waves holds an irresistible fascination.

Raised in Geneva by his hydrophobic grandmother, his boyish imagination stirred by the local pet-shop's aquaria, Daniel free-floats with life's currents into a career in insurance and marriage to Japanese interpreter Kozue. But ominous truths are re-surfacing, bound up with the legend of his whale-hunter great-grandfather and his parents' disappearance off the Indonesian coast. When calamity scars his marriage and devastates his health, at the risk of his own survival, Daniel pursues his sea-borne destiny to the far-flung island of Lefˇ, where whales are still hunted by century-old methods and native superstition tells of a mythical makhluk istimewa, an 'extraordinary creature' still inhabiting the surrounding seas┐

Beautiful, moving, awe-inspiring and wise, this is a tale of courage and personal doom, of a man's journey of self-discovery to the edge of the world, to the brink of himself, to the truth of his origins, to the end of the whale.

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About the author (2005)

John David Morley is the critically acclaimed author of Pictures from the Water Trade - an Englishman in Japan, and The Feast of Fools ('the glittering prose is enchanting' - The Times)

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