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  • Writer's pictureJulia C. Lewis

Whalefall: A Review

336 pages, Hardcover

Expected publication August 8, 2023

5/5 Stars


After reading Whalefall by Daniel Kraus, you can go ahead and add "being swallowed by a Sperm Whale and trapped in its stomach" to the list of things I'm now terrified of. Look, isn't it enough that I suffer from Thalassophobia and the idea of diving around the ocean gives me all sorts of goosebumps? No. Somehow I thought it would be a great idea to follow Jay Gardiner on his trip deep down into the waters and look for the remains of his father. Each new watery incident gave me another dose of anxiety, and with each falling PSI I could feel my pulse pick up. Let's just say this book is even parts terrifying and heartwrenching.

Kraus does an amazing job connecting the thoughts and experiences Jay has on his unfortunate diving trip to the memories he shares with his now-deceased father. Whether these memories are difficult or light-hearted, each of them paves Jay's way into the depth of the Pacific Ocean in his unexpected vessel. Whalefall is a powerful journey about coming to terms with the death of a parent and overcoming the resentment felt for them throughout childhood. It truly is a masterpiece.

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