One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
Winner of the RSL Encore Award
Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize
A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, New Statesman, Publishers Weekly, and Chicago Public Library
Behold the man: stinking, drunk, and brutal. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaler bound for the rich hunting waters of the arctic circle. Also aboard for the first time is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than to sail as the ship's medic on this violent, filthy, and ill-fated voyage.
In India, during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which man can stoop, but now, trapped in the wooden belly of the ship with Drax, he encounters pure evil and is forced to act. As the true purposes of the expedition become clearer, the confrontation between the two men plays out amid the freezing darkness of an arctic winter.