There is little repetition across the collection. It helps here that, rather than dealing with generic "whales", individual pieces focus on different species: orcas, right whales, grey whales, belugas, narwhals, humpbacks, and so forth. The topics covered include a visit to a whale research station in Patagonia, a fictionalised "week in the life of" an orca pod, the grey whale Gigi and the orca Lolita in captivity, the stranding of forty sperm whales in Oregon in 1979 and the response of the thousands of people who came to see them, narwhals and stories about their tusks, the importance of drift whales and along-shore whaling for the early North American colonists, the growth of whale watching, and much more. Few of the pieces focus directly on conservation issues, though conservation themes run through most of them.
Frank Stewart has collected some excellent pieces in The Presence of Whales — well written, varied, and with plenty of substance — and anyone curious about whales should enjoy it.
- Related reviews:
- Karen Pryor - Dolphin Societies: Discoveries and Puzzles
- books about travel
- more animals + zoology