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  • James Cook

  • The Story Behind the Man Who Mapped the World
  • By: Peter FitzSimons
  • Narrated by: Michael Carman
  • Length: 21 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (493 ratings)

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James Cook

By: Peter FitzSimons
Narrated by: Michael Carman
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Publisher's Summary

The name Captain James Cook is one of the most recognisable in Australian history - an almost mythic figure who is often discussed, celebrated, reviled and debated.   

But who was the real James Cook?  

This Yorkshire farm boy would go on to become the foremost mariner, scientist, navigator and cartographer of his era, and to personally map a third of the globe. His great voyages of discovery were incredible feats of seamanship and navigation. Leading a crew of men into uncharted territories, Cook would face the best and worst of humanity as he took himself and his crew to the edge of the known world - and beyond.  

With his masterful storytelling talent, Peter FitzSimons brings the real James Cook to life. Focusing on his most iconic expedition, the voyage of the Endeavour, where Cook first set foot on Australian and New Zealand soil, FitzSimons contrasts Cook against another figure who looms large in Australasian history: Joseph Banks, the aristocratic botanist. 

As they left England, Banks, a rich, famous playboy, was everything that Cook was not. The voyage tested Cook's character and would help define his legacy.  

Now, 240 years after James Cook's death, FitzSimons reveals what kind of man James was at heart. His strengths, his weaknesses, his passions and pursuits, failures and successes.  

James Cook reveals the man behind the myth.

©2019 Peter FitzSimons (P)2019 Hachette Australia Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about James Cook

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I really enjoyed this one

This wouldn't have been a book that would normally interest me, but so glad I chose it for my first Audible book.
Going back into James Cook's life with the way it was done gave me some real insight into the person James Cook was - from his childhood to the end. The personal tragedy with his family, so sad.
Interactions with indigenous peoples of the lands they stopped at - remarkable accounts and not what I had expected.
I was fascinated; hooked on this book! What an amazing story - well really an account of the time when this young man sailed off to explore the world using the tools and 'tech' of those. I felt like I was right there as an observer when listening to the book.


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9 people found this helpful

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Absolutely brilliant!

From start to finish I thoroughly enjoyed this, transporting me back to what felt like another world , it was an education for me, at times I envy the adventures these teal men had.

I have a completely different perspective and appreciation for James Cooks accomplishments, an inspirational leader of men, I find his writings about the indigenous people I very respectful
Great audio book, 25 hours went very quick.

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6 people found this helpful

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One of the best audiobooks ever!

I thought that I knew this history, but this has so much new information, and is presented in such a compelling manner, that I could not turn it off. Consequentially lost several nights sleep.
Fantastic story, brilliantly presented and superbly narrated. Thorough coverage of many issues, including Cooks marriage, treatment of native populations in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. And excellent summary of his involvement in the capture of Quebec. 10/10.

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4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Been done

I’m usually a massive fan of the author but this time I felt like I’d heard all of this book via a few other versions of the same subject. It really did just seem like a case of same old, same old. Not sure how it could have been done differently though to be honest.

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4 people found this helpful

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Excellent work

Fitzy at his best, you nearly taste the rum and salt water in one chapter and smell the eucalyptus in the next.

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2 people found this helpful

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A must read... or must listen.

This book is an excellent insight into the life of Cpt. James Cook. The man has recently been demonised by popular belief and his deeds and thoughts misquoted and misconstrued . His thoughts and nature have been fairly discussed and documented in this book and that may surprise some readers (listeners).

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2 people found this helpful

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Sing song writing is a put off

I was looking forward to learning more about a man I knew little of since a scant primary school pictorial history, Unfortunately, the authors writing style is so childish with its rhyming prose and poorly placed story drama that it spoils what could have been a perfectly good and accurate historical account of Cooks life and achievements. So distracting is the poetic sing song style of writing that you wonder if FitzSimons has become bored by his profession and might just be amusing himself. I was a big fan of the books and his endeavours (pun intended) but alas, no more.

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1 person found this helpful

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A great book. Well narrated.

My 3rd book about Cpt. Cook and a very enjoyable one with great insights. Enjoyed

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1 person found this helpful

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Unbelievable book

Loved every minute of this, thank you. Have recommended this to my friends. Thanks

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Should have been covered across two books

This was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed the detailed account of Cooks' early life and his first voyage of discovery on The Endeavor. However readers should note that the whole of the second and third voyages are largely skimmed over in the last 90 minutes of the book, in the epilogue. Having been to the places in Hawaii where pivotal parts of the James Cook story unfolded, I was looking forward to those events getting the full Peter FitzSimons treatment. While briefly covered in this account for sake of completion of the story of the life of James Cook... I felt that the second and third voyages deserved their own book with the same level of detail and deep dive that Peter and his team do so well.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.