This is the original 1989 book that is the basis for a forthcoming 2012 movie "Big Miracle" and a revised book edition under the same name. At this writing, I can't speak to the merits of the movie or the revised book. I can say that the 1989 version is a genuine treat. It has a rich depth, texture, and eye for the telling detail. It is a whale of a story (sorry, couldn't resist), really four stories that are each wonderful in its own way. One story is about three plucky and lucky whales, another about their varied rescuers, a third about the feckless and reckless media, and a fourth story about the desolate land of far north Alaska and the native Eskimos. All four stories are told with genuine affection, combined with just the right amount of bemusement, self-deprecation, and occasional cynicism. The author nicely mixes first-hand experience with historical research. The result is both charming and intellectually engaging. It is a Disney tale for grown-ups. It is Evelyn Waugh's "Scoop," only better and more real. The best non-fiction I've read in several years.