AudioFile - Find your next great audiobook
Get our Newsletter

TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea

by | Read by Kirby Heyborne

Biography & Memoir • 17.5 hrs. • Unabridged • © 1840

In 1834, the author left Harvard to become a common sailor bound from Boston, around Cape Horn, to California. His record of his experiences provides much detail about shipboard life at that time. As is typical of books about sailing ships, the technical vocabulary of the ship’s parts and the crew’s daily tasks finds little elaboration. However, Dana’s descriptions of shipboard life—food, work, and the captain—come in the English spoken in early-nineteenth-century Boston, which gives the story an authenticity that engages readers to this day. Narrator Kirby Heyborne reads in a soft voice some would find effete. For a hardened sailor, it wouldn’t fit, but Dana was young, college educated, and new to the sea, so Heyborne’s portrayal is spot-on. Many nautical terms aren’t pronounced as they’re spelled—for example, “forecastle” and “boatswain”—but Heyborne gets them all right. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2011]

Trade Ed. • Tantor Media • 2010

CD ISBN 9781452600314 $39.99 • Fourteen CDs

MP3-CD ISBN 9781452650319 $29.99 • Two MP3-CDs

DD ISBN multiple sources


Library Ed. • Tantor Media • 2010

CD ISBN 9781452630311 $95.99 • Fourteen CDs

The latest audiobook reviews, right in your inbox.

Get our FREE Newsletter and discover a world of audiobooks.


AudioFile Newsletter

Let us recommend your next great audiobook!

No algorithms here!
We pick great audiobooks for you.
Sign up for our free newsletter with audiobook love from AudioFile editors.

If you are already with us, thank you! Just click X above.


Thank you for signing up.



Thank you for contacting us!

Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours.
Thanks for your interest!

Back Home ×


Thank you for signing up!

Our group will review and follow up soon.

Back Home ×