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Moby Dick

Moby Dick [Kindle Edition]

Herman Melville
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Arguably Herman Melville's greatest work, and hailed as a classic American novel, Moby Dick tells the tale of one man's fatal obsession and his willingness to sacrifice his life and that of his crew to achieve his goal. The story follows the fortunes of Captain Ahab and the culturally and spiritually diverse crew of the Pequod, a 19th century whaling ship. The Pequod is on its last voyage out of New Bedford, Mass, in pursuit of Moby Dick, the great white whale which has been Ahab's obsessional quarry and bitter adversary for many years. Narrated by sole survivor Ishmael, the tale forms a complex fictional fusion, combining a wealth of literary symbolism, hidden meaning and philosophical debate with adventure narrative and a detailed historical account of the 19th century whaling trade. --Emily Lowson


"Historically, the two great typographical edifices of West Coast printing are the Grabhorn "Leaves of Grass and the Nash "Divine Comedy. Now the Arion Press "Moby Dick takes its place beside them. . .It is the textual weft of hand composition that forms the chief glory of this work. Hoyem seems to have found the perfect measure to accommodate text to type. We turn page after page of matchless composition. . .as the magical result. I would venture the opinion that this constitutes a feat of modern craftsmanship unexcelled in modern printing." --"Fine Print

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 594 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (4 Dec 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IVWYM30
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,326 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Herman Melville was 31 years old when he started writing The Whale in New York during February 1850. He left the sea in 1844 to become a writer and had drawn on his experience as a seaman in many of his successful works. By 1851 the only part of his years at sea which he had not drawn on for fictional purposes was his experience on a whaling ship Acushnet in 1841-2. It is almost as if he had intuited that this area of his life would yield the richest returns only when his imagination was ready to appropriate all its possibilities and explore them to their further riches. The most important event during the seventeen months in which Melville was writing his novel was his meeting with Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. This meeting had a profound effect on Melville. Moby Dick is dedicated to Hawthorne. Melville died, in obscurity, in 1891.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book needs to be longer! 24 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I would like to believe that Melville was years (maybe centuries) ahead of his time, but more than likely he was just plain nuts, apparently stalking Hawthorne and who knows what else. This shouldn't stop you from enjoying the fun though! In MD we basically have two ideas going on, with Ahab's whole monomaniac pursuit of the whale bookending hundreds of pages that essentially capture Ishmael's (sun)baked thoughts during his three years or so on board the Pequid. This middle section will either bore and repel the reader, or suck them in, resembling some post modern-ish films like Satyricon, or perhaps the writings of some lost beat author. This middle section is a detailed narrative of every thought that strikes Ishmael's mind as he is immersed in what must be a remarkably dull setting. So instead, his mind wanders, seeing analogies in every bit of rope and whale tissue to the relationship between man and God, man and nature, man in society, etc. The idea is so absurd and executed so bombastically that it works. Had the man he dedicated this book to (Nathaniel Hawthorne) wrote MD instead, it would have been awful, but Melville can write about Ahab's pipe with enthusiasm, and put that very same pipe into a mythic perspective! Of the outer story, what is there left to say? Only an American author could take the standard tragedy of man bested by the fates and turn it into man bested by the fates/decides to hunt down and kill God! An absolutely fantastic and unforgettable book, but I would have enjoyed more ramblings from Ishmael. I'm serious!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars call him boring 2 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
god, this is a hard read. loved the film, and i have always wanted to read the book. moby dick is a truly great story, problem is, i just couldnt find it. melville rambles on and on and on and on, about everything under the sun, bar the actual story. chapter after chapter of thoughts and philosophy's about this, that and the other, then back to the story for a chapter. story's within tales within yarns, then back to the actual story for a couple of lines. inflated, convoluted and at times incomprehensible, one of the most frustrating reads i've ever had. frustrating, because there is a great tale in there, but melville seems almost determined to make it impossible for the reader to grasp. a great SHORT story, fragmented, and surrounded by volumes of incomprehensible 19th century ramblings. call him ishmael if you want, i call it a slow death.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gold mine for the imagination 15 May 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Savor this book like a rich dessert. Read it slowly, like poetry. An epic tragedy that is either loved or loathed, it may speak best to those who have known obsession, those who divine the many biblical allusions scattered through the pages and those who have an ear for the dated cadences of 19th Century prose.
The reader can't help but be awed by the maniacal Captain Ahab, who challenges God and nature, casts away all navigational aids, forges his own compass and ultimately relies only on his own cunning and instinct to search the untracked seas for the one thing in the world that consumes him, the White Whale.
The imagery is rich. At one point Melville describes a deathly still sea as a great magnifying glass and the sun overhead as the searing point of light gathered and focused by that glass.
A gold mine for the imagination, this book can be read once as a tragic quest, once as a work of poetry and once again as a huge metaphor or allegory. This book is like a deep pool that reflects back whatever is lurking in the reader's heart. Beware and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick:an interactive book 7 May 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well, so I had to read (in English, a foreing language for me!) a book which lasted for more than eight hundred pages. Slightly scary, I may say, especially when the average number of books this year were 13. Well, indeed some parts of the novel are simply delightful. Any reference to the cultural clash with Queequeg, or any description of the landscape, the sea, the people, were delightful. And then, in the middle -yes, encyclopaedia entries. "It's a bit misleading,Mr. Melville, what the h. do you want?". Until I had to revise it for an essay. The thing is, take all that "flat passages" again. Think of the Pequod's fate. Does it ring a bell? Ishmael, as a Cassandra, spents half the book prophetizing what will happen, and nobody seems to listen. When you read it twice, Moby Dick is simply one of the best metaphors of life. If only it weren't so tiresome...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the sea! To the sea! 15 Mar 2001
Moby Dick, like all good classics leaves the reader with a brilliant sense of completion. Like a circle the story returns back on itself and you are left with the satisfaction of something akin to participation. Throughout the philosophical discourse, the scientific descriptions and the ups and downs of the chase there is a profound direction which prevails. Ultimately this is towards doom for Ahab but for Ishmael perhaps it is the opposite; a salvation which is more readily identifiable with today's culture seeking some escape from confusion. And so the book not only mirrors life and all its suprises but seems to offer a solution for those, to use Melville's words, who need to drive off a November of the soul. Any book which combines adventure and moral principle with such clarity as Moby Dick does cannot fail to impress upon the conscious.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going
I know this is a classic and usually I enjoy reading such books but unfortunately I couldn't get into this one. I did persevere but eventually gave in about half way through. Read more
Published 22 days ago by jimnychris
1.0 out of 5 stars Not arrived yet
Not njdjdj
Published 23 days ago by Amr Fouad
5.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick - Herman Melville
(Why insert a hyphen into the title when the name of the whale in the book doesn't have one? Truly escapes me...)

Anyway, moving on. Read more
Published 5 months ago by RachelWalker
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I decided to try to reread this after giving up when I was a child. I enjoy reading but this was so slow moving. Read more
Published 7 months ago by audrey shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, and for good reason.
As Melville tells this story he casts a spell. It's a gripping tale and he creates rich atmosphere with efficient, simple prose. Read more
Published 7 months ago by elzG40
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely compelling
Not much story but the descriptions of life on a ship, a whaler and the psychology of Ahab are really interesting.
Published 12 months ago by Colin Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick is not an easy read, but it is rewarding
I had long put off reading Moby Dick following a first, unsuccessful attempt as a teenager and mixed feedback from others who have tried. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Malcolm Shearmur
4.0 out of 5 stars One of 50 books to read
This is wonderful book to read about a man undying quest to capture his dream of killing the great whale ....does Ahab and his Crew succeed ? Read more
Published 15 months ago by robert youngson
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
Moby-Dick is a 600+ page book about the sea, where very little happens and you won't care. It earns its status as a classic not by presenting a nuanced, epic plot or by devoting... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Call me Ismael
Great book, longer than I expected but a fantastic read. Ahab's obsession with the whale builds as much as the imminence of his demise. Truly great classic.
Published 17 months ago by MikeW
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