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Moby-Dick (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Herman Melville
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
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Book Description

2 Aug 2007 Vintage Classics


When Ishmael sets sail on the whaling ship Pequod one cold Christmas Day, he has no idea of the horrors awaiting him out on the vast and merciless ocean. The ship's strange captain, Ahab, is in the grip of an obsession to hunt down the famous white whale, Moby Dick, and will stop at nothing on his quest to annihilate his nemesis.

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Moby-Dick (Vintage Classics) + The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (Collins Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; Reprint edition (2 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099511185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099511182
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 12.7 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A masterpiece" (Guardian)

"A great book...a deep great artist" (D.H. Lawrence)

"A wonderful delight" (Nathaniel Philbrick)

"Moby Dick is my favourite novel, bar none. It works on so many levels. It taught me that you can have a top layer of narrative - like the seafaring story - and then below that all those wonderful, rich, symbolic things going on" (Clive Barker)

"To convey an adequate idea of a book of such various merits as that which the author of Typee and Omoo has here placed before the reading public, is impossible in the scope of a review. High philosophy, liberal feeling, abstruse metaphysics popularly phrased, soaring speculation, a style as many-coloured as the theme, yet always good, and often admirable; fertile fancy, ingenious construction, playful learning, and an unusual power of enchaining the interest, and rising to the verge of the sublime, without overpassing that narrow boundary which plunges the ambitious penman into the ridiculous; all these are possessed by Herman Melville, and exemplified in these volumes" (London Morning Advertiser, October 24 1851)

Book Description

'I love Melville' Donna Tartt

'The ultimate fish story' Bob Dylan

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A constant companion 6 Jan 2007
By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I read Moby-Dick for the first time when I was about 18, and have re-read it at least three or four times since. It is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most impressive books in Western literature, about ever so much more than the mere chase for a white whale.

It's about friendship, love, hubris, passion, the search for the meaning of life, etc. etc. Longwinded at times? Yes, definitely. Obscure? That too. Unless you're intimately acquainted with the Old Testament, Shakespeare, classical Greek drama and just about everything else in Western art it's a good idea to buy an edition that comes with ample footnotes.

But if you then take the time and effort this book deserves, it might very well be a life-changing experience as it was for me, that will sometimes make you stop and think for years afterwards.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I had long put off reading Moby Dick following a first, unsuccessful attempt as a teenager and mixed feedback from others who have tried. So I approached it again with some trepidation and much respect. It is a difficult novel in some regards. The language and style are antiquated, and the flow of the story is frequently interrupted by didactic chapters on the art of whaling, the anatomy of the whale and whaling in art. In spite of this, Melville tells a great story about pre-industrial whale-hunting in which the hunters rowed right up to the jaws of the monster to plant a harpoon in its side and fight the thrashing beast for its life, surely one of the most adventurous and daring professions ever undertaken.

What makes Moby Dick literature rather than a mere adventure story is that it can and has been read at so many more levels. To me it reads like an allegory about America itself in the early 1850s, when the young nation founded on Enlightenment ideas was already creaking under the weight of its own contradictions.

The ship's crew is a microcosm of the US; much as the American ship of state was led by whites while most of the back-breaking work was done by slaves, the whaler hunting Moby Dick has white officers commanding a crew in which the most dangerous and physical jobs are performed by a group of harpooners comprising a black, an Asian, a Pacific Islander and a native American. The white captain, Ahab, leads this crew in the pursuit of the biggest beast in the ocean, in the same way that the white leaders of multicultural America had been chasing their own leviathan, the creation of a continental empire stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moby dick 9 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An amazing roller coaster of a good read. Combines philosophy, storytelling and everything you need to know about whaling. Don't be put off by the length it's a marathon not a sprint and you can keep returning to it. Perfect for reading on winter evenings or on a sea voyage!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moby dick 15 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
all time classic, has not lost quality with time and the story still keeps you gripped from start to finish
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared for a Nantucket sleighride ! 13 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Brilliant - but you must be prepared for the archaic English and heavy doses of Philosophy.
Take it easy, and read a few pages at a time, and you will be rewarded by one of the greatest yarns of all time.
Of course the film (with Gregory Peck in his finest role, despite what the Critics said) is my favourite film and is a masterful adaptation, with much of the dialogue straight from the book.
The book is well worth the effort, and gives much food for thought, as well as being rattling good story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It blows (half of the time at least) 7 May 2012
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
One of the most famous and celebrated novels ever written, Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" is a towering novel in world literature whose legendary story of the doomed whaling ship the Pequod setting off with its mad Captain Ahab at the helm to destroy the fabled white whale Moby-Dick, is so well known that most people who've never read the book know what it's about.

I was one of these people and having now read it, I can say that that's a pretty succinct summary of the book. That said, there are lots of moments in the book I wasn't aware of and was surprised to discover in reading it.

First off, I approached this book knowing most of the characters and the general story already so it was great to read the most famous opening lines in literature - "Call me Ishmael" - and to be introduced to the familiar cast of characters I'd never met before. From Ishmael to Queequeg, to Starbuck, the Pequod and Ahab, I found it thrilling to meet them one by one and to find subtleties in their characters that you won't know unless you read the book.

But I was surprised at how gay (as in homosexual) the novel is. The first 100 pages takes place in Nantucket where Ishmael hasn't signed up to the Pequod yet and is waiting around for a commission. He takes a room in an overbooked inn agreeing to share the bed with a "savage" called Queequeg. Not that sharing a bed with a man is gay exactly but Ishmael and Queequeg quickly become fast friends, looking forward to bed time where they touch knees and noses and tell each other secrets (really). Ishmael even says on more than one occasion that he feels "married" to Queequeg and comforted by waking up with his arms around him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 3 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 5 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 6 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 10 months ago by Colin Jackson
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 13 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 15 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 15 months ago by MikeW
1.0 out of 5 stars Product not the same as in the picture
I received a product that was substantially different from the one in the picture. I got Moby Dick by Melville but a vastly different edition than the one advertised. Not happy.
Published 16 months ago by KANystrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Great edition
A fantastic edition of a great american classic. Buy it, enjoy it, read it. The great Melville and the whale
Published 16 months ago by Alfredo Garcia Garcia
3.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick
A tedious book to read, why use one word when forty will do? Having said that, I'm glad that I read it! I knew whaling in past centuries was hard, but didn't realise how hard. Read more
Published 17 months ago by The Gardener
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