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Moby Dick: or, the White Whale

Moby Dick: or, the White Whale [Kindle Edition]

Herman Melville
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 855 KB
  • Print Length: 556 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1456529463
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TRXX7C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsession explored 3 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I finished this book a week ago and it has stayed in my mind ever since. What an excellent, philosophical book.
Please ignore all the reviews saying it meanders and spends too much time on cetology. Remember when this was written and how little we knew about whales.
There is so much more to this book than a man after a whale. Religion, life, death and the mind of man are all explored. There is so much good humour also but you may have to re read passages to get it as the language is of its time.
If the sea is in you and you love to learn about how people survived on a boat for 4 years without ever touching land, then dig in.
I am jealous of you if its the first time you are going to read it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Hast Seen the White Whale?" 21 Aug 2012
By Robin Friedman TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Melville's sixth novel, "Moby-Dick" received mixed reviews when published in 1851 and was nearly forgotten after the author's death in 1891. In the early 1920's, the book was rediscovered and quickly achieved the stature of an American classic. The book is inexhaustible. I have recently returned to it. In his 2005 study, "Melville", Andrew Delbanco discusses some of the ways "Moby-Dick" has been read over the years. Delbanco writes:

"Moby-Dick was not a book for a particular moment. It is a book for the ages. What gives it its psychological and moral power is that, freakish as he is, Ahab seems more part of us than apart from us. Like all great literary representations of evil, he is attractive as well as repulsive. And so Melville emerged in the twentieth century as the American Dostoevsky -- a writer who, with terrible clairvoyance, had been waiting for the world to catch up with him."

"Moby-Dick" is long, difficult, and digressive. It is not a straighforward narrative. Melville pauses many times for extended chapters to explore matters seemingly tangential to the intense story he has to tell. The book is written in a baroque, large, blustery and exhuberant prose that is worlds away from the tightness and concision favored by many 20th Century American writers. Melville also knows how to build tension. The work unfolds story and by indirection. A rather lengthy opening section of the book takes place on land in New York City, New Bedford, and Nantucket. Captain Ahab's monomaical character is revealed slowly through hints, offered by a shadowy character with the Biblical name of Elijah and by visions and foreshadowing. A sermon on the Book of Jonah by Father Mapple frames the book and it is quickly contrasted with Queequeg and his attitude towards his gods.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haiku 28 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book exceeded
My many expectations
Generated by

Star Trek: Wrath of Khan
Simply put: amazingly
Written, but also

Very slow. Melville
Loves to allude to other
Classical works like

The Old Testament
And Homer. This can slow the
Story down a lot

However, Melville
Was a cetological
(Whale science) Expert

Because the book is
Both in terms of prose and in
Terms of subject

Superbly achieved
Like, we're talking an eighteenth
Century Milton

If you're into
That sort of thing, Well then you
Should read this novel
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick 3 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Installed the Kindle app on my Mac and then downloaded Moby Dick free. An excellent read prior to a whale watching trip to Iceland. I'll give the book four stars as it was very good value; whale watching three stars as we didn't see any whales and Iceland five stars for the beautiful waterfalls and geysers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic 22 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I still have a lovely though tattered hardback of this book with the marvellous Rockwell Kent Art Deco illustrations; but I was pleased recently to find that it was available (free!!!) on Kindle, so I now have that too.
Nearly everyone will know the story, either through movies of the book, or the very many stories, comics, films, etc., inspired by it - because it's simply one of the archetypal tales of all time. If you haven't read it yet, though, I'd recommend it; but only if you have the patience to gently absorb what is a sizeable, somewhat rambling book, covering a world of different subjects all wound into the central story. If you do, you'll find it a contemplative delight, beautifully written, interesting in so many ways; and with a strong, stark tale to tell that you'll never forget.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some great parts, but also some extreme detail 11 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Review courtesy of

In 1842, a young man would abandon the whaling ship he was working on to live among reputed cannibals and pursue love affairs with local girls. He would recount these events in bestselling books when he returned home, before destroying his career with a book that received almost universally scathing reviews: Moby-Dick, now listed among the Great American Novels, even called the best book ever written.

At its best, Moby-Dick is excellent: it’s moving, it’s insightful, and it very much captures the sense of the sacred, the spiritual relationship of crew to whale or man to obsession. It can also be fascinating in its detail: entire chapters are devoted to the anatomy of the whale, the symbolism of the colour white, or the role of the whale in art and history. Phrases like “Call me Ishmael” are some of the best known of any book, even among people who haven’t read the original source: it is but one of many unforgettable phrases. Though broadly pro-whaling, it also even has some sympathy with the whales, confronting the fact that the activity necessarily involves tormenting the animals.

For all that, let me confess I found it a little boring, philistine as that may make me. I’m not one to quail at historical detail given my passion for history, and those parts I enjoyed, but particularly the first half I found slow, long descriptive sections filling space between more interesting parts. The book has some great sections and some great lines, but I wouldn’t have minded were it considerably shorter. Still, as a reflection on the personality of man and the necessities of the energy industry, it has much to tell us today: the oil we burn, though not literally in lamps and candles, can still cost blood.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wish I had read this years ago
Published 8 hours ago by R P NASH
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic. But a long-winded one.
I tried, I really did. I got to chapter 12 and they were only just getting on the bloody boat. You need the patience of a saint to stick with this and read it properly. Read more
Published 9 days ago by William Summers
3.0 out of 5 stars if you cut out all the bits you don't need to know about whales and...
wanted to read this classic novel but found it hard work, if you cut out all the bits you don't need to know about whales and whaling methods then the underlying tale is very good.
Published 10 days ago by Dawn May
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Outdated Language
Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars cracking read
a very good read, not read it since i was at school in the 70's and i wanted to recapture those books
Published 17 days ago by gary rooke
3.0 out of 5 stars Everything you always wanted to know about whales (but were afraid to...
This book is epic. Just by its size, it will be left alone by the Twitter generation, who don't have the attention span for such works of literature. Read more
Published 19 days ago by John Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great American literature. Needs to be taken in small doses, but well worth making the effort.
Published 28 days ago by Kes Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read
Published 29 days ago by Neil James Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars New book
Published 1 month ago by F Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What's not to like?
Published 1 month ago by Scotty
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