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Moby Dick (AmazonClassics Edition) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 654 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"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) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Inside Flap
On board the whaling ship Pequod a crew of wise men and fools, renegades and seeming phantoms is hurled through treacherous seas by crazed Captain Ahab, a man hell-bent on hunting down the mythic White Whale. Melville transforms the little world of the whale ship into a crucible where mankind's fears, faith and frailties are pitted against a relentless fate. Teeming with ideas and imagery, and with its extraordinary intensity sustained by mischievous irony and moments of exquisite beauty, Moby-Dick is both a great American epic and a profoundly imaginative literary creation.
This Macmillan Collector's Library edition features an afterword by Nigel Cliff.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B072KN8SYF
- Publisher : AmazonClassics (22 August 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 1246 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 654 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #871 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Top reviews from Australia
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As the end approached and I caught whiff, through one nostril, of the white whale’s proximity in the final pages, I deliberately slowed down my reading to more fully appreciate the journey, and because by now my reading eyes had synced with Melville’s Shakespearean rhythms, swirling poetry, dry wit, and grandiloquent turn of phrase, the final chapters were more joy than reward.
The wit - after the crew had hauled all the heavy oil barrels up on deck:
“top-heavy was the ship as a dinnerless student with all Aristotle in his head”.
“The (whale’s) milk is very sweet and rich; it has been tasted by man; it might do well with strawberries.”
“In the face of all the glad, hay-making suns, and softcymballing, round harvest-moons, we must needs give in to this: that the gods themselves are not for ever glad. The ineffaceable, sad birth-mark in the brow of man, is but the stamp of sorrow in the signers.”
The tormented Shakespearean soliloquizer:
“what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural lovings and longings, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time; recklessly making me ready to do what in my own proper, natural heart, I durst not so much as dare? Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm? But if the great sun move not of himself; but is as an errand-boy in heaven; nor one single star can revolve, but by some invisible power; how then can this one small heart beat; this one small brain think thoughts; unless God does that beating, does that thinking, does that living, and not I.”
“consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life”
And the haughty self-referential:
“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.”
Never was a book’s plot more secondary to its themes. It’s man versus everything; fate, circumstance, demons, ego, expectation, classism, religion, God, nature, empathy, understanding, brotherhood, the universe.
An unforgettable and hard-won experience.
Top reviews from other countries
Its structure and plotting were ahead of its time, which was probably one reason it never did that well at its original publication, but also this holds up a mirror to us all, and to be honest no one likes to see themselves, warts and all. With one of the most famous openings in all of literature, ‘Call me Ishmael.’ it is simple and yet eloquent. Within its multiple narrative style so we hear from our narrator, but also this does give us other perspectives throughout, as it draws on many influences and other works, giving us not only an intimate portrayal of the whaling business and life on a whaling ship, but also the different types of whale, and what the whole business was set up for.
Of course as we all know, what should be just a normal whaling voyage becomes something more here, as Captain Ahab is set on vengeance, wanting to locate the whale Moby-Dick, that has crippled him. Changing to a script at times, thus making some chapters more like a play so the structure and planning of this was unlike anything that went before, but it all meshes together quite seamlessly.
Taking in such themes as religion, spirituality, bigotry, the pursuit of the mighty dollar, revenge, hate and love, with friendship and so on this has much to offer any reader, although as with any intelligently written book that takes in many themes and issues this does require a close and careful read to gain the full effect and power of the story. After all, if you think that this is just a novel about whaling, I am sorry to say that you have not understood what you have read. In all once read this is something that you won’t easily forget and is in all a fantastically wonderful piece of prose, showing that the novel is a form that can offer us so much.
Firstly I very much enjoyed the beginning of the book where Ishmael meets up with the tattooed Queequeg at the Spouter Inn and of the start of their ‘bosom’ friendship; I also enjoyed reading how Ishmael and Queequeg get taken on to work as whalers on the ship ‘Pequod’ and of Ishmael’s initial meeting with the grizzled one-legged seafarer, Captain Ahab, who is intent on exacting his revenge on Moby Dick; and I enjoyed the author’s descriptions of situation and setting aboard a nineteenth century sailing ship.
What I found a bit difficult was the amount of information about the whaling industry, some of which I found rather upsetting, especially where the author writes about the hunting of female whales with calves, and although some of the information was very interesting (for example: how if a male whale is attacked its fellow males will hastily make their escape, but if a female whale is attacked, other females will try to help her) there was too much that I found discomfiting. I also found there to be a little too much in the way of extraneous information and too many digressions for this story to work well for me and although I know the author had a purpose in writing in this way, I have to admit to finding parts of this book rather wearing.
I am aware that this book is a great American classic and has other themes apart from those that are immediately obvious, and I did enjoy parts of the story and found the ending totally gripping - however, despite being informed that this novel improves with subsequent readings, it's most probably not a book I would pick up again. In summary, I'm glad I finally got around to reading 'Moby Dick', but I’m also rather glad I’ve finished it too.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 November 2018
Reviewed in India on 13 October 2018