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Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby Dick (1851)

by Herman Melville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
25,48939773 (3.81)6 / 1377
  1. 160
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  2. 140
    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex tells the true story that inspired Melville to write Moby Dick.
  3. 90
    Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (_eskarina)
  4. 70
    Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Jr. Dana (knownever)
    knownever: A more enjoyable, shorter, and less allegorical story of sailing life, although there aren't any whales. The author of this one kind of looks down on whalers. All together a more jaunty sea tale.
  5. 60
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (caflores)
  6. 50
    The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (caflores)
  7. 50
    The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare (chrisharpe, John_Vaughan)
  8. 41
    Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick (John_Vaughan)
  9. 31
    Genoa: A Telling of Wonders by Paul Metcalf (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Melville's heir struggles to close his relationship to his preceding literary genius. Click the link above, read what you can, and get yourself hooked on one of the most critically-adored yet criminally-underread novels written in a century defined by self-analysis and experimentation.… (more)
  10. 42
    The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville (GaryPatella)
    GaryPatella: Compared to Moby Dick, The Confidence Man is a much lighter read. But after ploughing through Moby Dick, this may be a welcome change. It is not as profound, but you also don't have to struggle through any of it. This is worth reading.
  11. 42
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (ateolf)
  12. 20
    The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex by Owen Chase (meggyweg)
  13. 31
    Railsea by China Miéville (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: An imaginative, affectionate pastiche of the novel's themes, imagery, and characters.
  14. 53
    Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (ecleirs24, AriadneAranea)
    ecleirs24: Cause this novel is based upon a passage from Mobi Dick......
  15. 54
    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (caflores)
    caflores: Para amantes del lenguaje náutico y de las descripciones detalladas.
  16. 43
    The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays by Albert Camus (WilfGehlen)
    WilfGehlen: Camus was greatly influenced by Melville and in The Myth of Sisyphus mentions Moby-Dick as a truly absurd work. Reading Moby-Dick with Camus' absurd in mind gives a deeper, and very different insight than provided by the usual emphasis on Ahab's quest for revenge.… (more)
  17. 11
    The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky (John_Vaughan)
  18. 11
    Oil! by Upton Sinclair (edwinbcn)
  19. 11
    The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Ronoc)
  20. 45
    Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (JGKC)

(see all 24 recommendations)

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English (358)  Dutch (9)  Spanish (6)  German (6)  French (5)  Italian (4)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (397)
Showing 1-5 of 358 (next | show all)
"An abridged edition for modern readers."
  MicheleBW | Feb 7, 2019 |
Societally we all know the basic story. I learned a great deal about whaling, and the times. ( )
  Velmeran | Jan 26, 2019 |
Read this classic to coincide with my participation in the Moby-Dick Read-A-Thon at the Newberry Library, complete with a keynote presentation by Nathaniel Philbrick. I read Chapter 78 Cistern and Buckets. ( )
  Mark.Kosminskas | Jan 20, 2019 |
I listened to the unabridged text as an audiobook over a couple of months of long drives to and from work, and what struck me most was the structure of this huge book: the story of Ahab is essentially a short story which Melville has fragmented and embedded in thousands of tons of blubber! That is bold. I think it's also interesting that when this long text finally ends we're actually not quite half way through Melville's source--the sinking of the Nantucket ship Essex in 1820. Within this context, Melville's colossal text is actually a truncated and abbreviated version of his primary source! Again, wild to think of it. Because I love to hear stories even more than to read them, because the rhythms have a physical presence when read aloud, I highly recommend the text as an audiobook. That Melville would devote an entire chapter to "The Blow Hole" is outrageous in many ways, but also an interesting listen. A friend told me her professor advised her class to "not wait for the whale" as they were reading the novel. That's hard advice to take. The book is definitely a unique experience. ( )
  VicCavalli | Dec 8, 2018 |
(Original Review, 1981-02-10)

This is a book that knows how excessive it is being.

It took me three times through it to realize that it's the greatest novel in the English language. Of course it has everything wrong with it: the digressions, the ludicrous attempt to out-Shakespeare Shakespeare, the prose through which a high wind blows perpetually, the fact that it's written almost entirely in superlatives . . . Never mind, it's overtopped by wave upon wave of genius, exuberant, explicative, mad in its quest to be about everything at once and to ring every bell in the English language. Yes it can be tough going sometimes, but here's an all-important hint: read this book aloud.
Needless to say, it would never get across an editor's desk intact today. And today we're poorer for that. Something else: no one ever seems to mention how madly funny it is. It's vital to tune in to the humour, I think, if you are to enjoy reading it.

“The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym” is a good book, but doesn't quite rank with Poe's best work, and the "Scarlet Letter" has always seemed to me so narrowly provincial in its concerns that I've never been tempted to read it. But "Moby-Dick" is something else. Strange, digressive, sprawling, experimental, playful... it's a book that takes chances - and sometimes falls flat on its face: for example, not all the digressions work and, as someone already mentioned, the attempts at Shakespearean language are often laughable. But in the end, I think it has to be recognised as a monumental effort.

First encountered it at 19 as required reading and found the tale enjoyable but the digressions on whaling baffling and tedious. Some year’s later I am two-thirds of the way through re-reading it. It now seems as though the tale is the most minor and uninteresting part of it. The supposed digressions are the bulk of the work.

It is beyond marvellous. The language rings with echoes of the Bible and Shakespeare but the high style is mingled with prose of such simple directness that it barely feels like a 19th century novel at all. For me, what rises endlessly from the pages is a sense of joy and wonder - the sheer joy of being alive and experiencing each moment as something new, and the profound wonder of man in the face of a natural world he may come close to conquering but will never fully understand.

I still find myself struggling to get my head around what it all means and quite why it is so great. But great - immense, staggering, colossal - it surely is. A mighty work.

"Moby-Dick" will be the equivalent of the Hogwarts Sorting Hat at the gates of Heaven. If you liked it, you'll go straight through the gates. If you didn't, well....

As a side note, whilst “Moby Dick” remains his towering achievement, works such as "Bartleby the Scrivener", "Billy Budd & Pierre", or "The Ambiguities" are all remarkable in their own ways, whilst utterly different. Alongside "Bartleby", though, for me, Melville's other astonishing achievement is "Confidence Man" - a breathtakingly modern, or perhaps better, "post-modern" book, almost entirely without precursor. Imagine a literary "F is for Fake", & you begin to get a tiny hint of what Melville is up to. Of all writers, he seems to me to be the one who, standing at the very cusp of that moment when literary form is about to find itself cast in stone, is able to invent, it seems as if with every work, a wholly new literary form in & for each of his works. In every sense of the word, his writing & his works are excessive, just as Faulkner's Willbe, & those of Gaddis, &, to an extent, Pynchon. This "excessiveness" is, for sure, a predominantly American phenomenon. ( )
  antao | Dec 2, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 358 (next | show all)
Forfatter: Herman Melville

Moby Dick I
«Kall meg Ismael. For noen år siden - akkurat når det var, er likegyldig - bestemte jeg meg for å gå til sjøs og lære verdenshavene å kjenne. Jeg hadde lite eller ingenting å leve av, og ikke noe særlig som interesserte meg på land. Gå til sjøs - på den måten har jeg ofte drevet tungsinn på flukt og regulert blodomløpet.»
Slik begynner verdens kanskje mest kjente roman, romanen som stiller de vanskeligste og viktigste spørsmål; om det ondes og godes natur og om viljens mulighet til å trosse skjebnen.

Moby Dick II
Historien om kaptein Akabs glødende hat til den hvite hvalen fortsetter:
«Riggen levde. Mastetoppene var som høye palmer, var vidt behengt med armer og ben. Enkelte av sjøfolkene klynget seg til spirene med den ene hånden, mens de utålmodig viftet med den andre. Noen satt ytterst ute på de gyngende rærne og skjermet øynene mot det skarpe solskinnet. Hele riggen var full av dødelige mennesker, rede og modne til å ta imot sin skjebne. Å, hvor de stirret ut gjennom det uendelige blå, for å oppdage det vesen som kanskje skulle ødelegge dem!»

Herman Melville
Herman Melville (1819-1891), amerikansk forfatter, essayist og poet. Melville blir ansett å være blant de fremste amerikanske forfattere gjennom tidene, og hans hovedverk Moby Dick (1851) regnes som en av verdenslitteraturens største romaner. Samtidens forfattere hadde gått på de «riktige» skolene, mens Melvilles bakgrunn var annerledes. Han ble født inn i en rikmannsfamilie, men måtte tidlig greie seg selv. Som ung gutt gikk han til sjøs og sa senere; «havet ble mitt universitet». Melville hadde store reiser og merkelig eventyr bak seg da Moby Dick kom ut. Han hadde seilt i over fire år, var to ganger rundt Kapp Horn og hadde levd blant kannibaler etter at han deserterte på Marquesas-øyene. Melville kjente virkelig til det livet han beskriver i boken, et farefullt liv i jakten på havets gull, spermasetthvalens verdifulle olje.
added by KystbiblioteketOslo | editFlyt Forlag, Anne Nygren

» Add other authors (336 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Melville, HermanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, Mortimer J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allen, JerryAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beaver, Harold LowtherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buhlert, KlausDirectorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino, NemiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delbanco, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, CliftonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güttinger, FritzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hewgill, JodyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jendis, MatthiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meynell, ViolaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mummendey, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palmer, GarrickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pavese, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quirk, TomCommentarysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quirk, TomEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rathjen, FriedhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, BoardmanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaeffer, MeadIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutcliffe, DenhamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walcutt, Charles ChildEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine adaptations or abridged editions of Moby Dick with unabridged versions. Versions aimed at children are normally abridged editions and should not be combined here. Also, books ABOUT Moby Dick (such as study guides) should not be combined with the unabridged nor the abridged novel. Please keep such books as an independent work.
The ISBN 9025463312 is shared with a different work.
The Penguin Classics 150th Anniversary Ed (ISBN 0142000086) is not abridged, although that word has appeared in some user's data.
Norton Critical editions, Longman Critical editions and other scholarly editions should not be combined with the unabridged novel. The scholarly-type editions contain much additional material so they should be considered as separate works.
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Call me Ishmael.
Score: Whale 1, Ahab 0.
I alone returned.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142437247, Paperback)

Over a century and a half after its publication, Moby-Dick still stands as an indisputable literary classic. It is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopedia of whaling lore and legend, Moby-Dick is a haunting, mesmerizing, and important social commentary populated with several of the most unforgettable and enduring characters in literature. Written with wonderfully redemptive humor, Moby-Dick is a profound and timeless inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.

@greatwhitetale Call me Ishmael. You could call me something else if you want, but since that’s my name, it would make sense to call me Ishmael.

Captain obsessed with finding a whale called Moby Dick. Sounds like the meanest VD ever, if you ask me. Sorry. Old joke. Couldn’t resist.

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:32 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Looking for adventure and a new life, Ishmael, the story's narrator, decides to find work on a whaling boat. On arriving at the Massachusetts harbour to begin his search, the only bed available is already half occupied by a "cannibal" named Queequeg. Although Queequeg has limited English, a friendship forms and the two men sign up for work together aboard the Pequod under the infamous Captain Ahab.… (more)

» see all 80 descriptions

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