Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Moby Dick. by Herman Melville

Moby Dick. (edition 2003)

by Herman Melville

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
20,97832869 (3.83)6 / 1087
Title:Moby Dick.
Authors:Herman Melville
Info:Btb Bei Goldmann (2003), Paperback, 1056 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

  1. 140
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  2. 120
    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. 50
    The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare (chrisharpe, John_Vaughan)
  5. 50
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (caflores)
  6. 40
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (caflores)
  7. 51
    Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry 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.
  8. 41
    Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick (John_Vaughan)
  9. 31
    Railsea by China Miéville (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: An imaginative, affectionate pastiche of the novel's themes, imagery, and characters.
  10. 21
    Genoa: A Telling of Wonders by Paul Metcalf (rickyrickyricky)
    rickyrickyricky: 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)
  11. 32
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (ateolf)
  12. 43
    Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (ecleirs24, AriadneAranea)
    ecleirs24: Cause this novel is based upon a passage from Mobi Dick......
  13. 32
    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)
  14. 43
    Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (JGKC)
  15. 22
    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.
  16. 11
    Oil! by Upton Sinclair (edwinbcn)
  17. 11
    The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky (John_Vaughan)
  18. 11
    The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Ronoc)
  19. 34
    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (caflores)
    caflores: Para amantes del lenguaje náutico y de las descripciones detalladas.
  20. 14
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (ateolf)

(see all 23 recommendations)

Romans (14)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (295)  German (9)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (327)
Showing 1-5 of 295 (next | show all)
A classic story plus slabs of whaling documentary - a doubtful classic.
Read in Samoa Jan 2003 ( )
  mbmackay | Nov 27, 2015 |
"for there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men"

"Call me Ishmael," is one of the most well known opening lines in literature. When Ishmael gets itchy feet and decides to search for adventure by joining a whaling ship. He travels to Nantucket where he meets a Polynesian harpooner named Queequeg and they soon become good friends.

In Nantucket, they sign on with the Pequod under the command of Captain Ahab who has one leg missing which has been replaced by a prosthesis fashioned from a sperm whale's jaw. Once at sea Ahab informs the crew that the sole purpose for this voyage was to track down and kill a White Whale named Moby Dick.

When they finally find Moby Dick they pursue it for three days before the whale turns on the ship and its boats dragging Ahab into the sea and his death. Of the crew only Ishmael survives by floating for a day before being rescued.

Personally I found this book rather dull. I enjoyed the early part as Ishmael meets Queequeg and the form a bond of friendship. However, the central part of the book was extremely pedestrian as the narrator informed us how little was known at the time about whales and the ins and outs of the ship's crew and routines. Large parts of this I tried to skim looking waiting for the action to begin. In the end I found it quite a struggle to complete and very nearly quit on a number of occasions. It did just enough to keep my attention but that was about it. I don't doubt that this deserves to be regarded as a classic but it just did not do it for me. Sorry Herman. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Nov 24, 2015 |
I read this because Catriona is obsessed with it, and it's easier to beta people's fan fic when you've read the canon. Well, and because it's good to read classics as well as fluff.

It is quite a culture shock to read heavy old fashioned prose after lots of fluff though. I will admit I found this quite hard going in parts - there is definitely a bit of careful re-reading going 'what is the author saying here?' And there is a weird pace - pages and pages of very little happening, and then boats stowed in by whales in the middle of paragraphs casually, leaving you thinking 'huh? Why are they all in the sea?' And nothing seems to happen for ages, and then the final doomed ramping up of the quest rushes towards you, and there is no winddown at all.

A very rich book though. Powerful scenes that stay with you - the ship weighed down by the two great whale heads, the oath taking by firelight and the drinking from the spears, the drowning man trapped inside the head of the whale and QueeQueg's rescue of him, the stench of the ambergris whale. Striking for being such a detailed account of a completely foreign and very physical world - how the boats go to catch whales, how the whales are processed, being up on the crows nest, and lovely insights (if prone to smutty giggles) into how blissful it is to do comfortable manual tasks like squeezing the sperm.

Funny, reading very old informative books. There are things I know that the author clearly doesn't (he doesn't believe in blue whales!) and yet so many things I learnt (the toothed whales and the baleen whales, and oh, the shape of the spermwhale's jaw) and things that I sort of learned, but am not sure if I believe they are true, or just what was believed two hundred years ago...

Catriona was right. I assumed she'd exaggerated the bit where Ismael and QueeQuee meet and end up in bed together and are then BFFs immediately for comic effect, but no, it's really there.

Ah, Ahab! How we all like to be told that there is such a thing as great men, that obsession and sadness are noble and lofty in them. Well, if I come to read a book where obsession destroys everything and yet never even achieves its goal, mayhap there is warning in that. So many warnings to turn back! ( )
  atreic | Oct 14, 2015 |
Moby Dick by Herman Melville; (2*)

I have attempted to read this book more than nine times and have yet to finish it. I came within 40 pages and still couldn't do it. Oh well, another year perhaps. ( )
  rainpebble | Sep 27, 2015 |
Melville used the plot and commentary of Moby Dick to consider several large ideas, the most discussed being "revenge". Because the revenge part of the story is well enough known without having read the book, it was the less interesting topic.

Melville also spoke about hypocrisy. He had the sometimes-narrator, Ishmael, explain that whale fishing is perceived as barbaric but those who perceive it in this way are equally as likely to use whale products, particularly oil for lighting. Additionally, Ishmael explains, any slaughterhouse is barbaric. I see his point but the whale slaughters were still sad and seemed like unnecessary, painful violence.

Melville also comments on social issues when describing "fast-fish" and "loose-fish," which refer to ownership of dead whales in the ocean. He uses Ishmael to explain that America was "loose fish," up for grabs to whoever could capture it. This seems a sort of might-makes-right pragmatic worldview.

Religion was an additional area of comment. Ishmael expressed a basically live-and-let-live view of religious practices, particularly in allowing the "heathens" to practice their idol worship.

Stylistically, this was an unusual book. It had short sections of plot interspersed with long sections of Ishmael describing everything to do with whales, whale hunting, and the lives of men aboard whaling ships. I didn't exactly enjoy this format or this book, though I appreciate what Melville did with it. It was unique and memorable. ( )
  karmiel | Aug 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 295 (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 (190 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Melville, Hermanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, Mortimer J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beaver, Harold LowtherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino, NemiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delbanco, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, CliftonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jendis, MatthiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mummendey, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pavese, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quirk, TomCommentarysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rathjen, FriedhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, BoardmanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaeffer, MeadIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, J.M.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walcutt, Charles ChildEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Is abridged in


Has as a reference guide/companion

Has as a study

Has as a supplement

Has as a commentary on the text

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
There Leviathan, Hugest of living creatures, in the deep
Stretch'd like a promontory sleeps or swims,
And seems a moving land; and at his gills
Draws in, and at his breath spouts out a sea.
In token

of my admiration for his genius,

This Book is Inscribed


Nathaniel Hawthorne.
First words
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.
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. ...from Chapter 1 : Loomings
"If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me."
All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event--in the living act, the undoubted deed—there, some unknown but still reasoning thing put forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough.
To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.
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 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.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
1851 : Moby-Dick published

On this day in 1851, Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the
voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published by Harper & Brothers
in New York. Moby-Dick is now considered a great classic of American
literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in
fiction: "Call me Ishmael." Initially, though, the book about Captain
Ahab and his quest for a giant white whale was a flop.

Herman Melville was born in New York City in 1819 and as a young man
spent time in the merchant marines, the U.S. Navy and on a whaling
ship in the South Seas. In 1846, he published his first novel, Typee,
a romantic adventure based on his experiences in Polynesia. The book
was a success and a sequel, Omoo, was published in 1847. Three more
novels followed, with mixed critical and commercial results.
Melville's sixth book, Moby-Dick, was first published in October 1951
in London, in three volumes titled The Whale, and then in the U.S. a
month later. Melville had promised his publisher an adventure story
similar to his popular earlier works, but instead, Moby-Dick was a
tragic epic, influenced in part by Melville's friend and Pittsfield,
Massachusetts, neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose novels include The
Scarlet Letter.

After Moby-Dick's disappointing reception, Melville continued to
produce novels, short stories (Bartleby) and poetry, but writing
wasn't paying the bills so in 1865 he returned to New York to work as
a customs inspector, a job he held for 20 years.

Melville died in 1891, largely forgotten by the literary world. By the
1920s, scholars had rediscovered his work, particularly Moby-Dick,
which would eventually become a staple of high school reading lists
across the United States. Billy Budd, Melville's final novel, was
published in 1924, 33 years after his death.

*Note: Information provided by History.com
Haiku summary
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 9 descriptions)

Moby-Dick] is an 1851 novel by Herman Melville. The story tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific whale, Moby Dick, a white whale of tremendous size and ferocity. Comparatively few whaleships know of Moby Dick, and fewer yet have encountered him. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. Ahab intends to take revenge. -- Wikipedia.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 58 descriptions

Legacy Library: Herman Melville

Herman Melville has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Herman Melville's legacy profile.

See Herman Melville's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.83)
0.5 20
1 169
1.5 24
2 309
2.5 66
3 660
3.5 127
4 1043
4.5 151
5 1339


33 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0142437247, 0142000086, 0143105957, 0141198958

The Library of America

An edition of this book was published by The Library of America.

» Publisher information page

Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

» Publisher information page

Library of America Paperback Classics

An edition of this book was published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,915,423 books! | Top bar: Always visible