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Moby Dick, Or, the White Whale (edition 2010)

by Herman Melville

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20,15831278 (3.84)6 / 1041
Member:mindatlarge
Title:Moby Dick, Or, the White Whale
Authors:Herman Melville
Info:Nabu Press (2010), Paperback, 570 pages
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Moby Dick by Herman Melville (Author)

  1. 131
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  2. 110
    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. 80
    Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (_eskarina)
  4. 50
    Leviathan or, The Whale by Philip Hoare (chrisharpe, John_Vaughan)
  5. 50
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (caflores)
  6. 41
    Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick (John_Vaughan)
  7. 20
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (caflores)
  8. 31
    Railsea by China Miéville (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: An imaginative, affectionate pastiche of the novel's themes, imagery, and characters.
  9. 31
    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.
  10. 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)
  11. 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)
  12. 43
    Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (ecleirs24, AriadneAranea)
    ecleirs24: Cause this novel is based upon a passage from Mobi Dick......
  13. 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.
  14. 11
    The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky (John_Vaughan)
  15. 11
    Oil! by Upton Sinclair (edwinbcn)
  16. 22
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (ateolf)
  17. 33
    Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (JGKC)
  18. 11
    The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Ronoc)
  19. 23
    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)

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English (280)  German (9)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (5)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (312)
Showing 1-5 of 280 (next | show all)
Such a classic in so many ways. I have seen plays of this, and read the book, as a youth, many times. I can still see every character just as clearly as the day I read them, truly the mark of a great novel! ( )
  Clancy.Coonradt | Jan 6, 2015 |
it took me years to start this book and probably years to finish it. I made it half way through and gave up. Since I don't plan on going on a whaling trip any time soon, I don't think a 20 minutes essay about rope is a need to know. The story ( when you can find it in the book) is good but the rest is just a chain of essays about subjects that are only loosely related to Ahab and Co. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Jan 6, 2015 |
“It’s been years since I last read any of Melville’s work. And the truth is that even now, at the age of sixty-two, I have yet to read Moby-Dick. That’s what I wrote last January in my review of "Bartleby the Scrivener." I’m still sixty-two … I’ve just finished Moby-Dick … and I’ve only after all of these years realized that the title Moby-Dick is hyphenated. “But how now, Ishmael (p. 464)?

Enough said already in that earlier review about the tragedy of Melville’s having died in near obscurity. Enough said, too, about the brilliance of his prose. As a matter of fact, I think I’ve said more than enough—and would do better to turn the microphone (in a matter of speaking) over to Mr. Melville himself and let you be the judge of his craft. Know only that he’s buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx, and that his gravesite and tombstone are as obscure as the end of his life. If I choose to quote Melville at length, it’s now only to excite you to the author of Moby-Dick—and thereby to do my little part to try to rescue his good name from some of that obscurity.

Here, then, is Melville waxing philosophical… “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody’s expense but his own. However, nothing dispirits, and nothing seems worth while disputing. He bolts down all events, all creeds, and beliefs, and persuasions, all hard things visible and invisible, never mind how knobby; as an ostrich of potent digestion gobbles down bullets and gun flints. And as for small difficulties and worrying, prospects of sudden disaster, peril of life and limb; all these, and death itself, seem to him only sly, good-natured hits, and jolly punches in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old joker. That odd sort of wayward mood I am speaking of, comes over a man only in some time of extreme tribulation; it comes in the very midst of his earnestness, so that what just before might have seemed to him a thing most momentous, now seems but a part of the general joke…” (pp. 243-244).

Melville qua whaleman, however, pays due homage to other philosophical heavyweights here (p. 345): “So, when on one side you hoist in Locke’s head, you go over that way; but now, on the other side, hoist in Kant’s and you come back again; but in very poor plight. Thus, some minds for ever keep trimming boat. Oh, ye foolish! throw all these thunder-heads overboard, and then you will float light and right.” And then again here (p. 353): “This Right Whale I take to have been a Stoic; the Sperm Whale, a Platonian, who might have taken up Spinoza in his latter years.”

And here he is just four pages later waxing poetical… “It was while gliding through these latter waters that one serene and moon-lit night, when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver; and, by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed a silvery silence, not a solitude: on such a silent night a silvery jet was seen far in advance of the white bubbles at the bow…”.

I may not always be in agreement with his punctuation, but I’d be a damned fool not to recognize the brilliance of his prose. And given that these two excerpts are only four pages apart, we might assume that Serendipity, Socrates and Sappho had all colluded — together with an excellent claret or post-prandial cognac — to ignite a particularly bright scintilla in Melville’s mind the evening in which he penned this parcel of prose. So bright, in fact, that I’m quite willing to forgive him the gaffe (on p. 289) of referring to Albert (sic) Dürer as “that fine old Dutch savage.” I doubt that Albrecht would’ve liked ‘Albert.’ And no German worthy of his Teutonic plumage would’ve allowed himself to be called ‘Dutch.’ Given what we know today about whale song, we might also forgive this bit of ignorance on p. 368: “…for it is not customary for such venerable leviathans to be at all social.” But then, submarines and underwater microphones didn’t exist in Melville’s day.

But before we leave Melville the poet — even if too long to quote in their entirety — first on p. 506: “At such times … and form one seamless whole”; then again on pp. 554 – 555: “It was a clear steel-blue day … on the marge of that burnt-out crater of his brain.” And these are just a few examples from a book that is rife (and ripe!) with them.

But what of Melville the iconoclast — and at times, I dare say, the misanthrope? Writing on p. 374 of a whale under attack by Ishmael, Starbuck, Stubb and others: “For all his old age, and his one arm, and his blind eyes, he must die the death and be murdered, in order to light the gay bridals and other merry-makings of men, and also to illuminate the solemn churches that preach unconditional inoffensiveness by all to all.” Or this, on p. 388: “Seldom have I known any profound being that had anything to say to this world, unless forced to stammer out something by way of getting a living. Oh! happy that the world is such an excellent listener!” Or this, on p. 401: “Best, therefore, withhold any amazement at the strangely gallied whales before us, for there is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.” And finally this, on p. 430: “Hereby Stubb perhaps indirectly hinted that though man loved his fellow, yet man is a money-making animal, which propensity too often interferes with his benevolence.”

I would be doing Melville an ill service indeed if I failed, by way of conclusion, to mention his dry wit (very much in evidence, by the way, in "Bartleby the Scrivener"). On p. 362 we find: “A nose to the whale would have been impertinent. As on your physiognomical voyage you sail round his vast head in your jolly-boat, your noble conceptions of him are never insulted by the reflection that he has a nose to be pulled. A pestilent conceit, which so often will insist upon obtruding even when beholding the mightiest royal beadle on his throne.” And finally this—on p. 426: “By some, ambergris is thought to be the cause, and by others the effect, of the dyspepsia in the whale. How to cure such a dyspepsia it were hard to say, unless by administering three or four boat loads of Brandreth’s pills, and then running out of harm’s way, as laborers do in blasting rocks.”

Leave it to Melville to construct a subtle syllogism from ambergris to whale-fart. Brandreth’s pills — we may assume — were the laxative of Melville’s day.

If it’s not already obvious, I can’t say enough about this book. I, personally, struggled with the dialogue, the punctuation, and with some of the more archaic constructions (not to mention the vocabulary — so, let a good dictionary be your vade mecum for at least as long as you’re attending to Melville!). But of all the novels I’ve ever read, I would have to place Melville’s Moby-Dick just after Cervantes’ Don Quixote and just ahead of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, Dostoevski’s Crime and Punishment, and Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.

RRB
08/14/13
Brooklyn, NY


[bc:Trompe-l'oeil|10844205|Trompe-l'oeil|Russell Bittner|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327873786s/10844205.jpg|15758639][bc:Trompe-l'oeil|10844205|Trompe-l'oeil|Russell Bittner|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327873786s/10844205.jpg|15758639]
( )
1 vote RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
What a crazy old bugger that Captain Ahab was!

It has taken me so long to finish this book that I'm glad I can slam it shut, put it on the shelf and write this review. But where to begin?

I don't want to slam the whole thing. Really, I don't. Because I was quite looking forward to reading it, and the first few chapters where we meet Ishmael and Queequeg got me quite interested in the story. The they got on the ship and it all kind of slowly went downhill from there.

Being on a whale ship, in between when you are actually chasing whales, must get pretty boring for the whalers. That's how this part of the book seemed to me. A lot of philosophizing about ... stuff? ... and then scientifically inaccurate (they probably seemed right at the time) descriptions of the whale as a 'big fish with lungs'. It floated in and out of the actual story (which I was more interested in) about the madman Ahab and his crazy quest to find and destroy Moby Dick (who does not appear until the 466th page, in my edition!) and the philosophy and musings and explanations from Ishmael. As the story went on I felt we lost Ishmael's point of view and it became more of a third person narrative. That was too bad - I liked Ishmael and his story. But I get that his story is a mere part of the whole adventure.

I enjoyed some of this book, but mostly I was just glad to finish it! ( )
  crashmyparty | Dec 9, 2014 |
A great book that is so much more than just a hunting of a whale. Or an obsession towards an objective truth. This book is truly one I would take with me on an Island and read and re-read again. The power of the whale is worth the great white hunt?" Its also worth all the background material on Whales. For the background gives the amazing quality that whales held on Nantucket and New England at one time. One can not get to the heart of Ahab's folly without the heart exposed of a great white whale. "I watched last night, on Nova, Scientists attempting to find the Wolverine, an elusive animal, that dodges, darts and hides from man. I recalled Ahab's search for Moby-Dick. The scientists held the same type of fanaticism to find their wolverines." This book will be read again and again, and is part of my essential library. I also enjoyed the "Big Book Project" from the lads across the Pond in Plymouth U.K.. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (163 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Melville, HermanAuthorprimary 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

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Epigraph
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. PARADISE LOST
Dedication
In token

of my admiration for his genius,

This Book is Inscribed

to

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.
Quotations
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.
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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.
(bertilak)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:50 -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 59 descriptions

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Editions: 0142437247, 0142000086, 0143105957, 0141198958

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