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Moby Dick, Or, the White Whale by Herman…

Moby Dick, Or, the White Whale (original 1851; edition 2010)

by Herman Melville

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,90335752 (3.82)6 / 1285
Title:Moby Dick, Or, the White Whale
Authors:Herman Melville
Info:Nabu Press (2010), Paperback, 570 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)

  1. 140
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  2. 130
    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. 60
    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.
  5. 50
    The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare (chrisharpe, John_Vaughan)
  6. 50
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (caflores)
  7. 40
    The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (caflores)
  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. 31
    Railsea by China Miéville (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: An imaginative, affectionate pastiche of the novel's themes, imagery, and characters.
  11. 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)
  12. 32
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (ateolf)
  13. 43
    Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (ecleirs24, AriadneAranea)
    ecleirs24: Cause this novel is based upon a passage from Mobi Dick......
  14. 44
    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (caflores)
    caflores: Para amantes del lenguaje náutico y de las descripciones detalladas.
  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
    The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky (John_Vaughan)
  17. 44
    Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (JGKC)
  18. 11
    Oil! by Upton Sinclair (edwinbcn)
  19. 11
    The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Ronoc)
  20. 24
    Dune by Frank Herbert (LamontCranston)
    LamontCranston: I once heard Harlan Ellison talking about how some works are unadaptable into film and he cited Dune and Moby-Dick And thinking about it, both works use their story telling as platforms for ruminations on well everything about life

(see all 23 recommendations)

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English (320)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (7)  German (6)  Italian (4)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  All (1)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All (356)
Showing 1-5 of 320 (next | show all)
It's not often that I feel relieved to finish a book. But that was my first reaction tonight. I had no idea that this book was a short story (at best a novella) about chasing the White Whale augmented by many essays about whales and the whaling industry of the mid-nineteenth century. I also did not know the ending - so I won't spoil it for the one other person on the planet who doesn't yet know.

I liked the character studies of the various whalemen - they were interesting and sometimes entertaining. The essays about whales and their anatomy were informative. The stories about how the hunts were conducted were heartbreaking.

Finally the story of Ahab and Moby Dick - is is a morality tale of the cost of vengeance? Of obsession? Absolutely on both counts. I think Ahab also loved the competition of man against a behemoth and in Moby's case, since he had eluded so many previous attempts to capture him, there were huge bragging rights at stake (in addition to taking his vengeance).

Oh, I liked the ending, too. It just seemed fitting. ( )
  TerryLewis | Jun 12, 2017 |
This took me longer than I'd like to admit, but mainly because I was reading ongoing titles along with it for several months. Melville's knowledge of whaling and command of the English language-the romance style, was incredible to read in this day and age. What a feat for a writer. Ishmael opens MD, and his voice easily draws readers in to his story. The first several chapters are so descriptive and humorous, especially the relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg of the South Seas. I think this is a historical fiction, but it has an epic journey and central man's story interwoven throughout ( also stories within stories that can get confusing); also the THOROUGH emphasis on the history of whaling is eye-crossing, however, it was fascinating! If you are remotely curious and enjoy literary epics, you'll find something to take away from it. 1. I have never read a more detailed account of American industry ( slow at parts, yes, but some of the literary complexity in the descriptions of whaling ( they even talk about whale penis!) was engaging 2. MD was written at a time when this type of literature was passe, I think, so that makes it kick-ass--hats-off to Melville for that feat.

I audio- journeyed with the second half of MD in the car through audible. Wow. Ahab's "monomania" and Melville's psychology of the men aboard the Pequod living under his thumb, and scenes describing the killing of whales- or already dead and rotting whales-contributed to details very visual and deeply engrossing, if not disturbing. This is an effect that only classical literature can give readers. I noticed a similar feeling with Dracula. ( time period?) This worrying effect drives you forward with a piece of literature this dense, in my humble opinion.

This novel is definitely an experience. An epic story; rich in history and symbolism. Some of the references were difficult, but that part is up to you. I.E. Do your research.

Don't be scared, read it.
Check out this book as an companion piece to read along with MD:
http://tinyurl.com/z3stp4z ( )
  libheroine | Jun 5, 2017 |
Very slow read if you want to get a grasp on all the descriptive images by Melville. Nice short chapters keeps reader from getting bogged down in too long of a reading session. These short chapters are akin to where a commercial would be if the book were a TV show, LOL, but make the reading more easy. ( )
  jdaley | Apr 18, 2017 |
Despite Ishmael's astonished and disquieting first encounter with Queequeg, readers may feel a gentle entry,
an easing into his life as a whaler. Then comes an awakening call from Jonah and Father Mapple:
"You cannot hide the soul!"

Melville alternates unflinching minutely detailed descriptions of whale hunting, hideous cold-blooded
killings, and god-awful butchery with his own kind hearted compassion, love, and respect for animals.
One imagines him pondering, as he did the nursing whale babies who were spared death, all the three-legged Easter lambs that never get a chance at life.
He skewers foie gras, leading this reader to wonder if President Obama read the volume before his visit to Paris restaurants.

Though daunting reading at times for animal lovers, the unrelenting pursuit of the divine, sublime, mystic
Leviathan monster sphinx overrides the parts to skim over.

Midway through the lengthy book when interest may be waning, Melville changes directions, introducing GAMS, and the plot takes off again. Insights into various characters' humor, mysteries, and personal life philosophies abound as we are all "lashed athwartship." The rhythms of the ship, the winds, weather, and waves interweave in this fateful journey toward the "...spouting fish with a horizontal tail."

And, woe be to anyone who interrupts the reading of the Three Chapter Chase!

Rockwell Kent's many illustrations not only illuminate the long text, but move it smoothly along. As well,
we see the world from the whale's eye...and, we want that Great White Whale to make it, to live,
sounding deep and free and far from Ahab's treacherous commands to "...spout black blood."

"Speaking words of wisdom, let (them) be..."

For readers who inquire about the relevance of this old Classic, Ishmael offers up the headline he sees:

The climax of Moby-Dick is perfect.

For me, the ending was not.
Why did the bird need to be nailed to the mast of the dying ship?
Why are we left with this horrifying image? What does it mean?

Other mysteries > The significance of the three mountains
(rooster, tower, and flame) on the Spanish doubloon?

Why the out-of-place, contrived conversational "Town-Ho"
episode is included? It would not be missed.

> What Fedallah gets out of joining Ahab? With his gift of prophecy,
he must have known before departure that he would be doomed
with the rest, so what was he seeking? Unlike Hecate and the
three witches who did not join MACBETH in his castle, Fedallah
strangely casts his lot with The Captain.

(The book I read was unabridged - this Great Illustrated Classics is the only Rockwell Kent title I could find.) ( )
  m.belljackson | Mar 27, 2017 |
This is an odd book. It has some passages that I found really very uncomfortable, the chase of the sick whale, for example, turned my stomach. Having said that, it serves to illustrate the mindset and the times they lived in. Did I enjoy it? Not sure. But I did always want to know how it ended (badly).
Starts and ends as a first person tale, not sure it always fits into that category though. ( )
  Helenliz | Jan 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 320 (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 (167 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
Meynell, ViolaEditorsecondary 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
Sutcliffe, DenhamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walcutt, Charles ChildEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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 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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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 8 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 50 descriptions

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