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Moby Dick (2014)

by Herman Melville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
35,72754571 (3.8)8 / 1624
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The itinerant sailor Ishmael begins a voyage on the whaling ship Pequod whose captain, Ahab, wishes to exact revenge upon the whale Moby-Dick, who destroyed his last ship and took his leg. As they search for the savage white whale, Ishmael questions all aspects of life. The story is woven in complex, lyrical language and uses many theatrical forms, such as stage direction and soliloquy. It is considered the exemplar of American Romanticism, and one of the greatest American novels of all time.

.… (more)
  1. 190
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  2. 180
    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. 100
    Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (_eskarina)
  4. 90
    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. 80
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (caflores)
  6. 72
    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.
  7. 50
    The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare (chrisharpe, John_Vaughan)
  8. 61
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (caflores)
  9. 40
    The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex by Owen Chase (meggyweg)
  10. 30
    Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories by Herman Melville (chwiggy)
  11. 41
    Railsea by China Miéville (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: An imaginative, affectionate pastiche of the novel's themes, imagery, and characters.
  12. 41
    Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick (John_Vaughan)
  13. 41
    Genoa: A Telling of Wonders by Paul Metcalf (tootstorm)
    tootstorm: 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)
  14. 53
    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)
  15. 53
    Ahab's Wife or, The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund (ecleirs24, AriadneAranea)
    ecleirs24: Cause this novel is based upon a passage from Mobi Dick......
  16. 64
    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (caflores)
    caflores: Para amantes del lenguaje náutico y de las descripciones detalladas.
  17. 10
    Qohelet by Piero Capelli (Oct326)
    Oct326: "Qohelet" e "Moby Dick" sono due grandi libri, molto diversi ma con un tema in comune: l'inconsistenza, l'insignificanza e l'inutilità dell'agire umano al cospetto della natura e dell'universo.
  18. 11
    The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky (John_Vaughan)
  19. 11
    The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Ronoc)
  20. 33
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (ateolf)

(see all 26 recommendations)

AP Lit (124)
100 (5)
1850s (9)
Romans (14)
My List (28)
BitLife (111)
Read (14)

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English (482)  Spanish (10)  Dutch (10)  German (8)  Italian (7)  Catalan (4)  French (4)  Norwegian (2)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (533)
Showing 1-5 of 482 (next | show all)
Every summer I attempt a few more chapters; it's just very heavy going.
  Abcdarian | May 18, 2024 |
Tedious ( )
  denmoir | Apr 27, 2024 |
This amazing tome contains everything you didn't think you needed to know about the whaling industry, the whale anatomy, cetology ("the science of whales") and, of course, the extracting of whale spermaceti (not spermatozoa, though the hand squeezing might leave some wondering...)! What's not to love? ( )
  TheBooksofWrath | Apr 18, 2024 |
Una obra cabdal de la literatura del segle XIX d'aventures. Moby Dick narra les peripècies del balener Pequod al capdavant del qual s'hi troba el vell capità Ahab. En la seva obsessiva persecució del catxalot blanc (Moby Dick) portarà a la seva tripulació fins a límits vitals, en una travessa intensa que contextualitza formidablement la dura vida dels baleners en aquesta època. ( )
  AntoninoSegon | Apr 4, 2024 |
Like Ahab himself, this novel is not as fearsome as I had imagined. Its downside is easy to spot - dense language strange to the modern ear and a laggard's pace. It tested my patience somewhere abouts page 500, so it did. On the other hand, never have I wanted to highlight so many passages in a novel; the highlights section on my ebook edition is impressively long. It's a mental feast. And then Ishmael is a jovial, intelligent and likable companion carrying us through. Sure you wish he would shut up already about the minute details of harpoon line and whatnot sometimes and get on with his story, but you have to give him his allowances.

As for the central character of Ahab, what a rich and incredibly useful symbol he is. Most remarkable to me, at the moment, is that he is not the tyrannical autocrat ruling his domain by fear as I had previously believed. He rather bent men to his desire through charisma and force of will channeled through a position of authority, so that the majority of those under him believed in his mission themselves, as unwise as it might logically appear. He is obsessed, and dangerous, but sympathetic! Those few who resisted and remained unmoved, and felt moral objections to the enterprise, such as the first mate Starbuck, were ineffectual and limp in opposition.

How very American. Ahab is not Saddam Hussein, he is George W. Bush! Or insert your favorite murderous tyrant/wrongheaded American President contrast here... ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 482 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (205 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Melville, Hermanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adler, Mortimer J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beaver, Harold LowtherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boehmer, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buhlert, KlausDirectorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino, NemiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delbanco, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Epstein, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, CliftonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güttinger, FritzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, William M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herd, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hewgill, JodyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirsch, IreneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jendis, MatthiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Judge, PhoebeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kazin, AlfredIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kent, RockwellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meynell, ViolaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Millionaire, TonyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mummendey, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palmer, GarrickIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pavese, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pechmann, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Philbrick, NathanielIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quirk, TomEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quirk, TomCommentarysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rathjen, FriedhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, BoardmanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaeffer, MeadIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmischke, KurtIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seiffert, AliceÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seiffert, HansÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Souza, Alexandre Barbosa deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutcliffe, DenhamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trent, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walcutt, Charles ChildEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Amstelboeken (60-61)
I.Waldman & Son, Inc. (Moby Books 4520)
Moby Books (4520)
Playmore, Inc. Publishers (Moby Books 4520)

Is contained in


Is retold in

Has the (non-series) sequel

Has the adaptation

Is abridged in

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Is replied to in


Has as a reference guide/companion

Has as a study

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Has as a commentary on the text

Has as a student's study guide



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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.
I’ll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy.
...so at nightfall, the Nantucketer, out of sight of land, furls his sails, and lays him to his rest, while under his very pillow rush herds of walruses and whales.
...Heaven have mercy on us all—Presbyterians and Pagans alike—for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending.
‘Whale-balls for breakfast—don’t forget.’ (Stubb, second mate)
And with what quill did the Secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Cruelty to Ganders formally indite his circulars? It is only within the last month or two that that society passed a resolution to patronize nothing but steel pens.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(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.
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

The itinerant sailor Ishmael begins a voyage on the whaling ship Pequod whose captain, Ahab, wishes to exact revenge upon the whale Moby-Dick, who destroyed his last ship and took his leg. As they search for the savage white whale, Ishmael questions all aspects of life. The story is woven in complex, lyrical language and uses many theatrical forms, such as stage direction and soliloquy. It is considered the exemplar of American Romanticism, and one of the greatest American novels of all time.


No library descriptions found.

Book description
"Il primo capitolo di Moby Dick comincia con una dichiarazione non umana, ma angelica. Call me Ishmael: chiamatemi Ismaele, non già mi chiamo Ismaele. Non ha importanza il nome del protagonista narratore, ma ciò che egli simboleggia. Ismaele è l'uomo che si sa dotato di una superiorità non riconosciuta dal mondo: il primogenito di Abramo è un bastardo cacciato nel deserto, fra altri reietti; là impara a sopravvivere a questa morte, in perfetta solitudine,indurito contro le avversità." (Elémire Zolla).
Haiku summary
Call me Ishmael.
Score: Whale 1, Ahab 0.
I alone returned.
Nor been sparing of
Historical whale research
--Chapter one-o-one
Do ye love sperm, boys?
Poke my leg into the deck
And sail against God!
Ismael signed up
Captin Ahab chased the whale
But the whale killed him
- GS

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Average: (3.8)
0.5 22
1 259
1.5 27
2 462
2.5 80
3 1001
3.5 160
4 1461
4.5 182
5 1875

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