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Moby Dick (1851)

by Herman Melville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
29,06645773 (3.81)6 / 1503
A young seaman joins the crew of the whaling ship Pequod, led by the fanatical Captain Ahab in pursuit of the white whale Moby Dick.
  1. 180
    The Sea Wolf by Jack London (wvlibrarydude)
  2. 170
    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. 80
    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. 70
    The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe (caflores)
  6. 61
    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. 40
    The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex by Owen Chase (meggyweg)
  9. 62
    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.
  10. 30
    Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories by Herman Melville (chwiggy)
  11. 41
    Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick (John_Vaughan)
  12. 53
    Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund (ecleirs24, AriadneAranea)
    ecleirs24: Cause this novel is based upon a passage from Mobi Dick......
  13. 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)
  14. 54
    Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian (caflores)
    caflores: Para amantes del lenguaje náutico y de las descripciones detalladas.
  15. 21
    Railsea by China Miéville (Longshanks)
    Longshanks: An imaginative, affectionate pastiche of the novel's themes, imagery, and characters.
  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
    Oil! by Upton Sinclair (edwinbcn)
  18. 11
    The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Ronoc)
  19. 11
    The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky (John_Vaughan)
  20. 33
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (ateolf)

(see all 25 recommendations)

1850s (9)
Romans (14)
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English (410)  Dutch (10)  German (8)  Spanish (7)  Italian (6)  French (5)  Catalan (4)  Norwegian (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (458)
Showing 1-5 of 410 (next | show all)
Herman Melville loved himself some motherfucking whales and I don't just mean that facetiously. The whaling asides that Moby Dick is so infamous for are actually testaments to Melville's passion for the subject. He wrote a rousing adventure story around those essays (and the language he used in those sea-adventures parts was gorgeous), but it's when he returns to a piercing examination of the differences between whale heads or how best to remove blubber that you can tell shit got real for him. This book is not for everyone, which is usually a lame excuse for a book, but in this case it's true. Moby Dick is funny, passionate, and beautifully-written in a wildly melodramatic way, but you better come prepared to learn about some whales. ( )
  jobinsonlis | May 11, 2021 |
I made my mind to read Moby Dick after reading Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. I did enjoy reading it overall, but I have to confess that at times I had to force myself to keep going, and also that I glanced over a few chapters without - I think - missing too much of the overall plot.

If you are planning to read this book just keep in mind that the language, although beautiful, has a much slower flow than that of a more contemporary book. Melville has quite insightful and philosophical passages, and from a historical perspective this is an extremely rich book. The information on whaling and the economic importance of it during that period is remarkable - quite a resource for anyone doing research on the subject, or merely curious about it.

But, if I had to summarize it in a few words, it is a book about men facing their demons, and as such, it is a timeless book.

Would I read again? Probably not, but I do feel it is a book that deserves to be read at least once. ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
I gave this a slow re-read, sticking to just a couple chapters a day. This pace really helped me take the time to appreciate the majesty of the prose... truly the Great American Novel. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
Such beautiful, epic prose, I adore adore adore this vast tragic novel. I find myself missing the experience of reading it and being close to its pages and characters. I loved seeing Robert Eggers' 2019 film 'The Lighthouse' credit Melville in influencing its script — Moby-Dick is undoubtedly one of the most amazing engagements with language I've ever read!
  booms | Jan 24, 2021 |
Imitation Leather. Condition: Fine. Size: 8vo
  EboBooks | Jan 16, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 410 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (204 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
Fadiman, CliftonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güttinger, FritzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, William M.Introductionsecondary 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
Pechmann, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary 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
Sutcliffe, DenhamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trent, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walcutt, Charles ChildEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Canonical title
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
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
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.)
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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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
A young seaman joins the crew of the whaling ship Pequod, led by the fanatical Captain Ahab in pursuit of the white whale Moby Dick.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The first English edition of Herman Melville, "The Whale" (London, 1851; 3 vols, 12mo, blue cloth cover, uncut) was issued prior to the first US edition, which appeared later in the same year under the title "Moby-Dick; or The Whale", and contained thirty-five passages omitted from the English edition. (Sale catalogue of A. Edward Newton's collection, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 15 May 1941, lot 729, reproduced in The private library, 4th series, vol. 7, no. 2, Summer 1994, p. 80).
Haiku summary
Call me Ishmael.
Score: Whale 1, Ahab 0.
I alone returned.
(bertilak)
Nor been sparing of

Historical whale research

--Chapter one-o-one

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