HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Billy Budd, Sailor (1924)

by Herman Melville

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,635535,589 (3.32)107
In 1797, young Billy Budd is impressed into naval service. It is a perilous time for a British Royal Navy still reeling from mutinies and marauding French ships. When Billy is forcibly transferred to HMS Bellipotent, he evokes the wrath of John Claggart, the ship's Master-at-arms. Claggart falsely accuses Billy of conspiracy to mutiny, a charge that will have a profound effect on the fates of both seamen.… (more)
Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 107 mentions

English (49)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
I went into this one blind other than suspecting that it would have something to do with ships and sailing, and what I got was that, but also a story about the unfairness of Rules, the power of rumor, and a fantastic character study. And Melville could craft a sentence. ( )
  electrascaife | Mar 3, 2024 |
It is 1797, the British Navy are reeling from several mutinies, tensions and rumours are high. Billy joins the crew of the HMS Bellipotent. He is a handsome young seaman whose natural charm and charisma makes him well-liked by his peers. Billy’s only obvious flaw is that he stutters when he becomes emotional.

The captain, Edward “Starry” Vere, likes Billy but the ship’s new master-at-arms, John Claggart, doesn’t. Billy finds himself getting into trouble for little things despite trying to be a model member of the ship's crew. Claggart eventually accuses Billy of mutiny. Billy is so shocked by the accusation that he begins to stutter. Unable to express himself, he hits Claggart in the face and accidentally kills him. The ship's officers are sympathetic towards Billy but he is sentenced to be hanged the next day as the officers fear that not to do so would lead to another mutiny. Billy dies asking God to bless Captain Vere.

The narrator makes numerous brief biblical references. For example, he likens Claggart’s dislike for Billy to Saul’s jealousy of David, Vere calls Billy an angel of God and imagery involving Christ is used when describing Billy’s hanging. Although I found the central story interesting I also found the narrator's voice rather dry and pedantic. My copy of this book was only 88 pages long but I didn't find it a particularly quick read and whilst I enjoyed it more than the author's 'Moby Dick' I cannot in all honesty say that I would recommend it. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Dec 15, 2023 |
The best place to start is the 1962 film, it's easy to understand, entertaining, and the acting, sets and costume fire the imagination. The novella itself is written in fairly ornate language which can distract from following the story, thus watching the film first is a gateway into this somewhat difficult text. If the film sticks with you, read the book, and focus on the wonderful literally aspects, the amazing sentences and grammar. Much ink has been spilled on homoeroticism. This is an intentional plot device to contrast with the theme of an unbending legal code, as Melville says because not to follow the law would be feminine. It's a carefully constructed and well done story, told with amazing skill. One could read it multiple times and find new facets, the mark of a classic. The short length (versus another book) makes it easily re-readable, similar to Heart of Darkness, both reward with multiple readings over time. ( )
  Stbalbach | Oct 21, 2023 |
They found this in HM's papers and I don't think it was published until the 20th century. I can't really recommend it, but you should see what Benjamin Britten and EM Forster did with it (get the new Blu-Ray DVD with Jacques Imbrailo and John Mark Ainsley) you will shit yourself. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
The most interesting part of this book to me was the conflict between doing “real” justice, one the one hand, and doing what is required of us or what is instrumental to our goals on the other(s?).

Negatives: didn’t love the voice of the narrator, kind of dry (in the text I mean, not just the audiobook reader). I was not compelled by this book and probably would have gotten sleepy if I’d read a physical copy of it. That is a big plus of audiobooks, though.

AB ( )
  jammymammu | Jan 6, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (129 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Melville, Hermanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Busch, FrederickEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ceni, AlessandroEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Biagi, FlaminioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freeman, Frederic BarronEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hayford, HarrisonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moering, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palm, Johan M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plomer, WilliamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sealts, Merton M., Jr.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, Raymond M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Has the adaptation

Is abridged in

Has as a study

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.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
Dedicated
to

JACK CHASE
Englishman

Wherever that great heart may now be
Here on Earth or harbored in Paradise

Captain of the Maintop
in the year 1843
in the U.S. Frigate
United States
First words
In the time before steamships, or then more frequently than now, a stroller along the docks of any considerable seaport would occasionally have his attention arrested by a group of bronzed mariners, man-of-war's men or merchant sailors in holiday attire, ashore on liberty.
Quotations
The Chaplain is the minister of the Prince of Peace, serving in the host of the God of War - Ares.
Forty years after a battle it is easy for a noncombatant to reason about how it ought to have been fought. It is another thing personally and under fire to have to direct the fighting while involved in the obscuring smoke of it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

In 1797, young Billy Budd is impressed into naval service. It is a perilous time for a British Royal Navy still reeling from mutinies and marauding French ships. When Billy is forcibly transferred to HMS Bellipotent, he evokes the wrath of John Claggart, the ship's Master-at-arms. Claggart falsely accuses Billy of conspiracy to mutiny, a charge that will have a profound effect on the fates of both seamen.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.32)
0.5 4
1 25
1.5 3
2 59
2.5 11
3 106
3.5 28
4 120
4.5 14
5 56

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 206,012,326 books! | Top bar: Always visible