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Moby Dick

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On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab. Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakeable thirst for vengeance. Narrated by the cunningly observant crew member Ishmael, Moby-Dick is the tale of the hun On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab. Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakeable thirst for vengeance. Narrated by the cunningly observant crew member Ishmael, Moby-Dick is the tale of the hunt for the elusive, omnipotent, and ultimately mystifying white whale—Moby Dick. On its surface, Moby-Dick is a vivid documentary of life aboard a nineteenth-century whaler, a virtual encyclopedia of whales and whaling, replete with facts, legends, and trivia that Melville had gleaned from personal experience and scores of sources. But as the quest for the whale becomes increasingly perilous, the tale works on allegorical levels, likening the whale to human greed, moral consequence, good, evil, and life itself. Who is good? The great white whale who, like Nature, asks nothing but to be left in peace? Or the bold Ahab who, like scientists, explorers, and philosophers, fearlessly probes the mysteries of the universe? Who is evil? The ferocious, man-killing sea monster? Or the revenge-obsessed madman who ignores his own better nature in his quest to kill the beast? Scorned by critics upon its publication, Moby-Dick was publicly derided during its author’s lifetime. Yet Melville’s masterpiece has outlived its initial misunderstanding to become an American classic of unquestionably epic proportions. Includes unique illustrations


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On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab. Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakeable thirst for vengeance. Narrated by the cunningly observant crew member Ishmael, Moby-Dick is the tale of the hun On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab. Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakeable thirst for vengeance. Narrated by the cunningly observant crew member Ishmael, Moby-Dick is the tale of the hunt for the elusive, omnipotent, and ultimately mystifying white whale—Moby Dick. On its surface, Moby-Dick is a vivid documentary of life aboard a nineteenth-century whaler, a virtual encyclopedia of whales and whaling, replete with facts, legends, and trivia that Melville had gleaned from personal experience and scores of sources. But as the quest for the whale becomes increasingly perilous, the tale works on allegorical levels, likening the whale to human greed, moral consequence, good, evil, and life itself. Who is good? The great white whale who, like Nature, asks nothing but to be left in peace? Or the bold Ahab who, like scientists, explorers, and philosophers, fearlessly probes the mysteries of the universe? Who is evil? The ferocious, man-killing sea monster? Or the revenge-obsessed madman who ignores his own better nature in his quest to kill the beast? Scorned by critics upon its publication, Moby-Dick was publicly derided during its author’s lifetime. Yet Melville’s masterpiece has outlived its initial misunderstanding to become an American classic of unquestionably epic proportions. Includes unique illustrations

30 review for Moby Dick

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Hallelujah! Finished! Finally! Not that it wasn't a good book, but it was also extremely tedious at times. Melville had no grievances about doing the research and then pouring every bit of research into the novel. EVERYTHING is explained, from the 'crow's nest' to the type of rope they use on the line. This is where it gets tedious. The story, however, is fantastic and though the book is massive, the chapters are very short, making it a tad easier. So, if Melville devotes an entire chapter to th Hallelujah! Finished! Finally! Not that it wasn't a good book, but it was also extremely tedious at times. Melville had no grievances about doing the research and then pouring every bit of research into the novel. EVERYTHING is explained, from the 'crow's nest' to the type of rope they use on the line. This is where it gets tedious. The story, however, is fantastic and though the book is massive, the chapters are very short, making it a tad easier. So, if Melville devotes an entire chapter to the face of the whale, you can rest easy that it will only last 2-4 pages. Ishmael is an extremely lovable narrator. He and Queequeg made the story for me, as well as second mate Stubb. Ahab is a total bad ass mofo. All in all, tough read but great story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    James Dunlap

    This has replaced the Great Gatsby as my all-time favorite. The language is advanced (which is off-putting to some people, but I love learning new words), -and when Melville describes the sea, he does so with breathtaking eloquence. This is one of the few novels out there that, when reading it, you can tell that the author poured his soul out onto the pages, putting everything he had into it (it took Melville 4 years to write this magnum opus). What a great tragedy that it was panned in his life This has replaced the Great Gatsby as my all-time favorite. The language is advanced (which is off-putting to some people, but I love learning new words), -and when Melville describes the sea, he does so with breathtaking eloquence. This is one of the few novels out there that, when reading it, you can tell that the author poured his soul out onto the pages, putting everything he had into it (it took Melville 4 years to write this magnum opus). What a great tragedy that it was panned in his life, and didn't achieve widespread acclaim until "rediscovered" in the 1920's! One of the chapters toward the end, when Ahab is lamenting and pondering on why he is the way he is, and a single solitary tear falls from his eye (consequently indicating in a brilliant moment of writing that were it not the White Whale, Ahab would be seeking to give vent to his wrath on some other Ahab-imagined manifestation of God's Will, for it was simply in his stubborn nature) was so beautiful, so haunting, and all around magnificent. This book inspired me to write again after several years of writers block, and for that I am forever indebted to Melville. He gave life to my own creativity. I highly recommend this book to anyone brave enough to plod through this wordy, highly-detailed "myth-in-the-guise-of-a-novel." If you love language, you won't regret it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Branden Meyers

    Is this book long-winded? Absolutely. Pretensions of classical epic and Shakespearean tragedy? Definitely. Does it live up to what it wants to be? Does it ever. The tale is such an epic one that it would be impossible to tell it any other way. The incredibly long explanations of the whaling technique and culture are there, but once the jargon has been served up to you less than one third of the way through the book, you can safely read the rest without wondering what they are talking about. And s Is this book long-winded? Absolutely. Pretensions of classical epic and Shakespearean tragedy? Definitely. Does it live up to what it wants to be? Does it ever. The tale is such an epic one that it would be impossible to tell it any other way. The incredibly long explanations of the whaling technique and culture are there, but once the jargon has been served up to you less than one third of the way through the book, you can safely read the rest without wondering what they are talking about. And some of the explanation chapters actually raise interesting philosophical questions. The book also offers a commentary on the racial beliefs of the time, as well as religion. It is even still culturally relevant today, having been made into several movies, and a really good Mastodon album.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Vaseekaran

    The whale was a metaphor for the book itself. I was Ahab trying to conquer this beast. Twas long.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ivan Renz Ramos

    Is this book one of those long, heavy, and deep metaphors? It doesn't matter. I enjoyed it and it was a nice quick read. I'm not going to write a deep-understanding review because I'm stupid. And I didn't actually quite grasped the meaning. And have I ever mentioned that I'm an stupid? I love whales. 3 out of 5. Too much water.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I thought this book would have a story... but it was literally about whales. All about whales. The types, their bodies, their skin, what they eat, their anatomy, their blow holes... Not enjoyable. And SPOILER ALERT: they spend the whole freaking book hunting this whale (500 pages) and you finally meet the whale in the last 100 pages and THE WHALE LIVES AND THEY ALL DIE. WHAT THE FUCK. Very well written but never again...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    "Ego non baptizo te in nomine patris, sed in nomine diaboli!" - Ahab I finished Moby-Dick last night. What maddening, passionate, horrifying, and beautiful poetry lies within those pages. What wonder and philosophy is lodged within that spine, what secrets to life rest their heads upon ink pillows. Moby-Dick is a masterpiece of American literature and is unrivaled. Yes, there are good books in American literature. Yes, there are even great ones. But how many wake day to day, upon the sea, their h "Ego non baptizo te in nomine patris, sed in nomine diaboli!" - Ahab I finished Moby-Dick last night. What maddening, passionate, horrifying, and beautiful poetry lies within those pages. What wonder and philosophy is lodged within that spine, what secrets to life rest their heads upon ink pillows. Moby-Dick is a masterpiece of American literature and is unrivaled. Yes, there are good books in American literature. Yes, there are even great ones. But how many wake day to day, upon the sea, their heads swaying amongst the sails, the sounds of hammers beating and bashing at molten-bright iron ringing through their ears, with sea foam as their breakfast, supper, and dinner? How many stand amongst the yardarms, perched within their crows rest, and see the natural wonders of their world? How many can state their own observations with such rigor and such passion that all other speeches those their meaning, that all great things in life should take place upon the sea, and rightfully so; for it is the sea from which all life was founded and it is there in that house of Neptune does all the last great mysteries of our world lie unsolved, unseen, and undreamed. And it is there that we face our devils and ye Gods, some being the same entity, with nothing but the sweat of our brows, the strength in our backs, and the harpoon, whose irons are baptized not in water, as of all Godly and christian things, but with the blood of faithful pagans, who care not for the promises of gold but rather simply for the adventure of the quest itself; and it is with that fiendish weapon that we seek to find that thing of madness, that beast which haunts our dreams, that foul thing that stalks our everything waking moments, and then to end him upon the very floor of his home. And even more it is here that we find that despite our passions, despite our choices, are we not but the pawns of bigger things, the pieces of a machine much greater and all knowing that us? And if such is the case, then how else could we do but that which we are so impassioned to do? "What is it, what nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural lovings and longings, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time; recklessly making me ready to do what in my own proper, natural heart, I durst not so much as dare? Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts his arm? But if the great sun move not of himself; but is as an invisible power; how then can this one small heart beat; this one small brain think thoughts; unless God does that beating, does that thinking, does that living, and not I. By heaven, man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and Fate is the hand-spike."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leeie

    I loved this book. I loved the comedy in the beginning where Ishmael meets the harpooner. I loved the often horrible-- yet profound and engaging descriptions of the whaling industry in the 1800s that are such precious anecdotes of history. I enjoyed Melville's descriptions of Ahab and the rest of the crew, the humor he put into descriptions, the curiosity of this intoxicating spermaceti he describes that is no longer accessible today and for great reason. This book was often shocking to me due t I loved this book. I loved the comedy in the beginning where Ishmael meets the harpooner. I loved the often horrible-- yet profound and engaging descriptions of the whaling industry in the 1800s that are such precious anecdotes of history. I enjoyed Melville's descriptions of Ahab and the rest of the crew, the humor he put into descriptions, the curiosity of this intoxicating spermaceti he describes that is no longer accessible today and for great reason. This book was often shocking to me due to the horrors of whaling, but beloved at the same time describing the hard life and work of a whaling ship crew. Half-way through the book, I started to get frustrated at not finding Moby Dick, and this feeling continued up to the very end until well, there was the great white whale. I suppose all of the anticipation was worth it--because I got to be aboard a whaling ship! Loved this book and the old English in it--I would read it again, and again--but it's thick and I'd need to make the time!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Navy heart HamlinNBCT

    "What is a great hunter"?-In the search for raw unadulterated yarns, no one spins it as dramatically as Melville . Hark cockney eyed saviorists enter the taverns and quench the imagination with Captains loading ships, down the New England coastline recruitment and a yesteryear hiring fair ...And so begins the yearly businesses of coastline livelihoods- In the harsh, risky and competitive sport of whaling only the brave needed apply... Lines of bawdy ruffians, skilled warriors and vagabonds need "What is a great hunter"?-In the search for raw unadulterated yarns, no one spins it as dramatically as Melville . Hark cockney eyed saviorists enter the taverns and quench the imagination with Captains loading ships, down the New England coastline recruitment and a yesteryear hiring fair ...And so begins the yearly businesses of coastline livelihoods- In the harsh, risky and competitive sport of whaling only the brave needed apply... Lines of bawdy ruffians, skilled warriors and vagabonds need only apply ... I love steampunking into a text where maidenhead banter tickles our fancy...Our orator harkens us to awaken and bask in the glory of an emerging hunt for colonial doubloons to sweeten the emerging Americanas -Ah "Call me Ishmael" greets our attention ....Off the moors of time, in the hushes of a yesteryear stand the mighty seafaring men of whaling...Herman Melville baits his rod with a salty ole spun yarn of yesteryear...All aboard The Pequod....SAHNBCT2018

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christina Rothfusz

    All I can say is that it is over! Wow, I've forgotton how classical writers can take days to work up to a plot.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karolyn

    I love to read, but this one took me all summer plus to read. Learned more about whaling in the 1800s, but have lost several months of my life as a result.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anastasia Beall

    It is cool how this person named Ahab, the captain of a ship called the Pequod, lost his leg, and got scars from this whale called Moby-Dick. This book was written by Herman Melville, and it has about 585 pages. This book has symbolism in it, because what I think, Captain Ahab is symbolized by the white whale, Moby-Dick, because Moby-Dick is strong and he has many scars, and Captain Ahab is pretty strong too, and has scars too. There is also rites of passage, because the narrator, named Ishmael, It is cool how this person named Ahab, the captain of a ship called the Pequod, lost his leg, and got scars from this whale called Moby-Dick. This book was written by Herman Melville, and it has about 585 pages. This book has symbolism in it, because what I think, Captain Ahab is symbolized by the white whale, Moby-Dick, because Moby-Dick is strong and he has many scars, and Captain Ahab is pretty strong too, and has scars too. There is also rites of passage, because the narrator, named Ishmael, was on the boat with Captain Ahab, to try to catch Moby-Dick. When he went on this boat, I think that it changed his life, by having memories of what had happened to the white whale. There were also dramatic irony, like when the people on the ship thought that the whale, Moby-Dick, went away, but little did they know, he was here. In conclusion, I think that this was an interesting book, which is great for people who like reading.

  13. 4 out of 5

    McKay Argyle

    Ishmael is wanting to go on a waling ship. The ships caption, Captain Ahab, is very straight forward and is obsessed with finding the white whale. They get some whales and they spot the white whale and go chasing after it but it distoryes there row boats. Ahab is taken over bored of the row boat and dies because of Moby Dick. Ishmael changes the most because at the beginning of the book he did not know much about the wales. he learned lots about them and how to catch them. He all so changes to n Ishmael is wanting to go on a waling ship. The ships caption, Captain Ahab, is very straight forward and is obsessed with finding the white whale. They get some whales and they spot the white whale and go chasing after it but it distoryes there row boats. Ahab is taken over bored of the row boat and dies because of Moby Dick. Ishmael changes the most because at the beginning of the book he did not know much about the wales. he learned lots about them and how to catch them. He all so changes to not like Ahab. He all so becomes friends with a head hunter witch is on of the harpooners. As humans we tend to get to obsessed with stuff. If we get to obsessed with stuff it can lead to bad consequences. We need to make sure we don't do that. In life we all so tend to do some thing before we know what it is. I like to learn knew things about nature. I have always wanted to read Mobly Dick. I loved that it was very action packed. I liked that good always defeats the evil.

  14. 5 out of 5

    tim Thornton

    It not one of my best books out there but I got to say it took me a month to read it was a read boom on the kindle book store so I want to read and see what every one was reading about. It had some good points am d bad points to the book, but at the end I could say to people that it an okay book if it the type of reading you`re looking for. I got to say it long and some chapter are boarding but I just want to read it once and say that I readed and say i never open this book again. So hope you wa It not one of my best books out there but I got to say it took me a month to read it was a read boom on the kindle book store so I want to read and see what every one was reading about. It had some good points am d bad points to the book, but at the end I could say to people that it an okay book if it the type of reading you`re looking for. I got to say it long and some chapter are boarding but I just want to read it once and say that I readed and say i never open this book again. So hope you want to read this long book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pauly Morphous

    This one is worthy of its billing as a classic. In reading it you are likely to: - enrich your vocabulary - exercise your discipline and patience - behold an epic tale that will broach the subjects of spirituality, human behaviour, causality, race relations and the world of whaling/seafaring among a great many other things. A fantastic read and I reckon most readers would find multiple aspects to enjoy about this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    SARAH ADAMS

    The Pequod leaves Nantucket on Christmas Day for the Pacific, and along its journey, the narrator introduces the reader to quite a few of the ship’s members. Starbuck is the chief mate, Stubb, the second mate, and Flask, the third. There are also three harpooners: Queequeg, Tashtego, and Daggoo. The narrator not only describes the crew but also provides a lot of information about sperm whales and how they are spotted and hunted.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kana

    I personally did not enjoy the book very much because it was all about whaling and captain Ahab and his whaling crew trying to hunt down the white whale, Moby Dick who had taken one of his legs and was a very gigantic and humongous whale which no one was able to kill but Ahab was determined to kill if it was the last thing he did.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hartman

    I read this book in college and loved it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul R Robinette

    Large paragraphs listing genus and species of whales. Horrible.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hoa Vu

    I don't know... I was attracted by the beautiful writing at the beginning, but then it got so boooooooooring. I don't even want to give it another try ever again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christine Georgiou

    Nature and Humankind - an extraordinary book to learn about nature's power, human limits and respect!!! Strongly proposed to young people - great book to grow up with!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    For me, Moby Dick achieved three main things very well. It educated me about whales and whaling, and in doing so it imposed a sense of awe and appreciation for whales. Thirdly, it told a dramatic and enjoyable story of an obsessed man and his journey. Melville spent many chapters on the technical aspects of whaling. There was a lengthy chapter describing every species of whale “of note,” even though there were only two species in the story itself. There were several chapters detailing the harpoon For me, Moby Dick achieved three main things very well. It educated me about whales and whaling, and in doing so it imposed a sense of awe and appreciation for whales. Thirdly, it told a dramatic and enjoyable story of an obsessed man and his journey. Melville spent many chapters on the technical aspects of whaling. There was a lengthy chapter describing every species of whale “of note,” even though there were only two species in the story itself. There were several chapters detailing the harpooning and killing of the whale, several involving the butchering, and even one about refinement of the oil. Melville expounded upon whale anatomy (internal and external), whale behavior, and whale social structures. It’s safe to say that I learned a lot about whales, and the perils of hunting them. Melville also spent time magnifying the whale. He made arguments that many Ancient Greek monsters were actually whales, and he explains how even in the bible whales are treated as hugely powerful beasts. Melville spent a lot of time speaking both objectively and subjectively about whales, and it gave me a sense of respect and awe. The idea that something so incredibly large could have intelligence is amazing. I have found myself watching youtube videos of whales in my free time. Never has a book been able to make me respect an animal so deeply. The third aspect of the book I enjoyed was the plot. It’s safe to say the novel has had a huge impact, and remains relevant today. The Wikipedia page for Adaptations of Moby Dick lists 16 movies, 8 musical adaptations, 7 stage adaptations, as well as many other forms as well. The story is this timeless because of the epic pursuit fuelled by the mysterious Captain Ahab. I found Ahab’s character interesting. He is dedicated to the point of insanity, and can’t help but relentlessly pursue his quarry. He also manages to convince the crew to follow him on this misguided mission. The crew, and particulary Starbuck, has the opportunity again and again to revolt and turn back, but they are intimidated by Ahab, and get caught up in the chase. Their fate is sealed just like Queequeg’s coffin is sealed to make a life preserver. Melville’s language was occasionally thick and sweeping, making Moby Dick much more difficult to concentrate during than my previous books. This difficulty made the novel all the much more worth it for me though. I thoroughly enjoyed Moby Dick.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    A classic and a good read, too. Melville's characters represent all sorts of "types," with Captain Ahab himself saying his mates Starbuck and Stubb represented the poles of the earth, with Ahab in between. Ahab, of course, was filled with vengeance. Melville does not sugar coat the prejudices of the time, but he does work through them by having his non-white characters, like trusty Queequeg, show their talents, intelligence, strength, or other attributes, and often themselves being more tolerant A classic and a good read, too. Melville's characters represent all sorts of "types," with Captain Ahab himself saying his mates Starbuck and Stubb represented the poles of the earth, with Ahab in between. Ahab, of course, was filled with vengeance. Melville does not sugar coat the prejudices of the time, but he does work through them by having his non-white characters, like trusty Queequeg, show their talents, intelligence, strength, or other attributes, and often themselves being more tolerant than those they encountered. While the narrator, Ishmael, carries with him his own prejudices, he was open enough to learn to overcome them. Melville spins a yarn skillfully, taking the reader in with his storytelling in most parts. However, he genuinely seems fascinated by whales and sometimes goes into such depth and detail about whales, as an aside to the story, that it becomes a bit of a distraction. He also throws in a few tangent stories that, while entertaining enough, seem to pull the reader away from the otherwise forceful action of the main story. Melville's Ishmael insists that the whales are but mere fish, but he observes them nursing their young, behaving in intelligent manners, and even behaving a bit like people. However, he seems to express no regret over their killing, nor concern that the seas might be emptied of them. Reading through it made me note that society seems only to really condemn something after it becomes unnecessary; hence, strong opposition to whaling did not arise until after the discovery of petroleum and refining, when civilized countries could afford the luxury of doing away with whaling. Melville certainly captures the atmosphere of the time and the places in which his story unfolds, with the various speech patterns, outlooks, dress, description, and so on. Yet he deals with a good many timeless themes, to include religion, human society, and so on. His description of a "fast fish" and a "loose fish" and how conflicts are resolved has a much broader application than to just whalers. It is not a short or even an incredibly easy read; it does have its dry spots (I thought especially the detailed studies of whales in themselves were a little much for a general audience), but the main narrative rolls along in an engaging manner. Well worth it, if you haven't yet!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bettielee

    I swear to almighty Ahab, I feel like I've gone after the whale, slaughtered it, and then had to cook and eat it all in one setting. This was the most painful thing I have ever gone thru, reading this damn book. Not that it didn't have its moments. However, this is not the seafaring adventure they try to sell you in high school. I admit, I've said I read this book but I "read" it in high school: ie: I just followed along in class. I didn't actually read it. Now I can say that I have. Now that I I swear to almighty Ahab, I feel like I've gone after the whale, slaughtered it, and then had to cook and eat it all in one setting. This was the most painful thing I have ever gone thru, reading this damn book. Not that it didn't have its moments. However, this is not the seafaring adventure they try to sell you in high school. I admit, I've said I read this book but I "read" it in high school: ie: I just followed along in class. I didn't actually read it. Now I can say that I have. Now that I have, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I didn't enjoy it. Or much of it. I enjoyed a little of some of it. I don't know what to say. I feel wounded. Like I've climbed a mountain and now i"m all exhausted and everyone wants me to tell them how I feel about climbing the mountain. I just want to go to sleep. Basically, this is a great novel but not such a great book. If you were to take the actual story and plot of the book it would be 1/3 of the length. Most of the book goes on and on about whaling, whales, fishing, Nantucket....when something exciting happens (which is given a sentence or two) we break away and go on and talk about whaling for five or six chapters. And despite starting out "call me Ishmael" the books does not keep to first person - it rambles around, sometimes giving first person pov to the first mate, the harpooners, etc, then it goes to third person omniscient. And sometimes it reads like a play, with stage directions. It's weird. It's almost like reading a first draft mixed up with a bunch of research and at the end, Melville just went frack it, I'm sending the book in like this. The thing I don't understand - I read lots of classical novels. I love the novels of this period - I read Hardy, Dickens, the Brontes, Ann Radcliffe, etc. What I am saying is that I read far and wide in this era. However - I cannot understand many of the sentences. They seriously make no sense. My eyes start to glaze over. I just found it really hard to follow and I don't have that problem with other novels. so A: too long B: reads like a fractured mess and C: made me feel stupid. There you go. The only reason I even read it was to tick one more off of my "BBC reading list."

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nick Montesano

    In the book, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Ishmael leaves his previous life as a school teacher and wants to become a whaler aboard a whaling ship. He has made several voyages as a sailor but none as a whaler. He then goes to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he meets Queequeg at an inn. Queequeg has very strange habits and is covered with tattoos, but Ishmael eventually comes to appreciate the man’s good nature. The two eventually decide to seek work on a whaling vessel together. They decided t In the book, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Ishmael leaves his previous life as a school teacher and wants to become a whaler aboard a whaling ship. He has made several voyages as a sailor but none as a whaler. He then goes to New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he meets Queequeg at an inn. Queequeg has very strange habits and is covered with tattoos, but Ishmael eventually comes to appreciate the man’s good nature. The two eventually decide to seek work on a whaling vessel together. They decided to take a ferry to Nantucket where they board the scary looking ship Pequod. The ship’s captain, Ahab, who lost his leg in an encounter with a whale ,(Moby Dick), on his previous voyage, remains secluded from the rest of the crew for some time and keeps a mysterious persona for quite a while. Over the course of more than a year, the ship travels across the Atlantic, around the southern tip of Africa, through the Indian Ocean, the Sea of Japan, and finally to the equator in the Pacific Ocean. Captain Ahab is obsessed with getting his revenge on Moby Dick, so much that he insists on continuing to pursue his single-minded quest. Finally after an almost unending journey, Ahab sights him and the chase is on. For three days, Ahab chases Moby Dick, sending multiple whaling boats after him, only to see each boat destroyed by Moby Dick. Finally, at the end of the third day, the Sperm Whale attacks the ship,and the Pequod goes down with everyone on board. Captain Ahab in a last desperate attempt, throws his harpoon at Moby Dick one last time. He misses, catching himself around the neck with the rope and causing his own death.The only survivor of the destruction is Ishmael, who lives to tell the story because he’s floating on top of the coffin built for his buddy Queequeg when he seemed likely to die of a fever. This book was particularly boring at times, specifically the middle of the book where there seemed to be little if no plot development happening; rather just specific details about whaling. Although, Moby Dick did have an epic ending so for that I recommend this classic novel to anybody who has the patience and the appreciation for an American Classic.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Stockert

    It was gorgeous writing sandwiching an encyclopedia about whales, whaling, and the history of whales in literature. I am not an academic or an intellectual, so I found it difficult to digest, but I can definitely understand why it is as important and lauded as it is. For those aspiring to literary greatness, it is a must read. For those of us who are not and just simply want to either a) find out what the hype is all about or b) claim bragging rights and, consequently, faux literati status, I'll It was gorgeous writing sandwiching an encyclopedia about whales, whaling, and the history of whales in literature. I am not an academic or an intellectual, so I found it difficult to digest, but I can definitely understand why it is as important and lauded as it is. For those aspiring to literary greatness, it is a must read. For those of us who are not and just simply want to either a) find out what the hype is all about or b) claim bragging rights and, consequently, faux literati status, I'll give it a solid "meh." His sentences are long winded and quite difficult and the "Cetology" chapter, along with many of the other chapters in the book, are about as exciting as watching golf on TV. Or NASCAR. I cite the "Cetology" chapter specifically because, well...you'll just have to find out for yourself. That was harsh, but hey! I think it is a novel that belongs where it is. It's the grandfather of American literature and we owe it our gratitude in that regard. Grandpa can tell us a lot of cool stories and possesses wisdom that we can't comprehend. He's seen and done a lot of great stuff and has more of a worldly understanding. However, grandpa is old and he's outdated and sometimes, he says some kooky stuff. He can't keep up with the whippersnappers of the modern day. I tend to stick to the bounteous amount of stuff that's been written within the last 50-70 years, so perhaps I'm a bit biased. Perhaps this was an experiment that was doomed to fail. I've also grappled with the thought that maybe it didn't fail at all. Like the Pequod crew's quest to find and vanquish the white whale known as "Moby Dick," the novel is an undertaking, but a noble one. Whether you are looking to gain a profound understanding of Moby Dick, yourself, the world, etc., or you just want to be able to say (like I did), "I read Moby Dick," I think the burden is well worth it, despite what I've very flippantly just said about the book. I feel good about having read it. Actually, I feel great, but I think I'm going to stay on dry land from now on.

  27. 5 out of 5

    BonSue Brandvik

    I know Moby Dick is a classic, but gee whiz! This book contains so many pages/chapters of factual details about whales, whaling and whaling ships/traditions, that I must admit I was bored throughout much of the story. Still, considering this book was first published in 1851, I was quite impressed that Melville used such a diverse cast of characters to serve as the crew on the Pequot, Captain Ahab's ship. The crew is made up of White, Black and Hispanic men, with lifestyles ranging from Christian I know Moby Dick is a classic, but gee whiz! This book contains so many pages/chapters of factual details about whales, whaling and whaling ships/traditions, that I must admit I was bored throughout much of the story. Still, considering this book was first published in 1851, I was quite impressed that Melville used such a diverse cast of characters to serve as the crew on the Pequot, Captain Ahab's ship. The crew is made up of White, Black and Hispanic men, with lifestyles ranging from Christian family-men to cannibals and homosexuals, yet Melville shows no bias with regard to touting one person's system of beliefs as being superior over another person's beliefs. Captain Ahab spends the majority of the book in his cabin, so most of the real action happens in first few chapters, where we get to know Ishmael & his cannibal friend, and the last few chapters, where Captain Ahab has his final showdown with Moby Dick, resulting in the deaths of everyone but Ishmael. For me, the main take-aways of this story are: 1) Always find out if a captain is crazy before you agree to sail away on a 3-4 yr journey under his command 2) Don't trust or work for a zealot, regardless of his mission. Obsession is obsession in all things. 3) If you become certain that you are working for a crazy zealot, disregard any and all previously signed commitments/contracts you may have signed and sail for home. 4) Never underestimate your foes or overestimate your ability to conquer them. If a foe is willing to swim away and leave you alone after you have lost a battle, think twice before pursuing him. 5) Don't let any goal/obsession/need for revenge rule your life. Generally speaking, obsessive quests don't turn out well. I wonder what my English teacher would think of my summary/review of Moby Dick? Hopefully, she would just be proud of me for reading the unabridged version of the book, from start (Call me Ishmael)to finish (It was the devious-cruising Rachel, that in her retracing search after her missing children, only found another orphan.)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Irene Vazquez

    I had finished this book a year ago and for reasons unknown had forgotten to update the goodreads thing. I was ridiculously proud of having finished it, since this is one of those books you read frantically in the hopes of skimming the chapters you need for school. You get a general idea, but you never finish it and if you do it's an effing miracle. So a miracle happened and I finished it. REALLY a miracle. It's a difficult read, I'm not gonna lie. Especially difficult because after the first Ishm I had finished this book a year ago and for reasons unknown had forgotten to update the goodreads thing. I was ridiculously proud of having finished it, since this is one of those books you read frantically in the hopes of skimming the chapters you need for school. You get a general idea, but you never finish it and if you do it's an effing miracle. So a miracle happened and I finished it. REALLY a miracle. It's a difficult read, I'm not gonna lie. Especially difficult because after the first Ishmael-perspective chapters (and his awesome bromance with Queequeg) it gets really hard to follow characters around. I had to plow through the cetology and history chapters I even had to look up images in google to make sure I understood what the whaler crew was doing when Melville described butchering and hunting. Still, I'm a sucker for naval stories and this didn't disappoint. I'm probably going to have to read it again because these parts of the book are still blurry and I probably can't locate half the characters I should. But now at least I can brag I finished effing Moby-Dick. How cool is that!?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cody Hansen

    Reading this book was struggle for me. Not because it was a hard book to read, it was just so slow and quite possibly one of the most boring books I've read. I then tried to read the audio book, but I think that was even worst. I can see how people like the more classic books and all, but this book just made me want to sleep. In the first 100 pages of reading it would often talk about how the main character would be upset with the ship he was on. He had to sleep next to a cannibal and that the s Reading this book was struggle for me. Not because it was a hard book to read, it was just so slow and quite possibly one of the most boring books I've read. I then tried to read the audio book, but I think that was even worst. I can see how people like the more classic books and all, but this book just made me want to sleep. In the first 100 pages of reading it would often talk about how the main character would be upset with the ship he was on. He had to sleep next to a cannibal and that the ship would hit waves to much when he had to do common things, like eat, sleep and use the bathroom. Which is a logical reason to not like the boat ride, but the amount of time spent explaining the way he felt about it. This book really only dissevers 3 stars because it was slow and a very run on book, but was interesting on some levels and made me think a little that I wouldnt have with other books. This book would be much more interesting if he did more than just be on a boat looking for wales. I think it would be a lot more fun to read if he traveled more and went through other problems. I think just more conflict would make me want to read it. I Suggest this book to anyone who like classic books and is aware that this book use to be very popular back in the 1950s.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kourt Williams

    The book Moby Dick is considered one of the most strangest and most wonderful books ever written. The book's plot starts off slow, then as the book goes on it gets more and more interesting and exciting. Some people may say that this book is not interesting and it isn't a book that they would consider. Which I can understand because you really need to be dedicated to reading this book because if you're not patient when your reading the book and you just want something really dazzling to happen r The book Moby Dick is considered one of the most strangest and most wonderful books ever written. The book's plot starts off slow, then as the book goes on it gets more and more interesting and exciting. Some people may say that this book is not interesting and it isn't a book that they would consider. Which I can understand because you really need to be dedicated to reading this book because if you're not patient when your reading the book and you just want something really dazzling to happen right away, then this book is not for you. One thing that really caught my eye was the way the author wrote the story. The vocabulary in the book was very unique. For example, " let the most absentminded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries-stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water...". The vocabulary in that sentence is very abstract and different which is what I enjoyed the most in the book. I recommend this type of book to an avid reader that likes to read books that take time and is full of descriptive detail.

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