Moby Dick

Moby Dick

Book - 1950
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"Call me Ishmael" is one of the most familiar and oft-quoted opening lines ever written. Although it was originally published in 1851 to little success or acclaim, Moby Dick is generally regarded as Herman Melville's masterpiece and in many circles as the Great American Novel. ááááMelville's epic story of Captain Ahab's obsessive hunt for the great white whale recalls Job in his quest for justice and Oedipus on his crusade for the truth. The tragic figure of Ahab, in whom virtuous and murderous impulses coexist, speaks for the defeats and triumphs of the human spirit. The richness of Melville's prose and the story's sweep are Shakespearean in their grandeur and symbolic power. Moby Dick remains the measure of literary achievement against which all subsequent American novels must be measured. ááááThis edition of Moby Dick is the companion volume to the Hallmark Entertainment television presentation, broadcast on USA Network. áá Enter the Moby Dick sweepstakes at www.usanetwork.com. The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random, c1950
ISBN: 9780394601199
039460119X
Branch Call Number: FIC Melvi
Characteristics: 565 p

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JCLMattC Dec 30, 2019

This was heavy. If you strip away the dated whale taxonomy and the copious musings on the usage of whale blubber in society, you get a really crazy story. Foaming at the mouth with vengeance, Captain Ahab seeks the white whale, Moby-Dick, and is prepared to chase him to the ends of the earth.

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SunsetBranch
Dec 05, 2019

Just try to read this now, in 2019, without seeing how our endless, rapacious capacity to consume could not have led us- in all innocence- to the complete destruction of our environment and our own culture.
Ah! Moby! Ah! Humanity!

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blue_dog_17792
May 30, 2019

Very entertaining and informative; Stubb is the best character.

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 15, 2018

Perhaps the most famous American novel that the fewest people have read. In fact, for many people the book itself is the white whale – intimidating to contemplate, woeful to confront. There are certainly a lot of problems with *Moby Dick*, especially for the modern reader. This minimal plot moves at a very slow pace. Melville is excessively long-winded, giving us half a dozen complex metaphors with obscure historical references in one paragraph where one clean comparison might have been more effective.

So what is GOOD about the book? Surprisingly, there is a lot of humor. We tend to think of this classic as a great tragedy but Melville is adept at wry descriptions of his characters and sarcastic comments on human nature. The characters are interesting, especially Queequeg the harpooner. And the philosophy about man’s relationship to the universe is interesting if you take the time to think about it as you go. And finally there is the last 50 pages. Melville’s description of the white whale is stunning in its beauty and power. He tightens up the metaphors and delivers a powerful description of man against nature, with the sea and the whale trying to destroy the humans.

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Anita_Dickey
Sep 19, 2018

I read this book to fulfil the goal read an allegory. It has been on my bucket list for a long time. I really enjoyed it even if I did find the ending a bit weird. It is also on listopia's 300 books everyone should read once list. I think it belongs there

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sheepnbeef
Aug 17, 2018

Many reviewers on this page seem to be confused. This is the graphic novel version of Moby Dick and it is incredible. The art style fits the tone perfectly and younger readers can enjoy the iconic story without having to muscle through the dense original novel. Read it if you're a graphic novel fan!

ArapahoeKarenQB Jul 23, 2018

I love the classics, but I couldn't get past the endless descriptions of all the different whales. The story is great overall, but Melville needed an editor to help him cut!

SPPL_Joey Mar 18, 2018

"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."

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gomiami1972
Jan 26, 2018

Normally included in the list of great western civ classics. For the life of me, I can not understand why. My hardbound copy has 419 pages. The actual story is roughly 100ish pages and is compelling, perhaps a 4 star rating. The rest is borderline absurd. Melville dabbles in many fields he has limited erudition. He wears the hat of the historian, zoologist, philosopher, theologian and writer. Unfortunately, he is a bad historian and zoologist, and only a mediocre philosopher and theologian. He also has the annoying tendency to switch to Early Modern English, even though the book and story are centered around 1850, hundreds of years past when Modern English replaced EME. A few times for literary effect, fine. Every time you enter into highbrow manifestos, no. Why did Melville do this...because he read Shakespeare for the first time just before writing Moby Dick. I guess it could have been worse. Melville could have read Chaucer and then we would have had to suffer through Middle English. Moby Dick is not terrible. It is also not a great classic.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 24, 2017

Reading this famous classic by Herman Melville, I soon realized that there was a reason why people found it so notoriously difficult. From lengthy Shakespeare-esque monologues to unending descriptions of Folio, Octavo, and Duodecimo whales, Moby Dick could at times be, quite simply put, annoying. The overall theme was, to be sure, steadily present throughout the entire novel. From the beginning, Captain Ahab was a figure of mystery and determination, with an almost godlike aura. If such a great man would devote his whole life sailing across the sea in pursuit of a whale, wouldn't it be something worthwhile? And so begins a long journey, delineating where human recklessness and greed ultimately leads to. Moby Dick remains a novel I look upon with mixed feelings. It has extremely valuable messages conveyed through its pages, which are timeless and perhaps especially relevant today. But was it truly necessary to fill a good quarter of the book with descriptions of things that were distracting from the story? I would leave that for the reader to decide. Overall, my final verdict would be to give it a try; it's a good book to have read once in your lifetime. 3 stars out of 5 @StarRead of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

The writer tells the story of a man voyaging to see whales. The story emphasizes Moby Dick, an albino sperm whale, that one of the crew members wants revenge on for taking his leg. An interesting set of characters and very diverse, the story is also heavily influenced by Shakespeare and the Bible. What I thought of the novel, however, was that it was deep but there were unnecessary pages, completely describing how boats work. It may just be me from my modern age perspective but this is very difficult to read, and I often caught myself daydreaming.
- @Florence of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Quotes

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ellensix Oct 09, 2015

"I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing."
—Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

a
AlexQ0
Jun 29, 2014

"Call me Ishmael"

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EricaReynolds
Jan 02, 2014

The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.

e
EricaReynolds
Jan 02, 2014

Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian.

e
EricaReynolds
Jan 02, 2014

"Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever."

e
EricaReynolds
Jan 02, 2014

"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."

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 28, 2012

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SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 28, 2012

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SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 28, 2012

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SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 28, 2012

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Summary

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y
yonah952
Nov 07, 2014

Ishmael goes whaling with a friend but the Captain, Ahab, wants revenge on the whale Moby Dick for eating his leg. They kill lots of whales, meet many crazy people who are prophetic, meet other ships, go through tragedies, sail around, and end up all dying against Moby Dick except for Ishmael.

SAPPHIREBEAR15 Jun 28, 2012

History of Moby Dick

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blue_dog_17792
May 28, 2019

blue_dog_17792 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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