A Peep at Polynesian Life

Paperback, 368 pages

English language

Published Dec. 31, 1995 by Penguin Classics.

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3 stars (5 reviews)

Typee is a fast-moving adventure tale, an autobiographical account of the author's Polynesian stay, an examination of the nature of good and evil, and a frank exploration of sensuality and exotic ritual.

The 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature a limited edition collection is published under the auspices of The American Revolution Bicentennial Administration

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Review of 'Typee' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Typee was Melville's first published work, and remains to be one of his strongest. At the time it was his only real successful release in life. Everything else that he published ended up getting substandard fanfare and few sales.

As a Romance, Typee does extremely well. Melville's possibly true but probably fictionalized account of his stay with native Polynesians has aged to have a nice dated charm to it. The writing is especially strong for his first novel and already shows that classic style that nerds like me have come to love so much. If you're interested in Melville's work, you'd do well to start from the beginning with this. It's easily one of his most engrossing books.

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