Moby-Dick

Paperback, 660 pages

English language

Published March 16, 1991 by Vintage Books/Library of America.

ISBN:
978-0-679-72525-1
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
23286500

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (200 reviews)

"Command the murderous chalices! Drink ye harpooners! Drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat's bow -- Death to Moby Dick!" So Captain Ahab binds his crew to fulfil his obsession -- the destruction of the great white whale. Under his lordly but maniacal command the Pequod's commercial mission is perverted to one of vengeance. To Ahab, the monster that destroyed his body is not a creature, but the symbol of "some unknown but still reasoning thing." Uncowed by natural disasters, ill omens, even death, Ahab urges his ship towards "the undeliverable, nameless perils of the whale." Key letters from Melville to Nathaniel Hawthorne are printed at the end of this volume. - Back cover.

255 editions

too smart? too soon?

4 stars

  1. So thoroughly about whales and whaling and the pre-fossil-oil industry that trying to write a book about any of that without reference to this now feels impossible. Thankfully, I'm not writing a book of whale facts; its been done.
  2. "Blood for Oil!" (p291) This story echoes Don Quixote's wandering and precarity, but connects more immediately to the modern world's thirst for exploitation. Seriously relevant.
  3. Technical knowledge's belief it has overcome passions and the most inevitable, which gives justification for the huge bulk of whale and whaling facts, while also constantly and purposefully undercutting the worth of reading all that.

Review of 'Moby-Dick' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Either I am confused or this book is confused, but there is no way around it, confusion is present.
This is a great story with powerful themes and ideas written in a surprisingly interesting style. It is unfortunately undermined by pages upon pages of what could only be described as dry encyclopedic exposition about everything whale. I suppose Melville was also confused by the objective of his writing, considering that the book has two titles which carry two distinctly different emphases. Was he writing about Moby Dick, a symbol to be used to explore more complex themes, or was he writing about "the Whale", so we ought to also be educated on everything whale?
Confusion aside, this book probes some ideas quite neatly, such as diversity, hierarchy, and obsession - choosing to focus on exploring the mind and consequences of one's fixation on things outside their own control.

Deeply flawed but also a true classic

3 stars

I read this over the course of about 6 months as a group read. 5-10 of us would meet for an hour a week and take turns reading chapters. It's a very enjoyable experience that way, and at the same time I don't think I'd even have finished the book if I'd tried to read it alone.

Apart from being notoriously long, it's full of meandering digressions many of which would probably have lost me. And the tone of the writing is dominated by the pomposity of the narrator, which at times is used for great effect but at others just grates. It's also extremely wordily heavy. I realise that some of this is just the literary English of the time, but Melville was well capable of using that style to dramatic effect, like in Bartleby which I found a total page-turner, or some of my favourite individual chapters of …

Review of 'Moby-Dick by Herman Melville : (Penguin and Amazon Original Classic Seller List)' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I was quite surprised how easy a read this was. I tried reading [b:Frankenstein|35031085|Frankenstein|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1498841231l/35031085.SY75.jpg|4836639] once and got bored, expected the same here and was plesantly surprised by Melville’s much more enjoyable writing style.

I was also surprised by how rational Ahab acts. Yes, he wants to take revenge on Moby Dick. But most of the time he is just a captain on a whale ship that hunts whales for profit.
The obsessive things he does are, apart from the oath bit and talking about the whale a lot, mostly limited to once threatening Starbuck when he demands a delay to save the valuable oil – and then delaying the hunt anyway – and then actually going out in the boats on days two and three, when the days before have shown how dangerous it was. I had expected more howling madness.

And, yes, this is more …

Review of 'Moby Dick' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

A fun, fast paced, and light hearted science-fantasty in space with dastardly villains and classic heroes! I love the ships in this, and the space battles are excellent!
I have to admit however, I liked book 1 better, because the humans in book 2 detracted from the fun. I had issues with them, the captain most of all.
The captain Serengeti mourned for in book 1 is...well he suffers in a state of dated, toxic behaviour so thick I just couldn't get why sweet, smart, powerful Serengeti puts up with it. Why he is presented as a 'hero' at all.
He doesn't want help when he's injured ("Last thing I need is some damned nursemaid fawning all over me."), doesn't really value book learning ("Math? What math? What the hell does math have to do with any of this?"...they are discussing navigation and orbits in space …

Review of 'Moby Dick' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

Great adventure

A nice break from the Seeker adventures yet still one in a way. This book also introduced us more into how this universe works. What the Voids really are, how travel works, the trinkets, and the systems in place.

There were a few errors, like how one gate was opened by this character but a few paragraphs later the gate was supposedly opened and closed by the other character. There was also a rule about using trinkets, a restriction on what you can use but was multiple times ignored in the rest of the novel. Or, I could have misunderstood this trinket rule/restriction.

Regardless of those, full 5 stars for book 3! Now, let's begin the real adventure in book 4!

Oh, didn't I mention how the characters grew? Well done on building them up and keeping them realistic, characters we can relate to.

Review of 'Moby-Dick, or, the Whale by Herman Melville : (Penguin and Amazon Original Classic Seller List)' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

What do I think about such an epic, Iliad and Odyssey combined, in a 19th century leviathanic novel of such proportions? Would I dare to add something of my own to such a renowned work?

This is not the kind of book you would grasp at first reading; and this was my first. There’s simply too much content for a fly-by reading such as mine to take it fully. There is simply too much, way too much to even venture a justifiable review.

With all that out of the way, the only thing I can add is the personal remark about if reading a book of such a magnitude is worthy of the time and patience to delve into this almost unknown world of the past. Is it? Is this time well spent? I believe it is; that if you don’t mind coming up to the same conclusion as I …

Review of 'Moby-Dick' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

As someone who loves Herman Melville's work, I can explain. This rating is ALMOST a three, I swear!

I'll never understand why out of all of Melville's work, this is one that's remained his namesake. At the time of writing, Melville was riding high off of previous works like "Typee" and "Omoo" (even if the latter wasn't nearly as popular). "The Whale" was the beginning of the end for ol' Herman's fall from grace. An estimated less than three hundred copies were sold at its release, and only just recently has it risen from the depths and taken on the title of The Greatest American Novel Ever Written.

Is it written well? You bet! Some of Melville's most gorgeously descriptive prose is littered throughout this monster of a book, you just have to get through all of the chapters about harpoons and rope to find it.

For many people, this …

avatar for Jeff

rated it

3 stars
avatar for mouse

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Miya

rated it

5 stars
avatar for WearyMads

rated it

4 stars
avatar for cincodenada@bookwyrm.cincodenada.com

rated it

3 stars
avatar for ngs

rated it

3 stars
avatar for neilernst

rated it

4 stars
avatar for hakase

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Pretense

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Moorlock

rated it

4 stars
avatar for quirk

rated it

3 stars
avatar for pjmyburg

rated it

3 stars
avatar for airdog

rated it

4 stars
avatar for texttheater

rated it

4 stars
avatar for dylankuhn

rated it

3 stars
avatar for meeg

rated it

2 stars
avatar for FeloDeSe

rated it

4 stars
avatar for cincodenada@bookwyrm.cincodenada.com

rated it

3 stars
avatar for luddite

rated it

4 stars
avatar for netameli

rated it

4 stars
avatar for souzadan

rated it

3 stars
avatar for sinie

rated it

4 stars
avatar for writh

rated it

4 stars
avatar for fynh

rated it

5 stars
avatar for calicozack

rated it

4 stars
avatar for cfnnm

rated it

3 stars
avatar for stim

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jumpinggrendel

rated it

5 stars
avatar for reverse

rated it

5 stars
avatar for vinibaggio

rated it

4 stars
avatar for wakatara

rated it

5 stars
avatar for pearlbear

rated it

4 stars
avatar for tmarsh1024

rated it

5 stars
avatar for dave

rated it

5 stars
avatar for dan_oglesby

rated it

5 stars
avatar for elunedli

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Dunedinmouse

rated it

3 stars
avatar for vilhelmr

rated it

1 star
avatar for Azuaron

rated it

1 star
avatar for Rbeagrie

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jbeimler

rated it

3 stars
avatar for wiebkehere

rated it

4 stars
avatar for paulomalley

rated it

3 stars
avatar for RPhlegm

rated it

3 stars
avatar for steven.watt

rated it

3 stars
avatar for TidePoolParty

rated it

3 stars
avatar for evantownsend

rated it

5 stars
avatar for andywenk

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jasondlee

rated it

4 stars
avatar for tiegz

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jayemar

rated it

2 stars
avatar for emarsh

rated it

3 stars
avatar for susurros

rated it

2 stars
avatar for giantrobot

rated it

4 stars
avatar for cara-cara

rated it

2 stars
avatar for xianny

rated it

2 stars
avatar for tremain

rated it

2 stars
avatar for FreeDom

rated it

4 stars
avatar for AnsgarFrej

rated it

4 stars
avatar for bartl

rated it

2 stars
avatar for byroon

rated it

3 stars
avatar for MarianneBrix

rated it

4 stars
avatar for CafeAvian

rated it

4 stars
avatar for fer

rated it

5 stars
avatar for cerieshunter

rated it

4 stars
avatar for gadabyte

rated it

2 stars
avatar for imbrandon

rated it

3 stars
avatar for themizarkshow

rated it

3 stars
avatar for hexarchate

rated it

3 stars
avatar for acaleyn

rated it

2 stars
avatar for joseprous

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Ghalidrim

rated it

3 stars
avatar for AudientVoid

rated it

4 stars
avatar for ProjectAzar

rated it

4 stars
avatar for navaneeth.kk

rated it

5 stars
avatar for m4cb3th

rated it

5 stars
avatar for NewCountry

rated it

2 stars
avatar for indeed_distract

rated it

5 stars
avatar for orange

rated it

5 stars
avatar for waconner

rated it

3 stars
avatar for carlbrown

rated it

2 stars
avatar for dactyl

rated it

4 stars
avatar for kevbot9000

rated it

5 stars
avatar for ixnu

rated it

4 stars
avatar for nostalgia

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Tolomere

rated it

4 stars
avatar for dan80

rated it

4 stars
avatar for GeekGyrl

rated it

1 star
avatar for thebeeks

rated it

3 stars
avatar for nqd

rated it

2 stars
avatar for jlevesque

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Gretrascis

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Pablonaj

rated it

4 stars
avatar for BojanB

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Nachtfalke

rated it

5 stars
avatar for chaos_angel

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Shtakser

rated it

4 stars
avatar for kaleb

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Autolycus

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Myshkin

rated it

5 stars
avatar for animalculum

rated it

5 stars
avatar for opiea

rated it

4 stars
avatar for narinarinari

rated it

3 stars
avatar for ilchinealach

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Stalwart

rated it

5 stars
avatar for averageatchris

rated it

5 stars
avatar for paulo

rated it

2 stars
avatar for alexalily

rated it

3 stars
avatar for madklowns

rated it

3 stars
avatar for DonDeBon

rated it

3 stars
avatar for js

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jumbanho

rated it

4 stars
avatar for markm

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Cozycello

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Bridgman

rated it

3 stars
avatar for willigunn

rated it

4 stars
avatar for actuallym

rated it

5 stars
avatar for lorenzuru

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Toddbert

rated it

5 stars
avatar for GODot

rated it

4 stars
avatar for unicorn

rated it

5 stars
avatar for vincekd

rated it

4 stars
avatar for teo

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Jorn

rated it

3 stars
avatar for texttheater

rated it

4 stars
avatar for biblio_creep

rated it

4 stars
avatar for unsquare

rated it

4 stars
avatar for LuisVilla

rated it

2 stars
avatar for LiamTRoche

rated it

4 stars
avatar for ray.coshow

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Lyteraria

rated it

4 stars
avatar for luisgarciareal@lectura.social

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Clockmaker

rated it

5 stars
avatar for wetdryvac

rated it

2 stars
avatar for paulralph

rated it

2 stars
avatar for cincodenada@bookwyrm.cincodenada.com

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Applemcg

rated it

5 stars
avatar for yallah110

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Eldaerenth

rated it

4 stars
avatar for WorzelFG

rated it

2 stars
avatar for Lavinia

rated it

5 stars
avatar for roofuskit

rated it

4 stars
avatar for allenspark

rated it

3 stars
avatar for jjackunrau

rated it

4 stars

Subjects

  • Ahab, Captain (Fictitious character) -- Fiction
  • Whaling ships -- Fiction
  • Ship captains -- Fiction
  • Mentally ill -- Fiction
  • Whaling -- Fiction
  • Whales -- Fiction

Lists