Customer Reviews for

Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-Gazer

Average Rating 4
( 113 )
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(61)

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(26)

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(7)

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(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A beautifully written almost poetic story about the woman waiting for Captain Ahab.

I loved Moby Dick when I read it a long time ago, but I remember that Ahab came across as a very angry and very troubled man. This author gives another picture of Ahab through the eyes of his wife and family and paints an engrossing picture of the wife's life before an...
I loved Moby Dick when I read it a long time ago, but I remember that Ahab came across as a very angry and very troubled man. This author gives another picture of Ahab through the eyes of his wife and family and paints an engrossing picture of the wife's life before and after Ahab. It reads like 19th century literature which I appreciate and can't find much anymore.
I particularly liked the descriptions of the lighthouse island, the coast and the sea.

posted by 2248504 on November 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

I picked this book up after reading the reviews posted here. I found this book TEDIOUS!!! It was too long and very boring. Life is to short to read bad books. Don't bother with this one.

posted by Anonymous on July 3, 2007

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  • Posted April 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Moby Dick, who/what? ...

    I enjoyed this novel. At times, I found certain scenes/chapters to be a bit tedious; however, for the most part, it was quite enjoyable. Ms. Naslund was able to create a memorable character and story that can stand on their own. Moby Dick, what is that? Well, there did need to be the slightest mention of a wife in the original classic in order for this novel to be believable. The idea was original and the plot held true to the events of Moby Dick. I found it satisfying to hear about the events from a woman's perspective. Any lengthy discription of whaling would have put me to sleep instantly. This is a beautifully written novel and would be perfect for a book club discussion. I recommend this book for those who like historical fiction (whether or not they have read Moby Dick).

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Escapism and memorable characters

    This was one of those books whose characters still live in my mind, a good month after I finished the book. The story is highly creative, is peppered with surprises, and uses a great setting. I highly recommend this book to women who like brave heroines, don't like predictability and don't mind a little quirkiness. I found it charming.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    Loved this story

    !

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    A good alternative reading of a familiar text

    This was almost a very good book. Concept of revealing the female side of the whaling community life is great, and as a historian I see the familiarity with serious professional research (on women's lives, commonness of male bisexuality) that underlies the fiction. Plot is great, but the 'poetic' language is too heavy-handed. And overall, I was never allowed to forget that this was a commentary on Melville - the story doesn't quite take off on its own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Well written

    This book was such a joy to read. I thought about this book when I wasn't reading it and couldn't get back to read it fast enough. Although this book is long, it teaches you things about History as well as Fictional characters as well such as Moby Dick. This book is very well written and makes you feel like you are part of the book. I cried and laughed and it made you think about what it was like back in the early 1900's to be a woman, who not only fought with her self about independence, but the right to do things that man can do as well. It uplifts your spirit about how people helped "Black" people during the times of slavery and it helps you understand the way women felt when their men left on their whaling ships for years on end.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Xavier

    Okay..

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    One of my favorite books ever.

    Love the concept behind the book. Love the writing, love the characters and locations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Full of surprises, slow at 1st but then I couldn't put it down!

    As a lover of Nantucket Island history, this really held my interest. So many of the places that are part of the story brought to mind places I love to visit while vacationing on Nantucket. This novel was an adventure story, horror story and love story all rolled into one. Una, the central character being the most independent, strong and spirited woman of that time. Her story contains many chance meetings with the most unusual and memorable characters. I hated to have the story end but was happy with the conclusion.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What fun! It made me re-read Moby Dick, no small accomplishment!

    I really enjoyed this novel. It was fresh and original, with good character and plot development (especially considering that the plot was more or less dictated by the plot action in Moby Dick).

    The story was a fine read for one who has NOT read MD, but if one HAS read MD, so much the better. Also, no offense to Mr. Melville, but I really didn't miss all the of the whaling minutia; the author gives a complete sense of the industry without overwhelming with lengthly discussion of the finer points of different types of harpoons! The ending was somewhat expected, but still satisfying.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fascinating perspective

    Ahab's Wife uses a classic in literature as a jumping off point to explore woman's role in 19th century society, and how it was changing. This twist of perspective leads to a very entertaining, hard-to-put-down book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2004

    Recommended Read

    Enjoyed this book! Was a bit long, author could have cut out many chapters but the characters were interesting. I loved Una and her strength.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2001

    Lyrical but at times Unbelievable

    When Naslund places herself within a twelve year old child, the character loses her believability. Even a precocious child this age does not describe the beating of the heart and the ravages of water etc. as in the section 'Paddlewheel.' A character's words and actions must be believable and probable. Naslund seems to have lost herself in her prose. Also, the early depiction of Ahab is heart warming but difficult to accept without putting all thought of Moby Dick out of mind. Finally, the leap from Nantucket to Kentucky to bear a child in the nineteenth century is somewhat uncanny. It is a lyrical novel, sensitive, and interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2000

    A Beautiful Read

    Ahab's Wife is destined to become a modern day classic. It is a book that women will enjoy. An epic tale of an independent woman, chock full of imagery, rich characters (some real) and beautiful prose. Don't let it's 660 pages intimidate you...reading it is a true escape.

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    Posted October 31, 2011

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    Posted July 19, 2011

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    Posted March 3, 2009

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    Posted April 8, 2009

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    Posted July 20, 2009

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    Posted April 5, 2013

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    Posted May 23, 2011

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