Customer Reviews for

Moby Dick: Or, the Whale

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

The Ship of the Self...

If there were ever a seeming 'complete companion' to the understanding and appreciation of Herman Melville's 'master work' /Moby-Dick/ then this Second Edition of the Norton Critical Edition, edited by Hershel Parker and Harrison Hayford (pub. 2002) must surely be ...
If there were ever a seeming 'complete companion' to the understanding and appreciation of Herman Melville's 'master work' /Moby-Dick/ then this Second Edition of the Norton Critical Edition, edited by Hershel Parker and Harrison Hayford (pub. 2002) must surely be it. Not only does the volume contain the text of the novel (actually a 'romance' as defined by Hawthorne), but it also includes sections titled: 'Melville's Reading and /Moby-Dick/: An Overview and Bibliograpy', a glossary of nautical terms, a pictorial account (with drawings) of the parts of a whaleship, the mast parts, a typical whaleboat, the harpoon and lance, a drawing depicting a large slice of blubber being hauled onto a ship, contemporary engravings of whaling, articles about Melville's works written in his own time about his novels (romances)before /Moby-Dick/, reviews and letters written by Melville (including his famous paean to Nathaniel Hawthorne, 'Hawthorne and His Mosses'), analogues and sources, reviews of /Moby-Dick/ from his own time and from the modern era (1893-1897), and 'A Handful of Critical Challenges' (a selection from insightful and provocative essays which analyze the novel and its possible meanings). The text of the novel (romance) itself has been well foot-noted with helpful information about Melville's textual citations and allusions (example: from text -- '...a terrible prestige of perilousness about such a whale as there did about Rinaldo Rinaldini' [note -- 'Knight in Italian Renaissance epics -Orlando Furioso- (1532) by Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1535) and -Rinaldo- (1562) by Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)'). This novel has been endlessly analyzed and sliced up, picked apart, minced, boiled, strained, reflected upon, peered into, introverted, controverted, inverted, subverted, psychoanalyzed, Marxized, Freudianized, mythologized, anthroplogized, sociologized, mythopoeticized, Biblecized, homoeroticized, and even read for enjoyment. More gain comes from chopping down wood by the acre than whittling by the stick, so the analyzers seem to think. The novel can be read as satire, as allegory (like Spenser's moralistic warning allegories), as love-token (to Nathaniel Hawthorne) with Melville capering about trying to impress his beloved as much as he capered about on those rocks on the top of Monument Mountain back in August 1850 when they first met, and as revelation of Melville's inner self -- actually selves. The ship may be taken as the allegorical symbol of the individual psyche, and thus each of the characters aboard the -Pequod- becomes one of the multiple aspects of Melville's own awarenesses and inclinations. As for the chapters on whales and whaling, the reader will need to absorb those as atmosphere and Melville's ego-intellect wanting to show off. Read them closely for irony and humor and self-jesting at his own predilections for omnivorous reading and extract gathering, as well as an 'outsider's' jibes at academic fussiness and lexicographical loquaciousness. Take your time with this novel...you will learn much the more you think about it and the deeper you plumb its depths. And when you go a-whalin', mind them mouths and jaws, lined with sharpy teeth -- lest you lose a leg and founder in the deep.

posted by Anonymous on June 9, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Glitchy download

Very glitchy. Download the 2 99 one.

posted by Anonymous on August 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    One of the classics.

    Yes, Moby Dick is a classic, but having picked it up for the second time (the first time, about 30 years ago, I fell asleep after only 6 pages) I managed to work my way through it.
    I found it a good story, but Melville is a very wordy author. His storyline, I found, meandered to and fro so much I found it hard to keep up. It's no wonder that the book has over 1000 pages.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Ok

    Iy looks good

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Trinity

    Oh great. **glares at a certain someone and leaves.**

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    If you don't have to read this book, don't.

    Herman Melville prattles on through the entire book with 50 pages of good story for every 300 pages of the most boring discriptions of anything to fill pages. I think he must have been paid by the word. The parts where he talks of his voyage are very enjoyable. Over all though it gets to be more boring than "War and Peace."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Kato

    ......

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2011

    Ok

    Takes a long time to load. Be ready for more traditional English language.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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