Customer Reviews for

Moby Dick (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 4
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(104)

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(39)

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(24)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

22 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

REQUIRED READING

This is a must read. Herman Melville's Moby Dick received largely unfavorable reviews at the time of publication, and it never brought Melville literary acclaim during his lifetime. It was not until critics rediscovered the novel in the 1920s that it began to be viewed ...
This is a must read. Herman Melville's Moby Dick received largely unfavorable reviews at the time of publication, and it never brought Melville literary acclaim during his lifetime. It was not until critics rediscovered the novel in the 1920s that it began to be viewed as a masterpiece and the apotheosis of the Great American Novel. I also feel this way about K S Michaels' Love Returns..., but that's my opinion.
My own reception of the book, back in my high school days, paralleled its treatment by the literary establishment. While I enjoyed portions of the text, I could not really get into it and actually ended up abandoning the story a few chapters shy of its conclusion. When I later picked it up again, though, out of curiosity rather than necessity, I was hooked. Whether my own maturity or the motive behind reading it were more influential I cannot say, but I suspect that many who find this novel difficult at first will eventually find it a rewarding and noteworthy read.
New readers face three key challenges with this text: fears about its length and complexity, discomfort with Melville's loquacious writing style, and confusion over the juxtaposition of plot, factual discourse, and philosophical musings. These are easily overcome if one reads at a comfortable pace and allows oneself to become acquainted with Melville's language, which is at times reminiscent of the learned style employed by authors like Edgar Allen Poe ( a self-published author, by the way). A wonderful way to understand the nuances of the text and truly "get into" the novel is to listen to the audiobook version, narrated masterfully by Frank Muller.
Reserve this book for a time when you can read it without pressure and expectations. Allow yourself to become immersed in Ishmael's world. Re-read passages that confuse you, and don't be afraid to skip ponderous chapters like "Cetology" if they will prevent you from completing the novel. Whatever you do, though, be sure this is one story you allow yourself to complete, you will be rewarded as you do so.

posted by 148253 on November 7, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

The idea of this book is timeless the execution is painful

I have never struggled so hard to get engaged with a book or to even finish a book. It took three trys over 4 years to finish the book. The first 1/3 of the book was totally useless to me and did not bring enough to the end of the book to justify it's existence. If I ev...
I have never struggled so hard to get engaged with a book or to even finish a book. It took three trys over 4 years to finish the book. The first 1/3 of the book was totally useless to me and did not bring enough to the end of the book to justify it's existence. If I ever pick the book up again, it will be to read the last 1/3 only. Towards the end there is some humours lines, scenes & situations which were truly enjoyable. I realy wanted to enjoy this book more and was very upset that I couldn't.

posted by Hill_Ravens on January 2, 2009

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  • Posted January 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The idea of this book is timeless the execution is painful

    I have never struggled so hard to get engaged with a book or to even finish a book. It took three trys over 4 years to finish the book. The first 1/3 of the book was totally useless to me and did not bring enough to the end of the book to justify it's existence. If I ever pick the book up again, it will be to read the last 1/3 only. Towards the end there is some humours lines, scenes & situations which were truly enjoyable. I realy wanted to enjoy this book more and was very upset that I couldn't.

    7 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 22, 2012

    OMG, this is tedious and torture to read. I don't care how many

    OMG, this is tedious and torture to read. I don't care how many times people say this is a "classic" and a "must read", that doesn't make it so. The book was based on two real accounts, both of which are much more interesting and easier to read than Melville's overly verbose tome. I slogged through this and forced myself to finish it and even the last three chapters, which is the only part of the 135 chapters (yes, I said 135) that even concerns itself with actual encounter with Moby Dick, are not that great. I actually could not stay awake through most of it and it took me a lot longer to read it because of that. If you want the true story, read the account of Mocha Dick and/or the Shipwreck of the Essex. Those are what Melville based his book on. I have read plenty of classics, including Robinson Crusoe, most of Dickens, Dracula, etc. These are all written either earlier or about the same time as Moby Dick, but they were interesting and readable. No so with this book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2011

    it is not free

    it says that it is $3.99 and so what is the deal

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    not good

    i read the first 3 chapters and hated it luckilybit was free

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Just Plain Awful!

    A boring book with detestable characters. But it is GREAT for propping something up!

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Classic Readomg

    This classic is written with long, complicated sentences and describes very complicated characters who are involved in an industry that was totally upfamiliar to me. However, I learned much, appreciated the writing and endured until the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2012

    No wonder it is so Iconic!

    Everyone should have to slog thru this book at least twice in their lives....it's a writing marvel.
    ss

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2008

    a concerned 15 year old person

    Yeah if you want to waste 9 weeks of your time you have found the book for you. If you want to have anything that resembles a life you won't read this book. The reason I dislike this book is very simple, one the speaker goes on and on about absolutely nothing, two the speaker is incompetent he will make up word for something he knows nothing about, and three it is not a very well thought out story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2005

    I agree with the guy that said dull and boring

    I liked one of the movie adaptations of this story, so I thought that the book would be great, but it wasn't. Too many details wich are not related to the plot. I didn't finish it, since it was boring. However, if you like American Romanticism, this is a book for you, since it focuses on the beauty and diversity of nature.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2005

    Dry, Dull, Boring

    This book disappeared for a reason, it sucks. You have a great story buried under 500 pages of drivel and padding. Most the text is simply not necessary. I liked the themes, I liked the characters, but the author did NOT use them or expend them well. Great characters and a great plot wasted. This book should have been left in peace. Read it at your own peril.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2005

    famous but BAD

    I can't believe that this book is a classic! It was HORRIBLE.It was probably the most boring book I have ever read in my life.There were way to many details, and by the time you finish reading them, you forget what's happening. Sure, it was a good story, but the author could have told that great story in about 100 pages. The only semi-interesting part was the last 50 pages when they're actually chasing the whale. Please don't waste your time reading it like I did! It was so boring, I could hardly read 10 pages at a time without falling asleep.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Books

    Is nook only for books i got one for christmas and i dnt hve the money fbooks i cnt look online.r

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted June 12, 2011

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