Customer Reviews for

Moby Dick (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 3.5
( 247 )
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(103)

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(39)

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.<BR/>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. <BR/>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. <BR/>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.

    22 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2005

    Truly a classic

    No doubt about it, this is a hard book to read. It's beauty, however, lies in that it truly is a book on two levels. On one level, it's a description of whaling. On the second level, it's this intense allegory about...what? That's up to the reader, because nobody can really say they understand what all the symbolism means. The book is loaded with Biblical allusions and names, so it helps to be up on the Bible. It's definitely not light reading, but if you can put in the effort, it's worth it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Insightful, enjoyable, Moby Dick makes the perfect book to read!

    Moby Dick is able to provide readers with both a good story and whaling knowledge. The journey of the Peqoud and its diverse characters will definitely make you want to take a trip around the sea. Full of suspense and humor, Moby Dick makes the perfect book for young adults to read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2008

    An American Classic

    Herman Melville¿s Moby-Dick is, without question, the greatest single work of American fiction ever written. With good reason the novel has been a staple of our culture, from the English classroom to popular culture. Melville¿s compelling story of obsession and revenge, his rich cast of characters, his varied and experimental style, and above all his masterful use of symbolism and pregnant imagery make Moby-Dick a book that no educated man or woman can afford to miss. The storyline, though somewhat unevenly paced, builds steadily into a first-rate tale of human struggle. The book is narrated by Ishmael, a young man who joins the crew of a whaling vessel to combat his depression, or, as he puts it, the ¿drizzly November¿ in his soul. Though Ishmael narrates, Ahab, the captain of the Nantucket whaling ship The Pequod, is the book¿s main character. Prior to the beginning of the story, Ahab is attacked by an albino sperm whale, named Moby-Dick. Moby-Dick chomps off Ahab¿s leg and sends him into a feverish madness. Ahab swears revenge, and over the course of the rest of the novel, he brings his crew with him on his doomed quest. Melville crews his ship with a huge and diverse cast of characters. The domineering and remote Ahab provides a natural foil for the care-free and easy-going Ishmael. The three mates of the ship ¿ Starbuck, Stubb and Flask ¿ encapsulate the range of man¿s responses to life¿s trials. Starbuck¿s sensitivity, Stubb¿s nonchalance, and Flask¿s prickly nature mark each character as distinct (though archetypal). In addition, the crew contains New Englanders of all types, natives from remote islands around the globe, and the sinister ¿hair-turbaned Fedallah [who] remained a muffled mystery to the last.¿ Melville¿s style, like his characters, is varied. There are sections of the book ¿ particularly the ¿Whiteness of the Whale¿ chapter that are lyrical and poetic, alongside technical chapters addressing the types of whales or the proper manufacture of whaling rope. Certain scenes are written almost like a play, with stage directions and character names followed by their lines. When the Pequod leaves Nantucket, the mastery of Melville¿s prose shines through: ¿Ship and boat diverged the cold, damp night breeze blew between a screaming gull flew overhead the two hulls wildly rolled we gave three heavy-hearted cheers, and blindly plunged like fate into the lone Atlantic.¿ Moby-Dick is a landmark in American Literature, but because of its complex structure and poetic style, it¿s better suited for older or more patient readers. In addition, many readers might find an abridged version useful ¿ one that removes the less plot-oriented chapters (like the infamous ¿Cetology¿ chapter). Still, for the discerning reader, there is no richer find than Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. I give it 10 harpoons out of 10.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    VOID

    VOID VOID VOID VOID VOID NOT A POSTING SPOT

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    Alli

    Hi cole

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    Cole

    Alli u here

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Read It ALL

    Moby Dick must be read from beginning to end. Do not skip any chapters. Despite what some people here are saying, the chapters on Cetology (study of whales) are absolutely necessary to fully experiencing Melville's novel. Do not misunderstand me, you breathe a sigh of relief when you finish a Cetology chapter and realize the story is starting up again but our narrator, Ishmael (atleast that's what we call him), develops as a character in the non-story chapters and recedes back to omnipresence when Ahab, Starbuck and Queequeg appear.

    I would have more respect for somebody who read the first half of Moby Dick than somebody who read the whole thing but only half the chapters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    A True American Classic

    Moby-Dick is arguably one of the best written novels in American literature. Similar to Mark Twain and James Fenimore Cooper, Herman Melville entwines the characters and the plot in such a way that one can't help feeling like you're actually there. Captain Ahab is the epitome of American literature. Like Odysseus for the ancient Greeks and King Arthur for the English, Ahab encompasses the culture of America in a thought-provoking character who is oblivious to the danger surrounding him and his men in the search for vengeance and self-fulfillment. With such an original story and a wonderful cast of characters, Moby-Dick is a true classic. America should be proud to have this book resting on the shelf next to Shakespeare, Dumas, and Tolstoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    Took a while to like

    In my younger days, I attempted to read Moby Dick a number of times and could never work my way through it. Even as a young adult I read through it just so I could say that I had read the classic. Now I have read through it and find myself enjoying it much more. Melville has a since of humor that I have never really understood in my prior readings of this novel. This story represents an evil man chasing God or what is good. The evil man wants to chase it and absolutely destroy what is good. It is not merely enough to not agree with what is good, but it must be hated with a vengeance that even those around you say is over the top. Ahab is obviously named after the most wicked king of the Bible, and even his mother says he will full fill his name. The Whale was not just lighter colored than other whales, but was an intense white, and Melville takes a while to describe the whiteness of Moby Dick. Actually Melville can take a while to describe a number of subjects such as the Whales head and the differences between the Right whale and the Sperm whale. Whether Melville was trying to emphasize the majesty of the Sperm whale and hence the majesty of Moby Dick or whether he just had a lot of information and wanted to pass it on, I am not sure. You could skim parts of this book and enjoy it more. However, if you are very detailed oriented, you will enjoy the authors intense descriptions. I would say if you have a hard time making it though the book now, wait a few years and then try it again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Jon Andreas

    Age...on second thought i will do this later

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    Cicis bio

    Name:cecilia montgomery Age:16 Looks:bright red hair,blue eyes,5'1 Personality:im talkative i guess,and i like when i get what i want so dont get on my badside and i might not kill you Background:stealing,homoside,rape,decapitate,yeah i think you get it i take things when i want and i kill people when i feel i need to Weapons:rifle,dagger,sythe,sword,ax,bazuca,bow and arrow on special accasions,nun chucks, My getaway vehacle:my black shiny harley,if you want to know more dont bother to ask

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Jared to lauren

    Hey forget them go to advice res 15 ....ill be therre waiting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Kevin to Lauren

    Hey if you want a MAN instead of this amauter who sucks at sex tell me what book at sex res 1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Lauren to kevin

    Okay see you there

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Lauren

    You lil boitch

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    OutCast

    Pads through, suddenly stopping. She dropped to a crouch and watched a rabbit reach up to eat a juniper berry. She rocked her huanches and leapt up, hitting the rabbit de<.>ad center. She sliced open its neck and smiled triumphantly, picking it up by the scruff, padding back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    have noyt read heard it is very good boook

    havent reaad. heard its a very gooood boook.

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing book by one amazing author

    amazing book amazing author!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2008

    More Realistic Than You Might Think

    MOBY-DICK, despite its Shakespearean language, which, of course, was already anachronistic when the book was written, nevertheless approximates lived experience. After I read it I felt I had been given a sense of what toiling for years on a ship at sea felt like.

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