Moby Dick or The Whale [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Call me Ishmael," Moby-Dick begins, in one of the most recognizable opening lines in Western literature. The narrator, an observant young man setting out from Manhattan, has experience in the merchant marine but has recently decided his next voyage will be on a whaling ship. On a cold, gloomy night in December, he arrives at the Spouter-Inn in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and agrees to share a bed with a then-absent stranger. When his bunk mate, a heavily tattooed Polynesian harpooner named Queequeg, returns very late and discovers Ishmael ...
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Moby Dick or The Whale

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Overview

"Call me Ishmael," Moby-Dick begins, in one of the most recognizable opening lines in Western literature. The narrator, an observant young man setting out from Manhattan, has experience in the merchant marine but has recently decided his next voyage will be on a whaling ship. On a cold, gloomy night in December, he arrives at the Spouter-Inn in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and agrees to share a bed with a then-absent stranger. When his bunk mate, a heavily tattooed Polynesian harpooner named Queequeg, returns very late and discovers Ishmael beneath his covers, both men are alarmed, but the two quickly become close friends and decide to sail together from Nantucket, Massachusetts on a whaling voyage.

In Nantucket, the pair signs on with the Pequod, a whaling ship that is soon to leave port. The ship’s captain, Ahab, is nowhere to be seen; nevertheless, they are told of him — a "grand, ungodly, godlike man," who has "been in colleges as well as 'mong the cannibals," according to one of the owners. The two friends encounter a mysterious man named Elijah on the dock after they sign their papers and he hints at troubles to come with Ahab. The mystery grows on Christmas morning when Ishmael spots dark figures in the mist, apparently boarding the Pequod shortly before it sets sail that day.

The ship’s officers direct the early voyage while Ahab stays in his cabin. The chief mate is Starbuck, a serious, sincere Quaker and fine leader; second mate is Stubb, happy-go-lucky and cheerful and always smoking his pipe; the third mate is Flask, short and stout but thoroughly reliable. Each mate is responsible for a whaling boat, and each whaling boat of the Pequod has its own pagan harpooneer assigned to it. Some time after sailing, Ahab finally appears on the quarter-deck one morning, an imposing, frightening figure whose haunted visage sends shivers over the narrator. One of his legs is missing from the knee down and has been replaced by a prosthesis fashioned from a sperm whale's jawbone.

Includes a biography of the Author
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013081932
  • Publisher: DB Publishing House
  • Publication date: 8/26/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 142 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(64)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 118 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Amazing Book, TERRIBLE Copy

    "Moby Dick" is a classic for a reason. It's an amazing piece of literature and every person needs to read this before our society forgets how to read prose so beautiful.

    However, I highly encourage everyone to spend the $0.99 to get a good copy. This particular copy (in more than one volume... don't get excited, "Moby Dick" much longer than 345 pages) is rife with horrendous errors that make it very difficult to read. Some words have random numbers in the middle of them in place of letters, whole sections in Vol. II Look like this: Ere*&#*(^B IIQIUEIUIOJ Che whale and Ah8987(*&(*&.

    This copy is absolutely horrendous.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2003

    It's a ponderous chain...

    It's hopeless. I'm absolutely trapped and captivated by Moby Dick. A while ago I bought a cheap copy out of deference to what I understood to be an American classic. When I was about halfway through, it hit me, and I knew I'd have to start it again as soon as I finished. I don't know if Melville intended it to be this way, but the book itself is a metaphor for a multi-year whaling voyage. You've got to be patient, just like a whaling crew. Melville chats about seemingly unrelated things, just like a crew would chat as it was anticipating its next whale. Wouldn't a crew become frustrated as it's waiting for something to happen? It's not a page-turner, so Tom Clancy fans beware. It's a vast, utterly expansive book that is best read while smoking your favorite pipe. Don't go back and re-read the parts that confuse you, you're going to have to read it again anyway to capture the whole thing. Once I had my Moby Dick epiphany, I began poring over all the special editions that have been produced over the years. I finally settled on this U of C, Barry Moser edition. It's perfect. Moser's illustrations are spooky, but not overbearing. None of the captions are specific to the story which still allows you to use your imagination. For instance, there's a beautiful cut of a whaler, but it's not labeled, 'The Pequod', it's just called, 'Whaling Ship.' It's a huge block of a book too, which perfectly fits the scale of the story. The only book that has had a more profound effect on me than Moby Dick is my King James Bible. Strangely, therein lies a clue to Melville's work. Why does Melville speak in parables so as to confuse some? Because it has not been given to them to understand.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

    Kite511

    This book is very good. Everyone should get it, especially because it is free. The book itself is also great.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Not the best edition

    This version is full of typos and formatting errors. It's free, so it's got that in its favor.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    It wasn't the whole book

    Why did it have so many imperfections?

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    OK

    Some typos but still readable. This is ONLY Volume 1.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2002

    A Classic but...

    I have nothing against Herman Melville. I have nothing against Ishmael. I have nothing against the Pequod, or Ahab, or Moby Dick himself. But I do have a lot against the endless facts about whales that occupy a huge majority of this book. It's just one thing after another. Only about one-third of the book is the story. The rest is a practical encyclopedia about whales and their habits. He should have written "Whales for People Who Like Endless Facts about Them" or something else of that nature, so that poor little school children could just read a good story without unnecessary details riddling the plot line. No doubt, this book is a classic: I'm the last person to say otherwise. But "classic" doesn't always mean "interesting". The positive characteristics of this book are undeniable. I just had a hard time getting through it. A VERY hard time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2004

    It isn't christmas

    Great, but one star was eaten by the white sperm whale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2003

    Long and exhausting

    I realize that lovers of literature generally credit this book as the first great, American novel. Even with such credit attached to it, I found this book to be wordy and tedious. Now, it wouldn't be fair for me to criticize too much because I never finished the story. It could very well have become more interesting as one progressed further in the pages, but I could not find the energy to continue reading after more than ten pages that rambled on about the ' whiteness of the whale!' Melville overkills on description. He compares the whale to the whitest alabaster, to ivory, to bone, to snow, to ice and then on and on until you want to scream that you are fully aware that the whale is white, thank you very much!!! Whew! Anyway, I would like to add that I realize that Melville was writing in the early nineteenth century, and that many who read his book lived inland and would never see the ocean in their entire lives. I assume that is the reason for all the over-description. As for the positives, Queeqeg and Ahab are fascinating characters. Beyond that, this book rambles way too much. Save yourself a headache and rent the movie!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2014

    Amazingly Awesome!

    Well-paced and worthwhile. If I could grade it, A+++.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    Bad ocr

    Poor formatting. Poor transcription.

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

    Posted November 15, 2013

    TERRIBLE COPY TERRIBLE copy of a great book

    Book is fantastic but this copy is not only just the last 266 pages of a 550ish page book, but also has numerous spelling/copy errors much like the following made-up but very accurate example: "I walked inKb/2%to the rghGb74%&&oom." Terrible.
    Buy this book if that's what it takes to get a good copy. In my opinion it is worth it.

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

    Posted October 15, 2013

    Call me Salli

    Great read...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    Gripping classic

    Excellent readable electronic version

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

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Lame

    It is so lame don't read it the movei is so better I think that guy who said it's the most boring book in his life is right

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    Great book. Any body who likes exitment and adventure should read it

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

    Posted December 26, 2010

    good book

    this is a good book it has good details ans a good number of stars

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2004

    ...greatest literature of this or any century

    Visiting the melville home in mass...put it all in perspective for me...not necessary for first time readers. Sat at his desk, and looked at Mt. MANSFIELD.Perhaps it was the inspiration for this great work. Amazing on so many levels.If nothing else, the rich and highly evolved vocabulary is awesome and inspiring. DON'T watch the MOVIE before you read the work...least your brain be fried, and your heart be stopped...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2003

    Call Me Ishmael

    Aye, Moby Dick is a well spun yarn, told by a sailor with a keen intuition and an eye for detail. Melville writes like a poet and sets sail a story larger than the sea. The whales are made magnificent through his lyrical descriptions and massive researches into their physical anatomy. The characters are in a way so flawlessly constructed that at the end of the novel we remember them all. We can also recount their physical traits and emotional tendencies. There is Queequeg, a tattooed savage who is a universal symbol of discrimination. We believe at first that this man painted in frightening colors with a physique strong enough to crush bones can only cause evil, until we see the inner makings of his heart, and discover the innocence which makes him a better man than the others. Told in first person, the story recounts the experiences of a sailor who has decided to enter into the whaling business after dull service as a hand on a merchant vessel. He befriends Queequeg, a veteran whaler, and gives him first choice of a ship for embarkation on the narrator¿s first voyage in hunt of leviathan. They make the terrible decision in signing on as hands aboard the Pequod and become victims under the whims of a monomaniacal commander, Captain Ahab, who uses them as instruments in his fervid hunt of a white Sperm Whale coined with the name of Moby Dick. The realistic dialogue is marked with flamboyant epitaphs and through the way the characters speak and act, we see them lift from the pages and become real people. The story is always exciting and never holds a dull moment. Although Melville¿s style is difficult to read at first, after a hundred pages his words begin to flow smooth as silk as the mind softens to his dialect and we soon discover the masterpiece in his work. Regarded as the greatest sea novel ever written, the story throws the reader into the boat, makes them row closer and closer towards the climax. When we come in sight of the white whale, we take firm grip on the oars and start paddling with reckless abandon until the prow slams into Moby Dick¿s massive jaws. Be prepared for the last one hundred pages, for it will knock you into the water with its awesome suspense. Recommended: Entire unabridged text that include three of his other novels in the Library of America Edition

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Great Book. Movie was good too.

    The other day I saw a documentary about how Moby Dick was based on true story of whalers who's ship was sunk by a whale. The book was changed and made into fiction however. Melvill is a fabulous writer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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