Moby Dick; Or the Whale

Moby Dick; Or the Whale

3.8 38
by MR Herman Melville
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by Herman Melville, first published in 1851. It is considered to be one of the Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has one purpose on this voyage: to…  See more details below

Overview

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by Herman Melville, first published in 1851. It is considered to be one of the Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has one purpose on this voyage: to seek out Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg, which now drives Ahab to take revenge.

In Moby-Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and the metaphor to explore numerous complex themes. Through the journey of the main characters, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God are all examined, as the main characters speculate upon their personal beliefs and their places in the universe. The narrator's reflections, along with his descriptions of a sailor's life aboard a whaling ship, are woven into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices, such as stage directions, extended soliloquies, and asides. The book portrays destructive obsession and monomania, as well as the assumption of anthropomorphism-projecting human instincts, characteristics and motivations onto animals. Moby Dick is ruthless in attacking the sailors who attempt to hunt and kill him, but it is Ahab who invests Moby Dick's natural instincts with malignant and evil intentions. In fact, it is not the whale but the crippled Ahab who alone possesses this characteristic.

Moby-Dick has been classified as American Romanticism. It was first published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851, in an expurgated three-volume edition titled The Whale, and weeks later as a single volume, by New York City publisher Harper and Brothers as Moby-Dick; or, The Whale on November 14, 1851. The book initially received mixed reviews, but Moby-Dick is now considered part of the Western canon, and at the center of the canon of American novels.

"Moby-Dick" begins with the line "Call me Ishmael." According to the American Book Review's rating in 2011, this is one of the most recognizable opening lines in Western literature.

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 - September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, became a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime.

When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. In 1919, the unfinished manuscript for his novella Billy Budd was discovered by his first biographer. He published a version in 1924, which was quickly acclaimed by notable British critics as another masterpiece of Melville's. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781482741629
Publisher:
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication date:
03/11/2013
Pages:
458
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.93(d)

Meet the Author

Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819 Pearl Street, southeast of Manhattan (New York), died September 28, 1891 in New York, is a novelist, essayist and American poet.
Virtually forgotten by all until his death, was rediscovered Melville in the 1920s through his masterpiece Moby-Dick. It is now considered one of the greatest figures in American literature.
The formative years
Herman Melville is the third of eight children (and second son) Maria Gansevoort and Allan Melvill (without the "e"). Mother's side, his ancestors were of Dutch origin patricians (one of them, General Peter Gansevoort, a hero of the American Revolution). The paternal side is a line of Scottish traders. Allan's father, Major Thomas Melvill, also played a glorious role in the War of Independence. Allan Melvill matter of France "new" products. In 1826, the U.S. economy is entering a period of stagnation, and the father of the writer suffered the brunt of the British competition. His business périclitant, it must borrow more and more important to her stepfather, Peter Gansevoort, who becomes the financial support of the family. Between 1820 and 1830, the family moved three times before settling in 1830 near the Gansevoort, in Albany, the state capital of New York, where Allan Melvill working as an employee in a factory fur.
During a trip to New York in December 1831, Allan Melvill, who tries to start a new business which it would be the boss, contracted pneumonia. He died January 28, 1832. Both seniors, Gansevoort (b. 1815) and Herman then leave the Albany college. The first, assisted by Uncle Peter, opens a trade in skins and furs that will improve for three years (at that time, he added an "e" to his name, the whole family gets). The second is thirteen years old, employed at the New York State Bank, whose uncle Peter is a director.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Moby Dick or The Whale 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey so i dont know if you hav realized but most of the other cats have found mates
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He padded to the top of a moonlit hill and sat there, wrapping his tail over his paws. He closed his eyes, going over his recent dream and his kithood memories in his mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At Amazon, you have to have purchased a product before you can review it. Look at these 'reviews' and you can see that that's a good idea.
ShawnM More than 1 year ago
There are quite a few editions of Moby Dick being published, and I've seen most of them, but this edition is one of the best: the illustrations are simple yet beautifully arty; the typeset is kool; and it has a neat cover! Well, I dont know about most book collectors, but I judge books by their covers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PixieChild More than 1 year ago
Should have read this years ago. The book itself was not in as good condition as stated, but still an excellent book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
E_Caine More than 1 year ago
Moby Dick is one of those rare novels that captures a particular historical moment while, at the same time, remaining timeless. Gripping drama, tense action, compelling characters and a setting so rarely glimpsed in history - the period in America between the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars. It was a time when America was discovering itself as the characters are discovering themselves. And it was the height of an industry of which, like slavery, we are all still a little ashamed. Whaling was a profitable, dangerous, and engaging occupation for a young man in those days. But when the Captain of your ship is obsessed with taking vengeance on his tormentor it would be an experience you could never forget. Assuming, of course, that you survived. Complicated, compelling, beautifully written, and always a classic, Moby-Dick is a must-read for any American lover of literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who am I to criticize Melville? But after reading, and chuckling, over some of my peer reader's reviews, I'm compelled to balance stars. I'm neither a critic nor literary scholar. I'm just someone who loves good literature, classic or not. Granted, Moby is long and detailed, but I contend it's all necessary and part of the story's framework. The themes are skillfully packaged in abstruse metaphors. And I agree that I had to use lexical aids to get through some of the dated vernacular. I even put down my cheap paperback for a Norton critical edition, but it was worth it. The language is beautiful and artistic. Read a benign chapter to a child and watch their expressions change as their imagination takes over their visage. Moby provides insight into today's archetypes found in pop-culture's 'Spongebob' or 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Perhaps Moby isn't for everyone. Those who aren't interested in ages long past, historically accurate depictions of bloody exploitation, or ocular criticism of social hypocrisy, should probably stick to the bestseller lists. Entertain your brain. Every chapter is a piece of Melville's puzzle. When taken holistically, it all fits. Slow your monkey mind. Mindfully read. Open your eyes. Moby is still relevant today, especially to you good folks who think you live on that fabled 'City on the Hill'.