Paperback

$8.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Overview


A world-famous classic novel is the basis for this brand-new, dramatically illustrated book. Transformed from Herman Melville’s original text into a graphic novel, this and other Graphic Classics editions make good introductions for young readers to the imaginative riches of literature. These books contain many extra features, including brief biographies of their authors, a list of each author’s important works, a glossary, and an index. Suitable for classroom use as introductions to literature for junior and senior high school students, these graphic novels entertain young readers while introducing them to the works of renowned literary artists. Full-color illustrations throughout. This classic sea adventure tells the story of Captain Ahab, commander of the whaling ship Pequod, and his hunt for the mighty and ferocious white whale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764134920
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/28/2007
Series: Graphic Classics
Pages: 48
Product dimensions: 6.75(w) x (h) x (d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Herman Melville (1 August 1819 – 28 September 1891) was an American author best known for his book, "Moby Dick".

In the early 1940s he was one of the early artists for Gilberton's Classics Illustrated series, that was by then still called Classic Comics. His work for this collection contained comics adaptations of Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick' (1942), 'Robin Hood' (1942), Miguel de Cervantes's 'Don Quichote' (1943), Mark Twain's 'Huckleberry Finn' (1944), the James Fenimore Cooper books 'The Deerslayer' (1944) and 'The Pathfinder' (1945), and 'Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles' (1948).

From the late 1940s throughout the first half of the 1950s he was doing art for 'Western Adventures', 'Crime Must Pay The Penalty', 'Western Love Trails', 'The Hand of Fate' and other crime and mystery titles by Ace Magazines. Louis Zansky died in Nyack, NY, on 29 April 1978. He was the father of sculptor, painter and photographer Michael Zansky.

NORMAN NODEL (Nochem Yeshaya) was a noted artist and illustrator of children's books and magazines. Nodel began his illustrious career as a field artist in the army, drawing military maps during World War II. After the war, he pursued a successful career as an artist in a variety of styles, notably illustrating a great many issues in the famous 'Classics Illustrated' series in the 1950s. In the 1940s, he had previously been an assistant to George Marcoux, and he has done comic book art for True Comics and Sun Publications.
His contributions to 'Classics Illustrated' varied from 'Ivanhoe' to 'Faust' and 'The Invisible Man'. He was also a regular on Charlton's teen, horror and romance titles of the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1960s he contributed to the Warren magazines Eerie and Creepy, using the pen name Donald Norman.
During the last twelve years of his life, Mr. Norman Nodel devoted a major amount of his time and energy to illustrating books and magazines specifically for Jewish children, which gave him great pleasure and satisfaction. Norman Nodel worked to the last day of his life. He died on the 25th of February, 2000.

NORMAN NODEL (Nochem Yeshaya) was a noted artist and illustrator of children's books and magazines. Nodel began his illustrious career as a field artist in the army, drawing military maps during World War II. After the war, he pursued a successful career as an artist in a variety of styles, notably illustrating a great many issues in the famous 'Classics Illustrated' series in the 1950s. In the 1940s, he had previously been an assistant to George Marcoux, and he has done comic book art for True Comics and Sun Publications.
His contributions to 'Classics Illustrated' varied from 'Ivanhoe' to 'Faust' and 'The Invisible Man'. He was also a regular on Charlton's teen, horror and romance titles of the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1960s he contributed to the Warren magazines Eerie and Creepy, using the pen name Donald Norman.
During the last twelve years of his life, Mr. Norman Nodel devoted a major amount of his time and energy to illustrating books and magazines specifically for Jewish children, which gave him great pleasure and satisfaction. Norman Nodel worked to the last day of his life. He died on the 25th of February, 2000.

Read an Excerpt

Call me Ishmael. This resonant opening of Moby-Dick, the greatest novel in American literature, announces the narrator, Herman Melville, as he with a measure of slyness thought of himself. In the Scriptures Ishmael, a wild man sired by the overwhelming patriarch Abraham, was nevertheless the bastard son of a serving girl Hagar. The author himself was the offspring of two distinguished American families, the Melvilles of Boston and the Gansevoorts of Albany.

Melville's father cast something of a blight on the family escutcheon by his tendency to bankruptcy which passed down to his son. Dollars damn me, the son was to say over and over. When he sat down in the green landscape of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to compose Moby-Dick he was in debt, the father of one son, and another to be born a few days after the publication of the novel in England.

Melville had published five novels previous to Moby-Dick; the first two did well, and then with the capriciousness of the public the subsequent novels failed to please. He was a known literary figure with a fading reputation. How he came upon the courage to undertake the challenging creation of the epical battle between a sea creature, a white whale called Moby Dick, and an old captain from Nantucket by the name of Ahab is one of literature's triumphant mysteries. Add to that, as one reads, that he was only thirty-two years old.

Ten years before, in 1841, he had signed up as a common seaman on the whaling vessel Acushnet bound for the South Seas. Young Ishmael was drawn by the lure of the sea and by the wonder of the whale itself, the Leviathan, the monarch of the deep, "one grand hooded phantom, like asnow hill in the air." Until the discovery of petroleum oil in 1859 and Thomas Edison's invention of the incandescent lamp in 1879, whaling was a major commercial occupation in New England. Fortunes were made, grand houses were built, often with a "widow's walk" on the roof that testified to the great dangers of the enterprise. For the crew, service on a whaler was a drastic life of unremitting labor; foul, crowded quarters; bad food in scanty servings; contractual terms for years at miserable wages; brutalized companions picked up from all the ports of the world; tyrannical captains practicing a "sultanism" which Melville abhorred. A ship afloat is after all a prison. Melville was on three whalers in his four years at sea and from each, as we read in Typee and Omoo, the struggle is to escape, as he did when the boats anchored near exotic islands. He wrote about the misery of the whaling life, but not about whaling itself until he came to Moby-Dick. His imaginary whaler, the Pequod, death bound as it is, would be called, for an ordinary seaman, an agreeable berth. Ahab has no interest left beyond his internal struggle with one whale.

Still, there is whaling, the presumption of it. When a whale is sighted small boats are detached from the main vessel and the men engage in a deadly battle to try to match, with flying harpoons, the whale's immense strength and desperation. If the great thing is captured, the deck of the main ship becomes an abattoir of blood and guts. The thick blubber is to be stripped, the huge head to be drained of its oils for soothing ambergris, for candles; the bones of the carcass make their way into corsets and umbrellas and scrimshaw trinkets. Moby-Dick is a history of cetology, an encylopedic telling of the qualities of the fin-back, the right whale, the hyena whale, the sperm whale, the killer whale, classified by size in mock academic form as folio, octavo, and so on.

Information about a vanished world is one thing, but, above all else, this astonishing book is a human tragedy of almost supernatural suspensiveness, written in a rushing flow of imaginative language, poetical intensity, metaphor and adjective of consuming beauty. It begins on the cobbled streets of New Bedford, where Ishmael is to spend a few days before boarding the Pequod in Nantucket. The opening pages have a boyish charm as he is brought to share a bed with a fellow sailor, the harpooner Queequeg, an outrageously tattoed "primitive" who will be his companion throughout the narrative. Great ships under sail gave the old ports a rich heritage of myth, gossip, exaggeration, and rhetorical flights. Ishmael, on a Sunday, visits a whaleman's chapel to hear the incomparable sermon by Father Mapple on Jonah and the whale, a majestic interlude, one of many in this torrential outburst of fictional genius.

As Ishmael and Queequeg proceed to Nantucket, the shadows of the plot begin to fall upon the pages. The recruits are interviewed by two retired sailors who will struggle to express the complicated nature of Captain Ahab. We learn that he has lost a leg, chewed off by a whale, and thus the fated voyage of the Pequod begins. Ahab has lost his leg to a white whale Moby Dick and is consumed with a passion for retribution. He will hunt the singular whale as a private destiny in the manner of ancient kings in a legendary world. However, Ahab is real and in command. The chief mate, Starbuck, understands the folly of the quest, the danger of it, and, as a thoughtful man longing to return to his wife and children, he will speak again and again the language of reason. "Vengeance on a dumb beast that simply smote thee from the blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous."

The necessity of Starbuck's human distance from the implacable imperative of Ahab's quest illustrates the brilliant formation of this harrowing tale. But it is Ahab's story, his destiny, and, if on the one hand, he is a shabby, sea-worn sailor long mesmerized by mercurial oceans, he too has a wife at home and a child of his old age. We learn, as the story proceeds, that on a time ashore after his terrible wounding, he had fallen and by way of his whalebone leg been unmanned. He has suffered an incapacity not to be peacefully borne by one who in forty years had spent only three on land. Ahab knows the wild unsuitability of his nature, his remove from the common life.

What People are Saying About This

S. Mattheson

Responsible to misshapen forces of his age as only men of passionate imagination are, even Melville hardly be aware of how symbolic an American hero he'd fashioned in Captain Ahab...he is the embodiment of his author's most profound response to the problem of the free individual will in extremis.

Reading Group Guide

1. What is the significance of the whale? What do you think Melville intends in developing such a vicious antagonism between Ahab and the whale?

2. How does the presence of Queequeg, particularly his status as a "savage, " inform the novel? How does Melville depict this cultural clash?

3. How does whaling as an industry function metaphorically throughout the novel? Where does man fit in in this scenario?

4. Melville explores the divide between evil and virtue, justice and vengeance throughout the novel. What, ultimately, is his conclusion? What is Ahab's?

5. What do you think of the role, if any, played by religion in the novel? Do you think religious conventions are replaced or subverted in some way? Discuss.

6. Discuss the novel's philosophical subtext. How does this contribute to the basic plot involving Ahab's search for the whale? Is this Ishmael's purpose in the novel?

7. Discuss the role of women in the novel. What does their conspicuous absence mean in the overall context of the novel?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Moby Dick (Graphics Classics) 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
hfc12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a graphic novel adaptation of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, adapted by Sophie Furse. It is a fictional book about whale hunters in a pre-technological age.The story of this is the same as the original novel. The main character comes to a whale-fishing village seeking work and, along with an islander named Queeque (who is an ace shot with his harpoon), joins a ship led by Captain Ahab. During their whale-hunting expedition, they spot a large, white whale, which Captain Ahab becomes obsessed with. He endangers the crew in his hunt for this whale, and becomes a disturbing character.This graphic novel adaptation seemed interesting at first, and may still prove useful in a future classroom. However, overall, it seems like it would be almost as boring as the novel to high school students. The illustrations are good, but it is all very orderly and regimented with its panels, making it a very stale graphic novel to look at. I feel as though this can be a very epic and emotionally powerful story if presented right, and that makes this graphic novel a missed opportunity.This story can be used to teach a few things:-The price of obsession-Acceptance of differences, and the negativity of assumingSo, as far as the story goes, this graphic novel has a good one, mainly because it is based on a piece of classic literature, even though it does "dumb" it down a bit. I think the graphic novel could be used to introduce the actual novel in a classroom, since the illustrations, though stale, can still help the imagination of the less skilled readers. I hope to find better adaptations of classic novels in order to introduce them to the class and help make them more real and approachable to the students; visual literacy is a huge thing in our culture today, and should not be ignored.
johnlobe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Melville's classic story is handled with respect and care in this graphic adaptation, but the retelling is almost too helpful to the reader and has a stiff feel. The smallish illustrations are mostly separated from the text, further reducing the impact that a graphic version might have had. Several additional articles are included.