Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
I'm not into classic movies and I don't like watching black and white shows and if its not in high definition, I have a hard time tuning in. When it comes to literature, there are some books that are truly timeless. Who would had thought that I would read "Moby-Dick." I really thought that it was some overgrown fish causing pirates on boats boosting their egos, trying to catch it.
Besides the whale, its kind of funny. Herman Melville had a subtle sense of humor that I really enjoyed. It's hard to explain to someone that hasn't read the book yet, but his humor in his characters shows in his work.
Anything performed by the late Frank Muller is a pleasure to listen to. As an avid audiobook listener, I first got introduced to the audio format by listening to Mr. Muller. In my ears, there is no one better than Frank. His narration was superb in anything that he read. It's very hard to replace his unique voice that others doesn't have.
Unlike television and film, I really enjoy reading books that were published way before my time.
I never would have imagined that the adventures of a group of whalers could be so eloquently relayed to a reader, but here's the book that does just that! Herman Melville's expression of even the simplest ideas are given with such incredible phrases that one has to sometimes rewind the narrative (I did, at least) in order to be sure they actually heard what their ears reported. His eloquent use of alliteration was of such spectacular skill that several scenes stood steadily in sight, stuff that easily brings a smile to to a serene listener's face.
We immediately are encountered by social dilemmas of racism and conflicting religious beliefs when Ishmael meets Queequeg for the first time. Fear is the first thing that Ishmael expresses, though he and Queequeg quickly become friends before they even head out on their voyage. On the ship, the existence of good and evil, even of a reigning deity, are examined as we hear of the history and beliefs of other shipmates. All in all, it's a diligent group of men who are either running from their lives on land or searching for something better than the lands from whence they came, even if it's something as simple as adventure.
Mr Frank Muller is an excellent narrator of the book and, though his accents for various characters are very subtle, they're still enough of a change to inform the listener that a new character is speaking, or that Ishmael's commentary has begun again. At times the narrative was so exciting and high-paced that I couldn't have understood what was being said without following along in my book, but, aside from that small glitch, the performance was fantastic. Mr Muller did a great job in delivering sometimes complicated phrases from an amazing author. Very well done, sir!
Scientist, artisan, anachronism
Moby Dick: “they” say that you either love it or hate it. I love it. …. The foreboding sermon, the poetic prose, the facts and the lessons of the old whaling game.
I believe the ppl that hate the book have two reasons to: the lengthy factual descriptions of the ships, the whales and the job… the other is the graphic nature of some of the descriptions and the overall job (the stripping of the whale blubber for exmple). The loveable side of the book is the passionate heart of the characters, the detailed explanations of their convictions, - hansom or hideous, and such detailed depiction of the scenes and story that it takes you to the time and the place.
So the book is both beautifully written and passionately told but also occasionaly dry and perhaps to some overly factual. So we get the love or hate it response from those that read it. I like the historical side and the detailed information. There many lessons of the trade and the ship and the job and a lot to learn from the book. and there are vivid and passionate characters living in a fantastic and powerful story. There are many a lesson on the nature of the soul of men from all kinds of trade and temper.
What convinced me to “read” it, aside from the fact that it is one f the most heralded books of all time, is that I learned the story is based on several true experiences of both the author and some other ships of the trade in the time of the book. the author was employed on a whaling ship. He lived the life and learned the trade. He hear the stories. He traveled the world and he was tried by the times. He took all of this and made from it one of the greatest works of fiction human history has ever known.
So if you have an analytical mind and like to learn the scientific side of the story’s content AND you have a taste for deeply developed characters with complex natures and powerful emotions then this is for you. If you are not both then you may be able to live your life without the lengthy sailors yarn.
FAV quote: “better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian”
BTW- the movie version with Patrick Stewart is a wonderful rendition of the story. the actor playing Queequeg is just outstanding. His portray of the character was a perfect visual for me during the reading of this book (I saw the movie first, it put a face to each character)
Yes but after awhile
I took breaks
Now I know why I skim read the book before and miss so much. Melville goes in to great detail on the whaling, shipping, weather, pacific ocean, etc that was not great to read but was very good to hear over the head phones.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
"Call me Ishmael" - with this bold beginning the book thunders along.
Half adventure story about madness and revenge as the Pequod and her crew follow Captain Ahab into hell. The other half is a fascinating chronicle of whaling, the history and industry in the early to mid-1800s. The counterpoint of these two parts builds the suspense until the crew finally finds Ahab's nemesis - Moby Dick.
Frank Muller's narration was fabulous. I am absolutely smitten.
I haven't finished completely but this has been so good. This is my first audiobook and I have been reading along because I love the book so much. Everyone should listen!
I have been wanting to "read" Moby Dick for some time, but just haven't had the time. Audio is a great way to experiance this classic. Frank Muller made this book come alive...and that is hard to do, because a reader can get bogged down in some of the natural history chapters...but not Muller...I absorbed every bit of it!!!!
You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.
It is interesting that Melville was not appreciated in his day - I'll bet his reputation was resurrected by academics who need suitable material for torturing students in American literature classes.
On the positive side, I love that Ishmael is a voice for cultural and racial acceptance and I even appreciate the seaman's-eye-view of life on a 19th century whaling ship.
I found the ad nauseum descriptions and dated lessons in marine biology more than a little tedious. The language Melville uses is interesting and challenging, but the real issue is his lack of self-restraint in the various tangents he takes.
You can't just say my reaction is the result of a modern attention span, because they didn't much appreciate it in his own time either.
NO, I will not ever read anything from Melville again, Frank Muller on the otherhand is great.
Yes, he is always wonderful.
Everyone exept Ahab and the Whale.
Dont waste three days of your life you will not ever get back.
Non Fiction Reader
This book takes so many side roads that one wonders if there even is a story somewhere in there. Short, incisive excusions may actually help the story and draw the reader into it. It is not the case with this story. It's almost like Melville wanted to show his erudition and lost sight of his goal. I hate to say it, but the movie was better.
I had the misfortune of "saving" this story for a long vacation drive back home. The story is so boring that it should come with a warning label: "Do not drive or use heavy equipment when reading (listening)." This is especially the case during the later part of the first part (book) and almost the entire second part. I found myself so distracted that my truck and my towed boat were weaving from shoulder to median. The best way to listen is to click forward. I found myself clicking forward on my iPod for large sections only to return to the last coherent part of the story.
There's nothing wrong with the characters if they had a prominent place in the story. Mostly they're just ciphers so Mellvile can expound on some subject, or another, that is so distracting that you forget about the white whale.