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Moby Dick | [Herman Melville]

Moby Dick

The outcast youth Ishmael, succumbing to wanderlust during a dreary New England autumn, signs up for passage aboard a whaling ship. The Pequod sails under the command of the one-legged Captain Ahab, who has set himself on a monomaniacal quest to capture the cunning white whale that robbed him of his leg: Moby-Dick. Capturing life on the sea with robust realism, Melville details the adventures of the colorful crew aboard the ship as Ahab pursues his crusade of revenge, heedless of all cost.
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Publisher's Summary

The outcast youth Ishmael, succumbing to wanderlust during a dreary New England autumn, signs up for passage aboard a whaling ship. The Pequod sails under the command of the one-legged Captain Ahab, who has set himself on a monomaniacal quest to capture the cunning white whale that robbed him of his leg: Moby-Dick. Capturing life on the sea with robust realism, Melville details the adventures of the colorful crew aboard the ship as Ahab pursues his crusade of revenge, heedless of all cost.

(P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The greatest of American novels." (Atlantic Monthly)
"[A]n intense, superbly authentic narrative. Its theme and central figure are reminiscent of Job in his search for justice and of Oedipus in his search for truth."(Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (582 )
5 star
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4.0 (219 )
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4.3 (217 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John Madison, WI, USA 12-03-05
    John Madison, WI, USA 12-03-05
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    "Greatest Novel, Excellent Reader"

    This is my favorite novel of all time, and the reader of this unabridged version does it justice! Having read Moby Dick many times, it's nice to enjoy the audio version that gives it a new dimension, to be sure.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent Maricopa, AZ, USA 04-09-04
    Brent Maricopa, AZ, USA 04-09-04
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    "A sea adventure and much more"

    This is not a book that can be appreciated with just one listen. Because it is a Classic it must be read again and savored. The characters are described with great depth and even humorous as we all are in some way. The story is interesting as it gives insight into 19th century life on the coast and at sea. It's truly amazing how whales were classified with so much detail and accuracy. Last but not least is the moral that you draw from having heard this masterpiece. The narrator is not too distracting but fair so I only give it 4 stars.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Cothalis 01-17-10
    G. Cothalis 01-17-10 Member Since 2009
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    "remarkable"

    I can't believe I waited so long to listen to this American classic. It paints a full picture of the time period, the whaling industry and it's motivations. It's a great audible.com experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phoebe Cambridge, MA, USA 05-04-10
    Phoebe Cambridge, MA, USA 05-04-10
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    "Caution: the narrator is not for everyone"

    Have you decided to buy an unabridged version of Moby Dick, but are not sure which narrator to choose? This review is for you.

    When I bought Anthony Heald's version of Moby Dick in early 2010, it seemed like the best unabridged version available: the reviews were strong and the sample of Heald's reading seemed imaginative and engaging.

    But the reality was that I could not listen past the first few hours, though I tried on many occasions to keep going. The problem? Heald over-acts, and I find it really hard to sympathize with his interpretation of Ishmael's narrative voice. If the Ishmael in your head is crafty, cunning, is always on the verge of running his hands together slyly, and sounds a bit like a closet-case, then you won't mind Heald's reading. But for me, it's way overdone. The sample's breathy emphasis on the word "MAGIC" will give you a hint of what is to come even in far more pedestrian moments that don't merit this kind of tone.

    I've decided to download the newest version (March 2010) read by Norman Dietz. Will let you all know how that one compares.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Genevieve Arcata, California, United States 03-29-12
    Genevieve Arcata, California, United States 03-29-12 Member Since 2009
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    "The masterpiece of literature narrated perfectly"

    If you are not well read and you are not sure what to choose, know this; most people who are well read and lets say, are about to die, if given a choice of one book before going, might choose this book because its long and its THE masterpiece of writing and you would die after experiencing the highest form of human thought.

    It took me over a month because I had to go back over and over to swim in it (tee hee).

    The narrator performs as if he has been honored to do this genious work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Oak Grove, KY, United States 12-23-11
    Nicholas Oak Grove, KY, United States 12-23-11 Member Since 2011

    Travel a lot for work and spend a good deal of time in the car.

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    "Come on it's Moby Dick!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Of course its a classic. it really gives you an inside view of the whaleing industry in the days before oil from the ground. All machines and lamps used whale oil. No industrial revoloution without it.


    What about Anthony Heald’s performance did you like?

    I have listened to some horrible narrators but this one is definatly one of the good ones.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beatrice El Cerrito, CA, United States 12-23-10
    beatrice El Cerrito, CA, United States 12-23-10 Member Since 2009
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    "epic"

    It's all here--history, natural history, anthropology, philosophy, and adventure--so rich, so complex. I admit that when I first read this book some 20 years ago , I also found the passages about whales and whale parts puzzling if not annoying. This time around, I loved them, found them profound and evocative, more compelling even than Ahab's famous obsession with the white whale. And Anthony Heald is a talented storyteller, obviously familiar with the material, who gives each word its due; I have no regrets about choosing his narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loretta 04-09-10
    Loretta 04-09-10
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    "Audio is the way to go."

    Unlike a lot of folks, I was not forced to read "Moby Dick" in school. My English teacher had a penchant for classic science fiction, so we read things like "1984" and "Brave New World." After I finished school I thought I would read it to see what everyone was referencing.

    Ugh, what torture. I've tried several times to start the book over the years, and failed early on each time. Finally I decided to download it (and a couple other audible books, just in case) for a long car trip.

    It worked perfectly. Having "Moby Dick" read made the inaccuracies of science and the outlandish details much more interesting. It was like sitting across the table from an amiably addled, elderly relative you've asked to spin yarns of the old days. This is definitely the way to experience this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    plaintiger 03-20-10
    plaintiger 03-20-10

    plaintiger

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    "what a book - and what a reader!"

    this is an amazing, poetic work, and i've never heard any book so masterfully read. Anthony Heald reads Moby Dick with passion and precision, not as if he's reading another author's words, but as if he's dictating the work for the first time himself as he recalls the experiences.

    evidently quite a few people find Moby Dick boring, but i don't (not even the section on whales, which i enjoyed as much as the rest of the book). if you're fascinated by language and the grace and elegance of the finest 19th-century English, you probably won't be bored either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Bloomington, MN, USA 03-17-05
    Rick Bloomington, MN, USA 03-17-05
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    "Ahab v. Whale"

    If you intend to listen to this entire book in order to follow Ahab's famous struggle against evil, you will be surprised at how little of it there actually is. Across 24 hours of listening, I finally gave up waiting for the whale to resurface, and found myself enjoying the detailed descriptions of the mid-19th century whaling industry and sailing vessels. Melville left nothing out of his descriptions of all things salty. If it's Ahab v. Whale you want, then I highly recommend the abridged version, because there is actually very little of it in this full length book. Melville's vocabulary and use of the English language is amazing...people just don't write like this anymore - which may be a good thing for book sales today. But just think, if you listen through the entire 425+ pages, you will be one of the few living people who actually "read" the entire book, and you'll be able to correct pseudo-intellectuals who dare to bring up the subject at cocktail parties.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
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