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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 (565 )
5 star
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Overall
4.0 (202 )
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Story
4.3 (202 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Daniel Cleveland, TN, USA 04-12-05
    Daniel Cleveland, TN, USA 04-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    17
    5
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    "Outstanding narrator"

    Adams Morgan is an amazing narrator, who gives distinctive voices to each of the many characters, with believable accents and palpable emotions. I will look for other works read by him.

    I was surprised to find so much humor and satire in the book I've always avoided due to its reputation of being the "greatest American novel" and the dread of many students of literature. Melville repeatedly pokes fun at our human weaknesses and prejudices, making me laugh throughout the reading.

    The book is written in language reminisent of Shakespeare: poetic, powerful prose that begs to be reheard. My only regret is that by listening, I was unable to underline the most memorable sentences for future reference. A book of quotations could be filled with the many profound and witty statements in Moby Dick.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Warrenton, GA, USA 05-06-04
    Bill Warrenton, GA, USA 05-06-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    4
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    "1 of America's Greatest Novels"

    Good narration too. Five stars.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack ARNOLD, MD, USA 01-23-06
    Jack ARNOLD, MD, USA 01-23-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    1
    Overall
    "MOBY DICK"

    Excellent One of the better books Iv'e listened to

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-28-05
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-28-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Turgid rubbish"

    I have tried to read this book several times and failed - losing the will to live at about page 30. At least with the (quite good) narrator doing the hard work of wading through Melvilles untidy and overlong prose I have at last made it all the way through.

    The narrative is constantly interrupted with catalogues and lists of characteristics of the whales. In fact these are sometimes the most interesting historical detail of the work. But the way they are thrown in seemingly randomly is a bit like trying to watch a movie while being constantly interupted by a slightly batty second uncle.

    I can only recommend that if you must listen to this work go for an abridged or dramatised version - the more abridged the better.

    4 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Concerned Reader Wine Country, USA 10-26-09
    A Concerned Reader Wine Country, USA 10-26-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    8
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    "If you HAVE to read Moby Dick..."

    The narration is excellent, but there's little he can do with the material. Hour after hour on minutae of whale biology and other filler material that detracts from the narrative. I hate to say this, but I would actually suggest people download the abridged versions. 3 hours vs. 24 and you really would get all the relevant content. A shame really, but I feel like I want 21 hours of my life back....

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn brookfield, WI, USA 06-03-05
    Shawn brookfield, WI, USA 06-03-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    "A hard listen"

    The book is a hard listen. The reader does a fine job with what he is given. However, the book is just too much. The book definitly has good sections, but the dull and irrelevent sections drag it down. I am not a fan of unabridged books, but this book - classic or not - could have used some trimming.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Bellevue, WA, USA 08-12-05
    Mark Bellevue, WA, USA 08-12-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    8
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    "A Classic? Maybe, but long and put me to sleep"

    I have heard this book was a classic so i wanted to check it out. however I was dissapointed. I had heard another sea voyage story from audible (Endurance: Shackelton's Incredible Voyage (Unabridged)) and it was great. I just could never get into this story.

    I think the biggest problem was how the story tried to be informative about the whale, and hold a narative story. I think both parts should have been a book in itself. But put them both together and the book just isn't good.

    Maybe a classic, but go for another sea voyage book.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickey Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 02-27-09
    Vickey Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 02-27-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If this is the height of American literature..."

    I downloaded this because I heard it was one of the great books and a must read.
    It is so incredibly boring! The narrator does his best to make it interesting but he's faced with an impossible task. It took me 8 months to finish and the only way I made it through was by listening to it while I was washing the dishes. If my hands were free I would turn it off. It really is that bad.

    0 of 16 people found this review helpful
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