In the dark depths of the bottomless sea dwells a white demon, taking shape as the Leviathan known as Moby Dick. One year ago, the malefic brute crunched off the leg of the ungodly Captain Ahab, who now swears revenge. So runs the epic tale of Moby Dick, the supernal work of Herman Melville. In this unabridged production, you will walk with the young sailor Ishmael through the fires of life on a whaling vessel. Each character is brought to life by the narration of B.J. Harrison, who also turns Melville’s sometimes over-potent expository information into an easily digestible treat.
Public Domain (P)2013 B.J. Harrison
I've wanted to read this book in its entirety for years but couldn't commit the time. Listening to it however is a breeze.
Any of the big classics of the 19th century by the likes of: Dickens, Poe, Austen, Twain, etc.
Too many to mention
Too many to mention
This book is packed with significance and multiple layers. Everyone knows that. But what I didn't know is that it's actually a very easy read, full of light and humorous moments and fantastic adventure. Can't speak for the multiple other narrators whose versions are also available on Audible, but this reader, BJ Harrison, is terrific. Here's another thing: I just finished Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" Stylistically speaking, I'm sure she was influenced by Moby Dick.
Melville's Shakespearean epic is intimidating in print, but in B.J. Harrison's many voices & masterful pacing, it remains accessible yet deep & wide.
Great American Classic! B.J. Harrison's reading is amazing. He uses a different voice for each character, infusing the characters with their own personalities, thus bringing them to life. He has an incredible vocal range from highest tenor to lowest bass.
Ishmael, clearly learned, but an outsider, tells the story of Ahab and his desire to wreak vengeance on the white whale that bit off his leg, thus "dismasting" him. Ishmael explores obsession, madness, violence, love and prejudice by making astute observations on the social mores of the times, which are surprisingly relevant today.
One passage that particularly struck me was when Ishmael sees, for the first time, the tatooed countenance of one of his shipmates, Quequeg, a South Seas native, and immediately deems him a savage. However, Ismael quickly realizes that in most ways, Quequeg is more civilized than many of his peers, and acknowledges his error by saying, "Ignorance is the parent of fear." Ismael and Quequeg become fast friends.
Some reviewers have been upset by the detailed descriptions of the killing and processing of the whales. While I'm an animal anti-abuse advocate, I feel that those passages are integral to the existentialist nature of the book. I thoroughly encourage you to listen to this unabridged, rather than an unabridged, edition. I can't imagine that the cutting of any passages would do anything other than alter the deeper meaning of the book. It may take a little time to get used to the Victorian syntax, but the crafting of the sentences and sentiments is well worth the effort.
I was not completely comfortable with the language in this story. There is no swearing but to call it English is a stretch. I am completely aware the problem with the language is my narrow compression given that I am Midwest United States born and raised. I needed to listen to several passages multiple times to grasp the intent.
Rated as one of the greatest American classics, I couldn't help but marvel at the uneven unwieldiness of this novel. The competent performance could not hide the fact that this is one of the few "classics" that, like Ben Hur, profits greatly from abridgment. Melville's monster is clearly a creature apart from many other late 19th century authors and requires immense patience and fortitude to finish. Hidden within are indeed some pearls, but the author never seemed to decide whether he was writing a narrative, a melodramatic stage production, a sensationalist news piece, a windy political speech, an educational Lyceum presentation or a maritime encyclopedia entry. Moby Dick is a leviathan of a book on whose great mottled hide the narrative clings like so many barnacles.
When duty whisper low "Thou Must" The youth replies I CAN.
I've always wanted to Read Moby Dick but I procrastinated. this audio version was excellent and very well performed I would recommend it to anyone looking to finally listen to Moby Dick.
Just painful...how could this book ever have been crowned as a Great American classic? 85% whale anatomy lessons and 15% boring plot.
The tragic character for me was the narrator (BJ Harrison). He had to read every word....at least I could tune out for chapters at a time while negotiating traffic :-)
It takes listening / reading a classic such as this to reveal just how far our collective vocabulary has fallen over the decades. Each sentence in this book has been carefully crafted. Not a paragraph goes by without the use of an archaic word perfectly selected to provide precise meaning.
A joy to listen to and hours of appreciation coupled with sadness for the literature of today.
I highly recommend getting an abridged version if you are a casual listener just looking for an exciting story; with entire chapters dedicated to a singular description the story can quickly lose its flow. Mr. Harrison does and excellent job in narration and bringing the different characters' personality into each voice performance.
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