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Moby Dick: or the Whale | [Herman Melville]

Moby Dick: or the Whale

Moby-Dick is widely considered to be the Great American Novel and a treasure of world literature. The story details the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael and his voyage on the whale ship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific whale: Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. And Ahab intends to take revenge.
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Publisher's Summary

Moby-Dick is widely considered to be the Great American Novel and a treasure of world literature. The story details the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael and his voyage on the whale ship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific whale: Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. And Ahab intends to take revenge.

Public Domain (P)2011 Trout Lake Media

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (143 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
3.9 (131 )
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Story
3.9 (132 )
5 star
 (45)
4 star
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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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  •  
    G.T. Saint Cloud, FL 05-20-12
    G.T. Saint Cloud, FL 05-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Solid narration of a timeless classic"
    What made the experience of listening to Moby Dick: or the Whale the most enjoyable?

    I listen to audiobooks on my way to/from work every morning, and this book took me almost two months to listen to, and it was worth every minute. It's one of those feelings of achievement and satisfaction you get only from finishing something worthwhile. I never read this book growing up, and I anticipated it to be hard enough to follow in print, not to mention in audio form. But Mark Nelson did a fabulous job not only managing all the various accents and voice textures, but also in how he handled all the dialects present in the text. I have an appreciation for anyone who reads a book well, and a book like this is twice as difficult to read aloud as a normal novel. Well worth the time spend listening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I didn't expect all the tertiary information Melville provided about the whaling trade and life at sea. It was an unexpected, but not unwelcome, addition to what I did expect. The narrative portions themselves were so good I listened to some chapters twice, especially the very last chapter.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scenes have to be when Stubb made the Cook preach to the sharks, and of course the final battle with Moby Dick.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved by Ahab's existential reflections toward the end of the book, and I was saddened by Ahab's final benevolent desire to see Starbuck make it back to his family.


    Any additional comments?

    I never read this book growing up, and I anticipated it to be hard enough to follow in print, not to mention in audio form. But Mark Nelson did a fabulous job not only managing all the various accents and voice textures, but also in how he handled all the dialects present in the text. I have an appreciation for anyone who reads a book well, and a book like this is twice as difficult to read aloud as a normal novel because of all these accents and dialects. Well worth the time spent listening.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. John K. Smith Fayetteville, PA 03-10-12
    Dr. John K. Smith Fayetteville, PA 03-10-12
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    "Can't beat a well read classic for this price!"
    Where does Moby Dick: or the Whale rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    I had recently read Moby Dick in print form, then listened to this audio version. Don't know if I could have followed the story on the audio without having read it first... it would have required rapt attention. And an occasional pause to consult the dictionary! This was a very enjoyable listen... and drew me into the story quite powerfully!


    What did you like best about this story?

    After listening to Moby Dick, I felt like I could hunt, harpoon, skin, and boil down the oil from a whale! While some complain of Melville's excursions into the details of whaling ships, whaling life, and whales, I found it facinating!


    Which character ??? as performed by Mark Nelson ??? was your favorite?

    Ahab is revealed as a conflicted,


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The cost of revenge... to one and to many.


    Any additional comments?

    I can see why many consider this one of the best... if not the best... American novel. I know I will be visiting this novel again, and possibly soon.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vernon WALLBACK, WV, United States 02-28-12
    Vernon WALLBACK, WV, United States 02-28-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good story plainly read ... enjoyable."
    What did you love best about Moby Dick: or the Whale?

    This reading is enjoyable for those who do not care for overdramatic readings. I could actually believe the teller of the tale was a simple deckhand on a ship who was recounting the story. Thank you.


    What other book might you compare Moby Dick: or the Whale to and why?

    ...


    Which character – as performed by Mark Nelson – was your favorite?

    ...


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book took a few weeks of road time to listen through.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. T. Hutter The Driftless... 09-18-13
    P. T. Hutter The Driftless... 09-18-13

    Music Mongrel

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Period Rendering of an Amazing Book!"
    What made the experience of listening to Moby Dick: or the Whale the most enjoyable?

    Mark Nelson is brilliant at capturing the characters in this complex story, and his inflections and general character help place the book when and where it was written.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Columbia, SC, United States 05-21-12
    Wayne Columbia, SC, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very accessible reading of classic novel"
    Would you listen to Moby Dick: or the Whale again? Why?

    I would definitely want to listen to Moby Dick again. It is such a multi-layered and well-written novel.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Moby Dick: or the Whale?

    Of course, the novel revolves around the events leading up to and including the encounter with Moby Dick. Those events provide the most memorable moments of the novel.


    What about Mark Nelson’s performance did you like?

    Mark Nelson's understated performance is very appropriate to the whalemen depicted in the novel. His use of various voices for the different characters is never overly theatrical.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Due to the length and depth of this novel it is best to read it a few chapters at a time. Its relatively short chapters make this book very much suited to the audio format.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Panguitch, UT 04-08-12
    Amazon Customer Panguitch, UT 04-08-12 Member Since 2015

    Too long gone, two wrongs right, to a brighter day and Tupelo night . . .

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Accessible Classic"

    I own a nice leather-bound edition of this book. It's been collecting dust on my bookshelf for almost two decades. I've attempted to read it a few times; however, never made it beyond chapter three.

    Thanks to Audible and their $2.95 pricing for this book, I was finally able to experience the brilliance of this story for myself. Sometimes it's nice to have someone else do the reading on these meaty classics.

    True, the narration is not the best. The pacing is a bit fast, but still a good listen. Mark Nelson, with this title at least, is more of a reader than a voice actor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron Hinkle Portland, OR 06-19-15
    Cameron Hinkle Portland, OR 06-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Difficult but it's clear why it's a classic"

    Lo that more souls would flip these pages, though it be as a tremendous mountain to overcome. The story is epic to be sure but in Mellville's constant metaphoric prose lies the true treasure. And though Nelson's performance comes off as pedestrian at first, his talent shines as the story progresses like the sun rising to its height at noon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Newton 05-05-15
    J. Newton 05-05-15

    Cogitation

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    2
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    "Emotive literary narrative of lost whaling culture"

    Symbolism, song, poetry, superstition, religion, philosophy, and fascinating seafaring knowledge, as well as the forgotten culture associated with the U.S. whaling industry of the early 19th century, are all explored with the meticulous lens of an emotionally-packed artistic literary narrative style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen N. Wagner 03-08-15

    Eileen

    ratings
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    "Never gets old"

    Was this my 3rd or 4th reading? Each time was wildly better than the last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Z. Wixom, MI 10-29-14
    Paul Z. Wixom, MI 10-29-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
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    "Should have read sooner!"

    I did not read this in high school, and I kind of glad I didn't. I honestly don't know if I would have gotten all of the humor at that time. Not only was I surprised by the puns and word play, but also by how modern it felt. What a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Caroline
    WELSHPOOL, United Kingdom
    6/12/12
    Overall
    "Great novel, less keen on the narrator"

    Maybe it's me, I come from a nautical family. Maybe it's the way those words are pronounced in the USA but it spoilt it for me hearing the word gunwales pronounced 'gun wales' and the word forecastle pronounced 'fore castle'. Every time I heard what I consider to be a mispronounciation I found myself shouting 'No...it's fohk suhl' or 'No..it's gun'l ' (forgive my spelling, I can say it but may not be able to spell it phonetically). So I would not recommend this edition with this narrator.
    As for the novel...a very slow starter but grew and by the time I was half way through I couldn't wait to get back to it. I'd never seen the film so didn't know what was going to happen and was captivated with the characters. Iconic first line, brilliant ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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