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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 (109 )
5 star
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3.8 (99 )
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Story
3.8 (101 )
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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
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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.

    6 of 6 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.

    3 of 3 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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Columbia, SC, United States 05-21-12
    Wayne Columbia, SC, United States 05-21-12
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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

    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
  •  
    Bob 04-23-14
    Bob 04-23-14
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    "Kind of boring"
    Any additional comments?

    I realize this is a classic, and I am ashamed that this is the first time I have read/listened to it, but I found it incredibly boring. I couldn't even imagine trying to read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 12-23-13
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 12-23-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful narration brought the book to life"

    I originally bought this book thinking that it would be a good one to go to sleep to. I had always heard that it was the most boring and long-winded book ever written.

    Mark Nelson's narration was simultaneously calming and engaging. He does a brilliant job with different voices, and he dramatizes the right parts without overdramatizing.

    Let me just say that I don't believe I would have ever attempted to read this as a book. It would have been too heavy to lug around, and I would have been intimidated by the size and its reputation for being so boring. However, as an audiobook, it exceeded my expectations.

    Anyone who knows anything about Moby Dick or Herman Melville knows that Moby Dick is an exercise in descriptive writing. On paper, that kind of description gets old really fast, but in audiobook format, you feel as if you were there, on board the ship, getting to know the crewmen and the whaling industry.

    I should mention that this book is not for the faint of heart. I almost didn't survive the descriptions of how to dissect a whale in the open ocean and the looks on the whales faces as they lay dying. There is quite a lot of gore involved that would be dificult if not offensive for animal lovers to endure. However, if you enjoy studying animals, rest assured that you will have an in-depth knowledge of whales and whale anatomy by the end of the book.

    Melville uses the Bible and Biblical comparisons throughout the book, and generally, he does this well. He even has a sense of humor. I found myseslf laughing out loud on several occasions while listening to some of his more imaginative similes and metaphors.

    It didn't turn out to be the bedtime book I had imagined, but it did turn out to be a whale of a tale that I enjoyed. Thank you Mark Nelson for bringing Moby Dick to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. T. Hutter The Driftless... 09-18-13
    P. T. Hutter The Driftless... 09-18-13 Member Since 2010

    Music Mongrel

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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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Charlotte, NC, United States 06-14-13
    Craig Charlotte, NC, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2013
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    "I Just Couldn't Read This Book!"
    What made the experience of listening to Moby Dick: or the Whale the most enjoyable?

    I have tried to read this book in paper no fewer than 3 times and could never get past about 30 chapters because the language always slowed me down to a crawl. There is a lot of colloquialism in the writing. Listening to it was a joy, however. I never needed to worry about interpreting the language incorrectly or go back for context.


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

    I've not read or listened to another book like MD. I guess that's why it's such a classic.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a fan of any pop culture, Moby is a must-listen! You'll find yourself thinking, "Hey, I've heard that before," or, "so that's where that came from!" Thoroughly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Merle J. Hickey wisconsin 03-18-13
    Merle J. Hickey wisconsin 03-18-13

    somojim

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a difficult story"
    Would you try another book from Herman Melville and/or Mark Nelson?

    yes


    Would you ever listen to anything by Herman Melville again?

    yes


    How could the performance have been better?

    don't know


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Moby Dick: or the Whale?

    some descriptions about whaling


    Any additional comments?

    this is Melvilles most difficuilt book. It was one of his best tales Listening to the tale is easier than trying to read the book. All in all the audio was done very well

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 13 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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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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