(P)1996 Penguin Books Ltd. Penguin Audio is a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
I love the book Moby Dick so I had my doubts about an abridged version. What would be left out? Then I thought, there are some reasonably good movies that take a long book and distill it down to a two-hour experience. Why not a six-hour audio book?
It's definitely worth the listen. The narrator does an excellent job with all the characters and you can tell the book was carefully edited to retain the flavor and pacing of the original novel. I enjoyed this thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy one of the all time great adventure tales but not invest the endless hours it takes to read the book. Or, if you've read it before and want to re-experience the book (as I did), this is a fun way to do so. It's also a great introduction to the book for anyone who is not familiar with the story. Very well done!
MOBY DICK, for my money the crown jewel of American literature, is an enormous book and presents enormous challenges to adapt and abridge. This audio version is told with spirit and vigor, illuminating the surprisingly light moments of Melville's novel with particular humor. The characterizations are distinct and highly memorable. Quite rightly, this is an Ahab to terrify! I am deeply sorry, however, they decided to cut "The Whiteness of the Whale" chapter -- which has to be one of the absolute pinnacles of Melville's prose. Alas. But for that omission, this would have been almost a perfect listening experience. Give it a try.
If you recall Moby Dick as a boring book from school, forget it. This abridged version cuts out the endless detailed description of the whaling process (leaving in enough to keep it realistic) and focuses on the drama of the hunt. The narrator is excellent. Could not stop listening to this book.
All these years I have heard about how good Moby Dick was supposed to be, but I dreaded what seemed like a dreary, boring book. I thought of it like eating rutabegas - it must be good for you because it tastes awful. Thus I was pleasantly surprised when the story started out interesting and then kept getting better. Now I realize why it's been considered a classic, because it has stood the test of time. By the end, I couldn't get out of the car because I didn't want to turn it off. The narrator too is excellent. At the beginning he seems just ordinary in his Starbuck character, but he really shines when speaking Ahab's lines. The emotion was conveyed better than any other reader I've heard. So if you are considering Moby Dick, give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Call me Ishmael. There are so many cultural references which are derived from this classic. It is an exciting tale of adventure that is still relevant today. I listened because it thought it would be good for me to take on a classic this summer, but I truly enjoyed it!
I would recommend this book not only as a great classic but tremendously engaging story.
The insane (wooden-leg) Ahab is the most unforgettable image.
The scene of cursing Ahab drug overboard and into the depths of the emotionless sea.
"Speak Ye, damn ye or I killee!
Narrator William Hootkins brings a performance worthy of the highest kudos.
I was skeptical about how accessible a 'classic' might be, but thought I'd give it a try. I was totally drawn in and had a hard time pausing it when I had to. - The narration is first rate and (not a 'cheesy' dramatization.) - I'm (almost) ready to go back for the unabridged version! -
The narration starts off slowly because the narrator seems to be over-pronouncing all his words. But once he gets into the flow, this is a gem. His rendition of the various characters is excellent and varied. He also imbues his narration with a humor that you might not normally expect, as well as the pathos that you would. Exciting, educational, adventurous and fun -- everything you would want in a reading of Moby Dick.
Split you lungs with blood and thunder,
when you see the white, whale!
Break your backs and crack your oars men,
if you wish to prevail!
This ivory leg is what compels me,
harpoons thrust in the sky!
Aim directly for his broken brow,
and look him straight in the eye!
I am Captain Ahab...if am not back by spring forward my mail to me in the south pacific.
And, if I am not back my summer, forward my mail to me in hell!
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