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Publisher's Summary

Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my last. This is destined to be remembered as one of the most-recognized first sentences in literature - along with "Call me Ishmael." And Una Spenser, the transcendent hero at the center of Ahab's Wife may well become every bit as memorable as Ahab. Inspired by a brief passage in Moby Dick, Sena Jeter Naslund has created an entirely new universe - an epic-scale, enthralling, and compelling saga, spanning a full, rich, eventful, and dramatic life. In the "soprano voice" whose absence critics lamented in Moby Dick - the strong, intelligent voice of a woman whose life is dominated by the sea - Naslund tells many stories.
©1999 Sena Jeter Naslund, All Rights Reserved (P)1999 Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved, AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"Ahab's Wife is an epic tour de force, and deserves its rightful place next to Melville's classic...This is a great American novel." (Brett Lott, author of Jewel)

What listeners say about Ahab's Wife

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not

I listened to the first hour of this abridgement and then compared it to the text, and concluded that I would be better off re-reading the enormous novel instead (for my book club).

While the abridgement seemed like a decent effort to capture the highlights, and the narration was pleasant, the incredible artistry of this novel's language is largely lost in the process of shortening the lengthy descriptions. You also miss out on the sense of being enveloped in the characters' lives and thoughts. (I think a screenplay writer would have the same problem...I'd rather see it done as a ten hour miniseries.)

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful epic

I heard the unabridged version of this novel and loved it. The writing was beautiful and the story captivated me. I don't know how the abridged version compares--I don't buy them.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Abridged version but good narrator

Most reviews point out the abridged version as a negative, but that's what we bought. Ahab's Wife is one of my favorite books. Beautifully written, it would take over 40 hours of narrating to read in its entirety. I'm holding out that someone will release it for us. This abridged version works in the meantime. You miss out on most of the character development in this version but you get the high points is the story. Read the unabridged version when you get a chance.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Moby Dick move over, here comes Una

Ahab's wife gives a different dimension to the infamous Captain. Told through the eyes of ( ? can you guess ? ) his wife who's life's story is noteworthy in it's own right. Adventurous, sometimes thought provoking and fanciful.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Yeah, you get the basic story, but ....

So sure, you get the story, but you miss some of the fantastic prose and language. I read the book first, so it was nice to listen to the abridged version, but only sort of as I missed some parts and I really did notice the missing pieces.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A lot missing in the abridged version

The writing is elegant. The performance was complement to the writing. Sadly the the abridged version cuts out many meaningful passages.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wish I had the full version

The story and writing were great but I didn't realize it was the abridged veraion. There were so many holes, I now need to read the full version.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Abridged

I did not know this was abridged when I got it. I loved reading the book, an it’s a very good performance, but lacks the richness of the full story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Felt like we shared a similar journey.

Moby Dick and Heart of Sea should be read following this excellent rendition.
Ahab’s Wife is engaging, embracing and an excellent read difficult to put down.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Don't do the abridged version.

I didn't realize this was an abridgment until I was part way through and scratching my head trying to figure out the quantum leap in the story line. The narrator was excellent and I suspect this is an excellent story in its unabridged incarnation, but this abridgment leaves you with so many chasmic gaps that it's hard to figure out how we got from point A to point B.