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Moby-Dick Audiobook

Moby-Dick

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Publisher's Summary

Its famous opening line, "Call me Ishmael," dramatic in its stark simplicity, begins an epic that is widely regarded as the greatest novel ever written by an American. Labeled variously a realistic story of whaling, a romance of unusual adventure and eccentric characters, a symbolic allegory, and a drama of heroic conflict, Moby Dick is first and foremost a great story. It has both the humor and poignancy of a simple sea ballad, as well as the depth and universality of a grand odyssey.

When Melville's father died in 1832, the young man's financial security went too. For a while he turned to school-mastering and clerking, but failed to make a sustainable income. In 1840 he signed up on the whaler, Acushnet, out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was just 21. A whaler's life turned out to be both arduous and dangerous, and in 1842, Melville deserted ship. Out of this experience and a wealth of printed sources, Melville crafted his masterpiece.

©1987 Recorded Books, LLC.; (P)1987 Recorded Books, LLC.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (3328 )
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4.5 (2855 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Tryon, NC, US 03-13-17
    Amazon Customer Tryon, NC, US 03-13-17 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    2
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    "Studies in character "

    Laborious detailed descriptions in old English. Some of the word pictures were poetic. I'm somewhat surprised that the book is so famous. if I were to have to read it, I probably wouldn't have finished it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaye 02-28-17
    Jaye 02-28-17 Member Since 2015
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    9
    1
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    "Superior Rendition"

    An extraordinary work of action and contemplation, adventure and spirituality, realism and poetry. Beautifully and dramatically read by Frank Muller – a finely tuned and gripping performance of a book that feels like it was meant to be read aloud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anthony 02-24-17
    anthony 02-24-17 Member Since 2017
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    22
    5
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    "Frank Muller!"

    Frank Muller is the greatest audiobook narrator who has ever lived and Melville is a brilliant story teller. The two together form a perfect product in this great audiobook

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    1
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    "Classic well read"

    The descriptive nature a Melville puts you right in the story. His ability to over-describe without it being noticeable to the reader/listener makes it so you can almost smell the old wood and sea salt.

    Frank Muller's reading of the novel is spot on. The tones and cadences used match perfectly with the lead character. The performance reflects the neuroticy of Ishmail's extremely descriptive narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 02-20-17
    Steve 02-20-17
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    14
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    "Excellent on every point."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this audiobook to friends. It's the narration that does it. The book itself needs neither defense nor sales pitch, but the narration could make or break it. Frank Muller maintains an almost impossibly measured and robust pace throughout this epic. I suppose it might be possible for a narrator to do better, to more precisely personify the different characters as if in a play rather than in a book. Anton Lesser did that in his almost impossibly brilliant narration of Tristram Shandy for Audible. While Lesser's performance was dizzyingly skillful, it may have slowed the pace too much for the reading of an epic like Moby Dick. Muller perhaps could have dug deeper into more idiosyncratic portrayals of the characters (although he did pretty darned well as it is), but I suspect that might have slowed things down too much. I often speed-up my listening, using Audible's function to listen at 1.25 or 1.5 x the original narration speed when a book drags or covers information I don't need. Even with Melville's periodic expositions on the history and zoology of whaling, I never felt the need to speed it up. Muller consistently runs a champion marathoner's race. As the book unfolds, Muller's powers of patience and endurance allow the listener to more fully appreciate the staggering genius of Melville's modulation of tempo as the novel builds to its ultimate crescendo. Yes, this book slows down at times, but that's intentional. Muller keeps you moving through the fast and slow patches with ease and good measure. I eventually came to see the wisdom of the occasional detour into biology. By the time the reader/listener actually meets The Great White Whale, we've gotten to know the species inside and out, in science and in legend, and that serves to make the final battle all the more personal and intense. Another reviewer has already said this, but I'll echo it: if you can't make it through this admittedly difficult (but well-worth it) book with this narration, you simply cannot make it through this book at all.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Starbuck stood out for me, but I have to admit that was because of the association his character bears to a certain contemporary purveyor of caffeinated beverages. He's the only one who made a real attempt to call Ahab to sense, to repeatedly question the insane quest of his commander.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Chapter 42 is probably my favorite. I was listening to it while at the gym. When it was over, I felt like giving a standing ovation, but I refrained out of respect for my fellow gym-goers. When Melville delves into the symbolism of what The Great White Whale means, he does the analysis for the analyzer. It's a breathtaking chapter, but I don't think it could carry the meaning and power that it does without the reader first having reached it via the previous 41 chapters.


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

    I'm not sure that I'll ever try to watch a film adaptation of this novel. Movies tend to reduce a novel to little more than plot and character. This novel masters those things, but transcends them. Perhaps, though, were I to indulge in Ahab-worthy hubris and attempt to make a movie out of this book, the tag line might be, "Is Fate the hunter, or the hunted?", or "Do you hunt your fate, or does it hunt you?"


    Any additional comments?

    I listen to many Audible books, but most of my listening is for the purposes of my work. This was one of my first listens, in a very long time, for the purpose of pure enjoyment. I also read a lot "with my eyes", as it were, and the vast majority of that reading is also dominated by work. But my original love was of novels. This listen was a long-overdue reminder of why I loved reading in the first place. To read, or even to listen to, a book written with a pure love, respect, and mastery of language and storytelling, is a deep, deep joy. But to experience a book like this, that grapples with and helps us to understand the most crucial puzzles of human existence —that is a blessing. If I hadn't been able to listen while at the gym, or doing dishes or laundry, or driving to a far-away job, I don't think I would have read this book until retirement. I am so grateful that the technology exists to have allowed me to experience this now, even while I continue to be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of my work.

    This may be inapplicable to an Audible review, but this book makes me want to watch the original "Jaws" movie again. I think that the writers of that movie were heavily influenced by _Moby_Dick_.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Jean Dreyer Burnsville, NC USA 02-13-17
    Donna Jean Dreyer Burnsville, NC USA 02-13-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Remarkable book. Brilliant narrator."

    One of the best audio books I have experienced. I can highly recommend this selection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Gray 02-04-17 Member Since 2015
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    27
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    "Struggled to finish"

    The narrator did a great job but the story itself drug. There were many chapters describing parts of a ship and parts of a whale. It just didn't hold my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hoshmana 01-31-17
    Hoshmana 01-31-17 Member Since 2017
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    5
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    "A wonderful classic"

    Well written, well read. I enjoyed this classic and found myself chuckling aloud several times at Melville's cleverness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob 01-30-17
    Rob 01-30-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    193
    5
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    "You have to do it!"
    What about Frank Muller’s performance did you like?

    Great. Well done.


    Any additional comments?

    There is a lot of chew on. Its a classic and very wordy. I gave it a five because it is a great reading of a classic that has to be done. I would say this is a book i never need to consume again, but im glad I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 01-20-17
    James 01-20-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Why did I wait do long"

    fantastic tale. beautifully produced voiced. At times one will need to take a break after a long section detailing some detail of whales but every word goes toward building up the end

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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