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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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    35
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    48
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    40
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    24
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    32
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Story

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Anne
  • Glassboro, NJ, USA
  • 03-03-06

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.)

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Life's journey is never reached by a straight path

If you could sum up Ahab's Wife in three words, what would they be?

Captivating, poetic, inspiring

What did you like best about this story?

The unencumbered text that describes a labyrinth of experiences - each one building to create a most interesting story

Have you listened to any of Maryann Plunkett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to other performances, but would be eager to do so

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

the moment of bravery in each of the decisions made by the female lead character

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

stunning delight

I started the book in a paperback while out to sea. I was spellbound by its content and how it was written. I wasnt able to finish it so very excited to complete it audibly. I was able to enjoy both experiences which were equally delicious

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Abridged!!!

Wish I had known this title was abridged. I wouldn't have bought it. Otherwise a good story that meshes well with Moby Dick

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Do Not Read Abridged

I wanted to listen to the entire book..... Which is fantastic. Get this abridged crap out of audible. What hell is the point?

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The abridged version is too choppy and confusing

Would you try another book from Sena Jeter Naslund and/or Maryann Plunkett?

I love Sena Jeter Naslund but the abridged version was so awful and choppy that it did not tell the story well.

What could Sena Jeter Naslund have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Sena Jeter Naslund wrote an amazing book it is the audio recording that is horrible.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Maryann Plunkett?

Sure, if she would read the book

What character would you cut from Ahab's Wife?

Stop cutting out the characters!!!! That is the problem.