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Publisher's Summary

"Call me Ishmael." Thus starts the greatest American novel. Melville said himself that he wanted to write "a mighty book about a mighty theme" and so he did. It is a story of one man's obsessive revenge-journey against the white whale, Moby-Dick, who injured him in an earlier meeting. Woven into the story of the last journey of The Pequod is a mesh of philosophy, rumination, religion, history, and a mass of information about whaling through the ages.
Public Domain (P)2005 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    514
  • 4 Stars
    178
  • 3 Stars
    93
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    35

Performance

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    24
  • 2 Stars
    14
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    14

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jessica
  • Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 02-18-09

Excellent, EXCELLENT reading!

I've been trying to read Moby Dick for years. I would read a few chapters and then drag off and not be able to finish. This reader changed my whole experience with the book. Moby Dick is, of course, a wonderful book, but the reader added a whole new dimension. He brought the characters to life, which gave me a whole new perspective on their personalities (especially Ishmael). This perspective made the plot, subtext and interplay of the book so much more lively and exciting. Even the "boring" parts involving "all you need to know about whaling." Thank you thank you thank you so much, dear reader. You have a great talent!

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • Nicholasville, KY, United States
  • 09-18-09

Well Done William Hootkins

I love this book but have found most of the unabridged audiobooks of Moby Dick difficult to listen to. This is a long book with parts that are not exactly high drama - so Hootkins' "overacting" is really good at pulling us through those long arcs. It is certainly the best Moby Dick audiobook out there. I would go out on a limb and say it's actually one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard (my Audible library has over 300 books). I wish each every audiobook was this good.

51 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pandora
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 06-23-12

Best Book I Have EVER Read

Since joining Audible a year ago I have chewed through the classics and contemporaries like a wood chipper.

That being said, I say this:

Moby Dick is not just a great book, it is the best book I have EVER read.

None too familiar with it before tackling the read, I'd always for some reason thought it would be stuffy, dusty, old world reading. Nay, my friend. It was saucy, salty, and American.

The subject matter is absolutely riveting to the imagination. The deep inner thoughts of the characters are poetic and stirring. The manic, unresting, hungry intelligence of Ishmael illuminates a world I'd have never known existed, the intimate inner workings of an industry, and the beauty of the experiences had by men who might be dismissed as uneducated and rough. The stories are so spectacular, so grippingly entertaining, I'd often stop what I was doing while listening, hands stilled in their motions, and half smiling and wide eyed, waiting to hear what came next. And sometimes all I could say was, "No, freaking, way."

Treat yourself to Moby Dick.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The reader is great

Great story brought to life by a fantastic reader. His pace is slow enough so that you dont miss anything, and he really brings the characters to life...

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rob S.
  • LANCASTER, PA, United States
  • 08-20-12

Classic in every respect

Would you consider the audio edition of Moby Dick to be better than the print version?

The reading of this book is a performance! I've began looking up book specifically read by William Hootkins. The store is rambling and fragmented at times, you sense Melville has a destination but is in no hurry to get there. His side bar chapters of sailor stories and whale descriptions were like commercials for products I didn't want to buy. But it was all part of the lush tapestry he was weaving so I didn't mind. Overall I loved it! I'd give it a 10>

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent

Would you listen to Moby Dick again? Why?

Obviously Moby Dick is one of the classics, but William Hootkins brings it to life in the most extraordinary manner. I've heard a few different narrators do bits Moby Dick but Hootkins is monster. His range of voices is stunning and he manages to sustain it over 20 hours.

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

This is the first time I've heard William Hootkins narrate anything, but I would take a punt on almost any book that had him as a narrator.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The chapters are out of order

The chapters are out of order and the ‘chapters’ in the chapters menu contain multiple chapters:

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin W
  • Overland Park, KS, United States
  • 03-24-11

William Hootkins is brilliant!

This recording makes Moby Dick come alive. Hootkins truly understands Melville. I've never been this impressed by a narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A story about obsession--brilliant narrator

I think that some miss the point of this book--I don't think it's about Ahab and the white whale. Rather, it's about Ishmael's obsession with whales in general. If you look at it that way, then you won't be looking for the book to get on with the Ahab story. It's also really, really funny at times. The narration is excellent, fabulous, splendid, and other superlatives. He brings out the humor in the book that one would likely miss in reading due to the differences in language style. I'm glad I listened, but by the end I was definitely ready to move on to something else. There are a couple of short chapters that seem out of place and could be removed in an abridgment, but I'm afraid that most of what would get abridged would focus the book on Ahab and the whale, and I really don't think that's the point of the story--just the backdrop for Ishmael's obsession.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Bravo!!!

Excellent narration, which is not obvious from the sample. I'm glad I bought this version!! Very enjoyable listening!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • C.H.
  • 09-23-15

Magnificent book!

An extraordinary work. He weaves the detail and the story together in an unforgettable way. Wonderfully written, wonderfully narrated. This is a book that gains much from bring read aloud so effectively.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vincent
  • 04-13-13

History brought to life

A great yarn about the sea and one man's obsession for an ultimate goal. Melville, who had whaling experience, describes, to the readers of his day, the thrills, the dangers and the way of whaling in his time. We see the type of men that took part, learn about the uses of the whale to society then, such as lighting lamps and umbrella frames. For the modern reader it is first hand knowledge from the past told through the excitement and thrust of story. The narrator, William Hootkins does a good job with the character's voice accents.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-25-18

A journey of words

the missing link between Shakespeare to modern English literature.

the narrative is bogged with literacy's wonders and you will constantly be learning new/old words that don't fit into modern day living.

I would recommend this book for the writing and the authors use of the language but the story was average at best for me and I found the chapters describing whales and their habits long needless and boring. it was like a book within a book at times.

hope this helps the average reader.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Avid reader
  • 07-12-14

Wonderful storytelling

Would you listen to Moby Dick again? Why?

I certainly will listen again. This is a story of such depth and humour, and so wonderfully and passionately told.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Moby Dick?

The ending rises to a powerful crescendo, but actually some of the parts I enjoyed most were right at the start of the book, as the main characters are being introduced.

What about William Hootkins’s performance did you like?

His range of voices and the fire of his performance, which build and builds in the most dramatic moments.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's too long for a single sitting, but certainly I got through it much more quickly than I would've read the book on its own.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Morgoth
  • 05-09-18

Marvellous classic

A great read and marvellously narrated, albeit on a unpalatable subject that does go into great detail on the slaughter of the poor whales. . .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • marklelapin
  • 04-08-18

briliant reading of a brilliant and unique book

the narrator of this story is superb and im sure adds to what is already a brilliant book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • 05-28-16

Fantastic

What an epic tale... Well narrated, loved every minute of it. Would heartily recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-18

Super

Thanks ! Audible posts reviews at its discretion. All the submitted reviews become the property of Audible.co.uk as set forth in our Conditions of Use. In most cases, reviews will be processed for display in one or two days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-27-18

Captivating!

My most enjoyable listen so far. Moby Dick was a book I kept promising myself to read but never got round to doing so. Listening to the brilliant narration bringing all the cast alive made the whole experience truly amazing. Surely a hard act to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. Arbon
  • 07-12-18

outrageously good performance

As well acted as any audio book could be. Hootkins captures the madness of Ahab perfectly. He cuts through the dense prose to communicate the meaning so that you don't really have to understand the literal meaning of each word.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful