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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Presages of Moby-Dick
While White-Jacket seems to have little overall relation to Melville's other works in the sense that it appears as a self-contained, highly enjoyable novel, Redburn is one of those central turning points in this great writer's life that makes it extraordinarily important. Forget "adventure" or "romance." This is a novel of psychological...
Published on February 17, 2000 by John Fischer

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Library of America... missing pages?
My copy is missing pages 1219-1250; a set of duplicate pages appears in their place. Check your copy while you can return it.

Otherwise, a quality binding.
Published on March 29, 2011 by M. Faulkner


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Presages of Moby-Dick, February 17, 2000
This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
While White-Jacket seems to have little overall relation to Melville's other works in the sense that it appears as a self-contained, highly enjoyable novel, Redburn is one of those central turning points in this great writer's life that makes it extraordinarily important. Forget "adventure" or "romance." This is a novel of psychological destruction, a disasterous novel of "growing up" that displays the shattering of a young mind and the destruction of "young America." Any reader who loves Moby-Dick should devour Redburn again and again as one of Melville's most important works.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redburn and White-Jacket are well worth reading ...., January 5, 2009
This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
.... before taking on Moby-Dick. This review is not intended to sway anybody towards getting this volume for Moby-Dick. The reputation of this novel as the greatest of American literature, and its role in any number of academic courses, will pretty much decide whether someone buys it. For the record, Moby-Dick fully lives up to its reputation as a great, sometimes difficult and rewarding book. My suggestion is that going through Redburn and White-Jacket will make reading through Moby-Dick more rewarding, and this volume makes an elegant combination of the three.

"Redburn" is a highly readable coming-of-age novel with a strong autobiographical component. The protagonists suffers repeatedly from inexperience on his trip across the Atlantic, finds crushing poverty in the port city of Liverpool and returns home rather beaten up and disillusioned. This story helped me get ready for the psychological struggles, as well as the gradually unfolding tragedy, of the major characters in Moby-Dick.

"White-Jacket" was longer and took more of a concentrated effort to get through, but is an even better preparation for Moby-Dick and is an outstanding novel in its own right. The novice onboard the merchant ship of Redburn is replaced by the quiet and pragmatic survivor White-Jacket, who serves on a U.S. Navy vessel. The ways of the Navy had been rather primitive and brutal by the standards at the time, and Melville rails against the favoritism and corporal punishment in extended passages. The cast of characters is notably larger in White-Jacket than Redburn, and appear to represent actual figures in Melville's past as a sailor (Redburn seemed far more constructed as pure fiction).

"Redburn" and "White-Jacket" are great books on their own, but in this volume they serve as complimentary lead-ins to the different dimensions of Moby-Dick. As with the other Library of America volumes I've read through, I benefited from going through the entire contents in order.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful edition of Melville's books about the sea, August 5, 2011
By 
Adrian Ion (Plano, Texas, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
This book contains Melville's most important works about the sea: "Redburn", "White-Jacket", and (of course) "Moby-Dick". This is a wonderful edition of these works. The texts used are the authoritative Northwestern-Newberry versions. These versions were proof-read by Melville scholars for any errors that may have crept into older printings. Thus, you can enjoy "Moby-Dick" pretty much exactly as Melville intended you to do. This edition also features a notes section at the back, which helps the reader understand some of the obscure references and allusions that Melville often makes. Overall, I would say that this book is definitely worth the price. It will look nice in any library - and it is perfect for reading and enjoying the works of a literary master!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good condition and handsome volume, February 20, 2014
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This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
The text is easy to read, and I like the durable hardcover format. I wanted to buy "Moby Dick" at the local bookshop, but could only find paperback versions. For a book that length, you really need a more durable spine. The Library of America series is printed on acid-free paper, which means that when I'm ready to read "White-Jacket" or "Redburn", however many years in the future that may be, I can count on the pages not being discolored, like many of my older paperbacks. Reading "Moby Dick" is a serious undertaking; you need an edition with some gravitas. This is it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melville in the Library of America, August 18, 2012
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This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
The novels of Herman Melville (1819 -- 1891) were among the first volumes published by the Library of America, a nonprofit organization devoted to presenting the best of American writing and thought in uniform hardcover editions. At the time of his death, Melville was almost forgotten. Beginning in the 1920's, he achieved belated recognition and was established as a canonical American writer. Melville wrote nine novels, together with "Billy Budd" and short stories and they are included in three large LOA volumes. In 2000, when I was beginning to review on Amazon, I reviewed the first volume, consisting of Melville's first three novels, "Typee", "Omoo", and "Mardi",Herman Melville : Typee, Omoo, Mardi (Library of America) in a review I titled "Growth of a Seeker". Although I have read Melville in the intervening years, I am only now turning to the second LOA volume which includes, "Redburn", "White Jacket" and the book for which the author will always be remembered, "Moby-Dick."

The five earlier novels prepare for "Moby-Dick" although this novel goes well beyond anything in its predecessors. "Mardi" captures something of the wild, searching character of the book while "Typee" and "Omoo" with their exploration of Polynesian culture foreshadow Melville's portrayal of Queequeg in ""Moby-Dick". Melville spoke disparagingly of the two subsequent novels which begin this collection, but authors frequently misjudge their own work as Melville did here. "Redburn" and "White Jacket" lack the metaphysical fire of "Moby-Dick". Both books reward reading and both offer portrayals of the United States of Melville's time.

Written in 1849, "Redburn" Redburn His First Voyage: Being the Sailor-Boy Confessions and Reminiscences of the Son-Of-A-Gentleman, in the Merchant Service (Classic Reprint) is Melville's most autobiographical novel. It is both a coming-of-age story and a depiction of a changing United States. The book tells the story of a young man, Wellinborough Redburn, born to a prominent family which has fallen upon hard times. Redburn enlists as a common seaman on a merchant ship where he loses some of his naievety and acquires the nickname, "Buttons". Through the development of Redburn and his loss of innocence, Melville makes a great deal of the difference between social classes, rich and poor, in the United States. Some of the best scenes in the book take place on land, as Redburn wanders the streets of New York City and, in the middle of the book, Liverpool. In Liverpool he encounters squalid misery and poverty and catches glimpses of the life of vice and gaming. This is a highly readable, accessible novel.

"White Jacket" or "The World in a Man-of War" White Jacket is a longer, more ambitious work which describes the life of a Navy sailor, known only is "White Jacket" in a voyage of about a year around Cape Horn. In his study of Melville, Melville: His World and Work, Andrew Delbanco aptly describes the novel as a "paean to American Democracy", as Melville both celebrates and criticizes American life. In the book, Melville famously criticizes the rigidity and unnecessary hierarchy of Navy life, particularly the widespread use of flogging. He also presents one of his heroes in the character of Jack Chase, to whom he would, near the end of his life, dedicate "Billy Budd". In chapter 36, titled "Flogging not Necessary", Melville writes the following famous passage about America and its promise.

"We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people -- the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world... God has given to us, for a future inheritance, the broad domains of the political pagans, that shall yet come and lie down under the shade of our ark, without bloody hands being lifted. God has predestinated, mankind expects, great things from our race; and great things we feel in our souls. ... Long enough have we been skeptics with regard to ourselves, and doubted whether indeed, the political Messiah had come. But he has come in us, if we would but give utterance to his promptings. And let us always remember, that with ourselves --- almost for the first time in the history of earth-- national selfishness is unbounded philanthropy, for we cannot do a good to America but we give alms to the world."

Melville's extraordinary novel, "Moby-Dick"Moby Dick; Or The Whale has over 400 reader reviews on Amazon together with inexhaustible critical commentary. It is a passionate, romantic, enigmatic work written in an inimitable, bravado style. "Moby-Dick" is a book of many themes and styles which resists easy summarization. Narrated by a wandering, enigmatic character known as Ishamel, "(Call me Ishmael.)" the book both describes the background, history, and legends of the whale and whaling, and tells the story of the search of a mad sea captain, Ahab, for a great white whale which in an earlier voyage had taken his leg. Among much else, "Moby-Dick" is about the mad passions which rule the lives of individuals, about self-understanding, and coming to terms with disappointment and loss. The book has a great deal to say about nature, the inner life, human fellowship, religion, and politics. It is a wild, long, and passionate novel, one of the great works of literature. Here is Delbanco's short summarization of the character of "Moby-Dick".

" 'Moby-Dick' was not a book for a particular moment. It is a book for the ages. What gives it its psychological and moral power is that, freakish as he is, Ahab seems more part of us than apart from us. Like all great literary representations of evil, he is attractive as well as repulsive. And so Melville emerged in the twentieth century as the American Dostoevsky -- a writer who, with terrible clairvoyance, had been waiting for the world to catch up with him."

In reviewing the first LOA volume, I wrote that "Americans can learn about themselves by learning about their literature.... For those with the patience, it is worth reading [Melville's] books in order to discover the growth of a great and troubled American writer and chronicler of the inward life, as well as of sea journeys." I am thankful for the opportunity to return to Melville through the Library of America and to share some thoughts on his books with other readers.

Robin Friedman
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Library of America... missing pages?, March 29, 2011
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This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
My copy is missing pages 1219-1250; a set of duplicate pages appears in their place. Check your copy while you can return it.

Otherwise, a quality binding.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick is rightfully called a classic . . . Above the rest of his work, March 14, 2014
By 
Roy Clark "rclarknv" (Edge of Toiyabe Nat'l Forest, NV) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
THE OTHER STORIES IN THE COLLECT WERE *** AT BEST.
I have trouble with HM's syntax with most of his novels. They
are cluttered to the point of too-formal over-embellishment. rc
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to my library., July 3, 2014
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This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
LOA produces very nice editions, and this is no exception.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moby-Dick, as my father once said, is one of the greatest novels ever written, November 15, 2006
This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
Melville is one of the greatest American authors ever, and Moby-Dick alone is worth the price for this book. When I read the book myself in american literature, I was amazed at the extensive detail taken into the culture of whaling, a culture that was in its twilight days; it also gave us more information about whales that some think is too much, but whatever. Even though I didn't completely understand the book (but so did everything I read in high school), I have the desire to read it again.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great!, March 26, 2013
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This review is from: Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) (Hardcover)
It got to me on time and was just what I needed . . . . . . . . !
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Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America)
Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America) by George Thomas Tanselle (Hardcover - April 15, 1983)
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