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Moby Dick: In Half the Time (Compact Editions) Paperback – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Compact Editions
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; Compact edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753822733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753822739
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,552,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Herman Melville is the author of MOBY DICK.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. F. Whipple on January 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Herman Melville's 1851 novel defies pat description. As myth, it explores the human condition through odd, larger-than-life characters and a consistent, rip-roaring sense of parody. As poetry, Melville ties disparate objects --rigging, an ivory leg, whale blubber, a diverse representation of humanity--into a unified whole, then smashes it to pieces through the great leviathan, Moby Dick, a parable of a complex, wonderful and infinitely dangerous God.

In a letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, Melville called his book wicked, and I think Melville carried a genuine sense of guilt and reserve about his book through the remainder of his life. The book was provocative in its day, and the fun he pokes at Christendom bewildered his contemporaries. But this novel is Christian to the core, preaching the Golden Rule, lambasting hypocritical barbarism, and valuing of all God's creation. This includes the whale, whom as a man sensitive to animal suffering, Melville defends with great pathos and sympathy without succumbing to an unchristian-like condemnation of the whaler who is, after all, behaving as the Almighty made him, if not as intended. Melville leaves final judgment to God alone.

The novel is dark comedy, and it's often ferociously funny. A memorable set piece is the early and sensational encounter between white Christian Ishmael, the omniscient narrator, and Queequeg, a heathen from the remote island of Kokovoko who, paradoxically to the American, "seemed taken of a spirit that would dare a thousand devils." Ishmael sees the humanity in the stranger, "Savage though he was"--and despite the tattoos--for as Ishmael the Christian can't help observing, "You cannot hide the soul.
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