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Moby-Dick Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1999
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From School Library Journal
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
THESE HAVE FOOTNOTES ON THE PAGE ITSELF:
* Charles Feidelson, Jr.'s annotated edition. Unquestionably the most all-around useful edition of Moby-Dick ever printed. Generous and highly useful footnotes right on the page, covering lexical, allusional, and cross-referential items. Two disadvantages: you may at times feel put upon by Feidelson's interlarded interpretations, and the thing is totally out of print. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964. ISBN: 067260311X
* The "Norton critical" edition, edited by Parker and Hayford. The edition most widely employed by scholars. Stingier with the footnotes than Feidelson, but still a good second choice. Many useful essays at the end. The layout of the text is a bit hard on the eye, though. Make sure you get the SECOND edition, from 2001. ISBN: 0393972836
* The "Barnes and Noble Classics" edition. The footnotes for the most part are skimpy and confined to obscure vocabulary, not cultural and literary allusions. ISBN: 1-59308-018-2
THESE HAVE A FOOTNOTES SECTION IN THE BACK OF THE BOOK:
* The "Oxford World Classics" edition. About 11 pp. at the end. ISBN: 0-19-283385-5
* The "Modern Library" edition. About 13 pp. at the end. ISBN: 0-679-78327-X
* The "Penguin Classics" edition. About 15 pp. of notes at the end by Tom Quirk. ISBN: 0-14-24.3724-7 (This is their fancy hardbound version: see next item.)
* The "Penguin Classics" edition. About 15 pp.Read more ›
I've been reading it for 6 months. I started over the summer, during an abroad program in Oxford, and I remember sitting outside reading when one of the professors came over, saw what I was reading, and said: "It's a very strange book, isn't it?"
Looking back, that might be the best way to describe it. The blurb from D.H. Lawrence on the back cover agrees: Moby Dick "commands a stillness in the soul, an awe...[it is] one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world."
Now there are those who will say that the book's middle is unbearable---with its maddeningly detailed accounts of whaling. Part of me agrees. That was the hardest to get through. But, still, even the most dull subject offers Melville an opportunity to show off his writing chops. He's a fantastic writer---his text most resembles that of Shakespeare.
And, like one Shakespeare's characters, Melville sees all the world as a stage.Read more ›
Be aware that Moby Dick is many types of books in one. It is part adventure story, part sermon, part history of whaling, part encyclopedia of whale anatomy, part metaphysical allegory. Expect it to change periodically as you move through it, be receptive to each part, and don't try to compartmentalize it as any one particular type of work.
But it's all really wonderful! Here's what I like about it: Often-brilliant prose with beautiful words, amazing extended metaphors, and vivid imagery. That's it in a nutshell. Even chapters that have nothing to do with the plot are fun to read when they're written well.
We live in a modern society that is often depressingly impatient. I think it's too bad that modern readers want their books to get started, move quickly, get to the point, and be done with it already! It's weird, isn't it? We read books because we (hopefully) want to read them; they provide an interesting diversion. Why, then, are we impatient for them to be over? Why not enjoy each chapter of Moby Dick for its own sake? Weird, rambling, but brilliant, they are enjoyable, if you suspend the need for instant gratification. I think it helps that I have a two hour commute in the car every day, and listened to this as an audiobook.
Oh, one other interesting side-note: The book has remarkable thoughts / insights / scientific questions about whales. One fascinating thing to think about is the visual system of whales. Whales have two eyes on either side of their enormous, massive heads.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read Moby Dick, even though I already know the basics about the story, for I recently saw a movie about how the story of Moby Dick was actually based on a true story. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Herbert Hinman
It was worth waiting for the end of the book, but wow, you need a ton of patience to get there. When the author is on the plot, it's electrifying! Read morePublished 2 days ago by Scott C Kiskaddon
Rereading after about 15 years, and rediscovering what a great writer Melville is. Also enjoying the Biblical allusions more, since I'm better versed in the Bible than I was last... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Doug D
Horrible read. Ramble, ramble and ramble. I struggled to finish this book.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent edition with many footnotes and supporting texts. The paper quality could be better, however.Published 7 days ago by Joseph