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Moby-Dick (Second Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Critical Editions
  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Second Edition edition (July 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393972836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393972832
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up-Opening with the classic line, "Call me Ishmael," the narrator's New England accent adds a touch of authenticity to this sometimes melodramatic presentation. The St. Charles Players do a credible job on the major roles, but some of the group responses, such as "Aye, aye Captain," sound more comic than serious. This adaptation retains a good measure of Melville's dialogue and key passages which afford listeners a vivid connection with the lengthy novel. Background music and appropriate sound effects enhance the telling of the story about Captain Ahab's obsessive pursuit of the malevolent white whale. The cassettes are clearly marked, and running times are noted on each side of the tapes. Announcements at the beginning of each side and a subtle chime signal at the end make it easy to follow the story, but a stereo player must be used to hear some dialogue. The lightweight cardboard package is inadequate for circulation. Done in a radio theatre format, the recording does a nice job of introducing the deeper themes of the book and covering the major events. For school libraries that support an American literature curriculum, this recording offers a different interpretation of an enduring classic.
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

In a sense, this work is the piece de resistance of the textual revolution in American scholarship of the past generation. The first half is the final MLA "Approved Text" of the classic novel, prepared under the auspices of the Center for Editions of American Authors. The second half consists of an Historical Note detailing background, genetic composition, publication, and ensuing critical reception; a discussion of its textual history; and some relevant marginalia. The work is not only thorough and rigorous, but, considering the scholarly grittiness of the endeavor, surprisingly lucid and graceful in its exposition. Highly recommended for special collections. Earl Rovit, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

And now I can honestly say, I have read this wonderful masterpiece, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
whj
There is so much to say about this book,it has everything and to say anymore will perhaps just add to the clutter.
"girvanboy"
Don't approach it as a Classic; rather, enjoy an amazing story written by a terrific storyteller.
Burbage

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By christopher wren on January 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
My comments pertain to the Norton Critical Edition of Moby Dick, second edition (published 2001) ISBN 0393972836. If this review is appended to a web-page showing some budget paperback edition, please know that I am reviewing a specific edition of the novel, not just the novel itself. The ISBN above will take you to the only edition of Moby Dick you should need, the edition that (if you're going to read the book, and not just go through the pages in order) you'd do well to get ahold of.
In fact, I'm not reviewing the novel at all, really. I believe Melville's book is America's greatest novel, and the closest thing to King Lear or Job that our nation has produced. Despite our ideals, our country has yet to embrace the full measure of Moby Dick's numinous democratic vision. At any rate, I want to remark that a reader really requires help to truly wrestle with all of this book's artistry and implications. I sure did, as did a class of 11th graders who tackled the book with me several years ago. The vast range of literary, historical, and artistic sources that Melville draws from, and the manner in which he works them deeply into the structure and meanings of his book, are staggering, and in the 2nd Norton Critical Edition, Moby Dick and its readers finally get the volume they always deserved.
Before the publication of this edition in 2001, the best choice was Harold Beaver's over-annotated (and very agenda-driven) old Penguin edition. That's the one my class and I used years ago. The previous Norton edition (which I used to supplement Beaver) was solid in its reprinting of Melville's sources and of through-the-years scholars and critics, but it was carelessly and lightly annotated.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Mcnair on December 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am alternately overjoyed and dismayed when I read the reviews of _Moby-Dick_ here. It's wonderful to see that people are still reading it and even better to see that they're enjoying it and it affects them in such a way that they feel compelled to share with the rest of the world how great a book it is. To fellow Melvilleans and Dick-Heads, I say: right on!
I can't help but feel disappointed, though, when I see reviews that fault it for being too long or having extraneous details in it. It kills me when people advise skipping the cetological passages. If you read the book and feel this way, then you've missed the point completely.
_Moby-Dick_ is much more than a tale of the whale-fishery. It's an epic. There's a reason behind the cetological chapters. As Van Wyck Brooks wrote in an article about his third time through the book:
"It seems to me now less chaotic, better shaped, than it seemed at first: nothing surprised me more than to discover how conscious Melville was of what he was doing.... It seemed to me intolerable that he had not removed the chapters on whales in general, on whaling, whales' heads, pitchpoling, ambergris, the try-works, etc., and published them separately: they were glorious, but I could not believe that they had been deliberately introduced to retard the action. It struck me that the action should have been retarded as it were within the story. I do not feel this now. The book is an epic and an epic requires ballast."
Many people are put off by those very things. Try to imagine, though, where _The Iliad_ would be without the large catalogue of ships, or where _Paradise Lost_ would be without the large detailed list of all the fallen angels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Burbage on June 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Among the musty old Classics, this book is surprisingly entertaining. I found the sections on whaling to be fascinating. I don't understand why some consider it "grueling" or "hard work" to get through it. Don't approach it as a Classic; rather, enjoy an amazing story written by a terrific storyteller. Afterwards, ponder the profundity of what you have read.
The Norton Critical Edition has the most useful footnotes for casual readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By General Zombie on February 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Though you'd probably never guess it from reading my reviews, I'm actually an English major, and I've read quite a bit of 'literature' in my day. As an English major I've lost the natural adolescent tendency to denigrate and despise the supposed classics, though I'm generally not 100% sold on them either. They're usually pretty good, interesting, though probably not as deep as they're made out to be. 'Moby-Dick' is one of the few classic novels I've come across that's truly deserving of its legendary status. Now I'm not gonna lie to you; there are a great many portions of this novel that I don't understand, or, more precisely, don't understand why Melville chose to include them. His virtual lectures on whales and whaling and whatever are generally reasonable interesting, even though I don't necessarily understand why they've been included. How the novel really works for me, however, is just as pure story. Most significantly, Ahab is just the greatest character in American literature. He's the archetype of the vengeful man, imitated countless times but never matched, much less surpassed. The major passages where he speaks are just spellbinding and he's just such a great tragic figure, particularly in a late chapter where mourns his long life on the sea and all that he's left behind in his quest for revenge. All this combines to just make the final few chapters of the novel unbelievably intense despite the fact that it's pretty much impossible for a contemporary reader not to know the basic events. (And Ahab's final monologue is sheer brilliance.) I dunno what else to say. It's just all got an amazing impact.
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