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Moby-Dick (Vintage Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Herman Melville
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,126 customer reviews)

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Book Description


When Ishmael sets sail on the whaling ship Pequod one cold Christmas Day, he has no idea of the horrors awaiting him out on the vast and merciless ocean. The ship's strange captain, Ahab, is in the grip of an obsession to hunt down the famous white whale, Moby Dick, and will stop at nothing on his quest to annihilate his nemesis.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–9—In this beautifully designed adaptation of the classic novel, Needle sticks largely to Melville's original wording, but leaves out lengthy passages on whaling and the day-to-day workings of a seafaring voyage. New passages are delineated with an italicized font, and the tale flows fairly seamlessly between the original text and Needle's interspersed summaries and commentary. Although this is technically an abridgement, the length and complexity of Melville's text plus Needle's commentary direct it to an intermediate audience. Handsome pencil, ink, and watercolor illustrations on nearly every spread evoke the vastness and unfathomable mystery of the sea, varying from black and white to full color. A glossary and cross-section of a whaling ship assist in understanding the tale. This version of the story is for readers who want to read Moby-Dick, with its intriguing characters and thrilling adventure, but are perhaps not ready for the full-length tale.—Shelley B. Sutherland, Niles Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal

November 14 marks the 150th anniversary of Melville's salty saga of vengeance and obsession. Now a contender for the great American novel, this book was harpooned at the time of its 1851 publication by critics who found it overly long and boorish (observations no doubt still shared by countless high school students). They felt that like Ahab, the story didn't have much of a leg to stand on. The once lucrative whaling industry also was in its death throes and of little interest to readers. The book was forgotten for decades before being rediscovered in the 1920s by scholars who understood and appreciated the multilevel symbolism and allegory dismissed by their 19th-century predecessors. Melville published little after the failure of Moby-Dick and made his living as a customs inspector in New York City, where he was born in 1819 and died in complete obscurity in 1891. He is buried in the Bronx. This edition of his masterwork includes the full text along with illustrations of whales, whaling barks, and whaling instruments; maps; and a new introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick. A lot for the price.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 895 KB
  • Print Length: 597 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1470178192
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003GCTQ7M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
501 of 525 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is gonna make it! January 18, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Finishing "Moby Dick" goes up there with my greatest (and few) academic achievements. It was a gruelling read, but---in the end---completely worthwhile.
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.
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176 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open your mind March 26, 1999
Last year I decided to expand my intellectual horizons by reading a series of American literary classics. Moby Dick was the first book on my list. It took me three months to finish this legendary story and, looking back on it now, I must say that it was worth every minute. To others who are considering this effort I say this: buttress your stamina and open your mind. This is not John Grisham or Tom Clancy. You will be reading high literature and you will be required to think. If you do so, Ishmael, Ahab and crew will open a window to some of mankind's most profound questions: Is it better to fight evil or promote virtue? Where is the line between honorable justice and blind vengeance? Do bad things happen because the universe is evil or just indifferent? The true pleasure to be derived from reading this book can be found by closing its pages every so often and reflecting on the questions that it will raise in your mind. A completely different experience than breezing through the latest best-seller, but much more rewarding.
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.
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168 of 177 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Unless you are a naval historian or a Melville scholar, you probably won't have a rewarding (or even comprehensible) time with Moby-Dick at this remove unless the edition you're using comes with a good set of footnotes. Here's the skinny on the various editions currently on shelves:


* 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


* 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.
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129 of 136 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not complete December 28, 2010
By TonyJF
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I haven't finished reading the entire book, so I can't comment on the whole thing. But, there is at least one whole section omitted from this version: In the chapter "The Sermon", the hymn sung by the sailors is missing. While this omission does not necessarily detract from the story in a significant way, I like a "classic" such as this one to be complete.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless masterpiece
Reading Moby Dick seemed like a daunting task, but turned out to be one of the most beautiful and rewarding reads one could experience.
Published 20 hours ago by Omer Morashti
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Reading
What can I is a classic.
Published 1 day ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful use of language for one with so little formal ...
A long hard endeavor but well worth the effort. Beautiful use of language for one with so little formal education.
Published 1 day ago by bjaymd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fun read...difficult at times due to archaic terminology. Fascinating look at whaling and a fun story. A classic.
Published 2 days ago by Greg of Denver
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Every American child should read Melville. It's rich in texture, imagery, vocabulary, and old world charm
Published 2 days ago by Jim Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars A great bucket list item
My whole life I've heard of this great American novel. Now that I have acquired a terminal disease, I've made this item a part of my bucket list. So far, 12% complete. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Armando Saldana
3.0 out of 5 stars I was pleased at how quickly the book was sent to me
I am a book lover so I'm very picky bout my books. I was pleased at how quickly the book was sent to me, but the book was new and thanks to someone carelessly putting the book into... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Bethany Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick
It is of course a classic and I had never read it, so I thought I should some day. I think it was fine as a story about a guy that goes whaling and all the troubles they had to... Read more
Published 5 days ago by sharon skeem
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by Jeannette Speck
1.0 out of 5 stars Thar she blows...wait, another 500 pages? Oy vey
I agree - tedious, ponderous, unnecessarily long-winded. An interesting story obliterated by a garrulous, rambling narrative. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Says who?
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