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Moby-Dick (Vintage Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Herman Melville
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (547 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $6.26 What's this?
Print List Price: $9.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Kindle Edition $0.99  
Kindle Edition, April 27, 2010 $4.99  
Hardcover $15.76  
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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.

Editorial Reviews


"A masterpiece" Guardian "A great book...a deep great artist" -- D.H. Lawrence "A wonderful delight" -- Nathaniel Philbrick "Moby Dick is my favourite novel, bar none. It works on so many levels. It taught me that you can have a top layer of narrative - like the seafaring story - and then below that all those wonderful, rich, symbolic things going on" -- Clive Barker "To convey an adequate idea of a book of such various merits as that which the author of Typee and Omoo has here placed before the reading public, is impossible in the scope of a review. High philosophy, liberal feeling, abstruse metaphysics popularly phrased, soaring speculation, a style as many-coloured as the theme, yet always good, and often admirable; fertile fancy, ingenious construction, playful learning, and an unusual power of enchaining the interest, and rising to the verge of the sublime, without overpassing that narrow boundary which plunges the ambitious penman into the ridiculous; all these are possessed by Herman Melville, and exemplified in these volumes" London Morning Advertiser, October 24 1851

About the Author

Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick. Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924.

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: #369,788 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 174 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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123 of 130 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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142 of 156 people found the following review helpful
Forget everything you have heard or think you know about this book. What it decidedly is not is the story of a one-legged madman pursuing a whale for revenge.

Do not give this book to high-school students. Have them read THE AENEID, the prophet Isaiah, a few scenes of HAMLET, so that when they are forty and MOBY-DICK falls into their hands, they will recognize at least some of its underpinnings.

MOBY-DICK is as weird and far-ranging as Scripture, and stakes out the same terrority, namely heaven, hell, earth, mortality, joy, flesh, eternity, the soul. Ahab is no more mad than Edmund in KING LEAR: the real madman of MOBY-DICK is Melville himself. But he can only have been unhinged by an angel, so sweeping is the power of his imagination.

It's perverse to look on the shape and construction of MOBY-DICK as radical, innovative, foreshadowing such moderns as Joyce; it's like calling Revelations "innovative." Melville has no such aim and has no interest in technique. Indeed, he has few "literary" virtues. His language is dense, syntactically clumsy, exhausting, over-precise to the point there's no telling what precisely is being said. No human being could speak the dialogue that erupts from the mouths of its personages: it's like opera, or the dialogue in PARADISE LOST. It has a more urgent, essential motive than speech. It's the soul speaking.

MOBY-DICK is nothing so trivial as a literary experiment. It aims for wholeness, concreteness; it wants to be about everything, inside and out, and its eye is everywhere. Melville senses the sun and stars are part of his story, and equally so the bones and guts of a whale, so he makes them characters.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sponge Bob Meets Shakespeare October 13, 2006
I'm an old man. And the sea is something I know nothing about. So call me ignorant. Still, nearly 60, I just read this book for the first time and it is unquestionably the best novel I have ever read, equal to any poem or drama. I believe you have to have lived a little and maybe even tried your hand at expressing yourself artistically to really appreciate this book. I don't think it's for young people - definitely not for most teenagers, and probably not for most college-level students, unless you want to discourage them. It almost makes arthritis worth while.

The latest volume of "Best American Poems" has a work by Thomas Lux, originally published in Five Points, called "Eyes Scooped Out and Replaced by Hot Coals". That is his proposed punishment for anyone who hasn't read Moby Dick by their mid-20's. While it's a clever and humerous way to make a point, this Pol Pot approach to literary education is viewed positively by many teachers and helps explain why so many people end up with a negative attitude towards a book of this stature.

Just consider the sea-nario: You are weary of the everyday world, and decide to sign-on with a whaling ship to get a little therapy. The ship's captain is a madman. That right there is enough. And consider the historical significance. Moby Dick was written right around the same time that science really began to explode, and we were entering the modern period of capitalism and capitalists (our new Ahabs). For the first time in human history, there were thousands of regular working people - some of them artists - who had literally traveled the entire globe on whalers and knew many parts of it well. These same conditions, of course, soon led to the demise - or rather the replacement - of whale oil for its traditional uses.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A long build up...
a great book but a long run for a short slide... only three days of encounter with MD after all the build up! :-)
Published 2 days ago by Paul Groundwater
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for Me
As Amazon has no way to remove books from my account review page that I downloaded onto my old Kindle, a gift that i eventually gave away, without reviewing them, this will have to... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Lauren
4.0 out of 5 stars A struggle
UGH! I struggled to get through it but I didn't have anybody to discuss it with. I recommend reading it with a friend or in a group because it was a very good story
Published 19 days ago by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic reading
I read this when i was young. This book keeps to true form and is written in such a way that imagination runs wild. Good reading.
Published 27 days ago by S. Gossett
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reader!
Anthony Heald has a wonderful voice for reading this novel. And I must say that after sampling several other readers, we just had to have this version.
Published 1 month ago by P. Debow
5.0 out of 5 stars RE-examing the White Whale
Melville’s Moby Dick has become such a marker of American literary identity that the whale Moby Dick, and his pursuing captain, Ahab, have moved beyond the pages of the novel into... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eric Maroney
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your average high school read
My teacher never suggested for a monument that this could possibly be an enjoyable read. But honestly, there is a ton of humor in it.
Published 1 month ago by C W Preston
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
What I enjoyed about this book was the historical fiction of it and the journey to another time and place, which is very well done. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nox Helios
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic novel.
A great read the second time around. It's like reading poetry!!
You need to peruse it to appreciate it's beauty.
Published 2 months ago by Richard F. McCoy
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm late to the party
I wish I had knuckled down and read this early in life. I mean, they told us in college it was great. And it is. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gary H. Labowitz
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