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Moby-Dick or The Whale (Illustrated) [Kindle Edition]

Herman Melville , ICU Publishing , Rockwell Kent
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (900 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Moby-Dick, also known as The Whale, is a novel first published in 1851 by American author Herman Melville. Moby-Dick is widely considered to be a Great American Novel and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whale ship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific whale: Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. Ahab intends to take revenge.

In Moby-Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and metaphor to explore numerous complex themes. Through the main character's journey, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of gods are all examined as Ishmael speculates upon his personal beliefs and his place in the universe. The narrator's reflections, along with his descriptions of a sailor's life aboard a whaling ship, are woven into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices such as stage directions, extended soliloquies and asides. The book portrays insecurity that is still seen today when it comes to non-human beings along with the belief that these beings understand and act like humans. The story is based on the actual events around the whale ship Essex, which was attacked by a sperm whale while at sea and sank.

Moby-Dick has been classified as American Romanticism. It was first published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851, in an expurgated three-volume edition titled The Whale, and weeks later as a single volume, by New York City publisher Harper and Brothers as Moby-Dick; or, The Whale on November 14, 1851. Although the book initially received mixed reviews, Moby-Dick is now considered part of the Western canon.

The book includes original illustrations by Rockwell Kent, active table of contents, and a free audiobook link for download (which can be downloaded and listened using a PC/Mac) at the end of the book.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Historically, the two great typographical edifices of West Coast printing are the Grabhorn "Leaves of Grass and the Nash "Divine Comedy. Now the Arion Press "Moby Dick takes its place beside them. . .It is the textual weft of hand composition that forms the chief glory of this work. Hoyem seems to have found the perfect measure to accommodate text to type. We turn page after page of matchless composition. . .as the magical result. I would venture the opinion that this constitutes a feat of modern craftsmanship unexcelled in modern printing."--"Fine Print

About the Author

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American writer best known for the novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, became a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. In 1919, the unfinished manuscript for his novella Billy Budd was discovered by his first biographer, Raymond M. Weaver, who published a version in 1924 which was acclaimed by notable British critics as another masterpiece of Melville's. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America. Early life Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819, the third of eight children of Allan and Maria Gansevoort Melville. Herman's younger brother, Thomas Melville, eventually became a governor of Sailors Snug Harbor. Part of a well-established and colorful Boston family, Melville's father, Allan, spent a good deal of time abroad as a commission merchant and an importer of French dry goods. After her husband Allan died, between 1832 and 1834, Maria added an "e" to the family surname—seemingly at the behest of her son Gansevoort. Early works and travel Melville's roving disposition and a desire to support himself led him to seek work as a surveyor on the Erie Canal. This effort failed, and his older brother helped him get a job as a "boy" (a green hand) on a New York ship bound for Liverpool. He made the voyage and returned on the same ship. Redburn: His First Voyage (1849) is partly based on his experiences of this journey. For three years after Albany Academy (1837 to 1840), Melville mostly taught school. From 1838 to 1847, he resided at what is now known as the Herman Melville House in Lansingburgh, New York. In late 1840, he decided to sign up for more work at sea.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4855 KB
  • Print Length: 669 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ICU Publishing (February 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Z2E3PM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,996 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
517 of 542 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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193 of 202 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open your mind March 26, 1999
By TJ
Format:Paperback
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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197 of 208 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:

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.
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142 of 149 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
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissatisfied with illustraitions
Moby Dick is a great book ,I was expecting better Illustrations from this text. I would recommend this to any one who likes this novel ,and doesn't care about illustrated content.
Published 4 days ago by Rick Backo
5.0 out of 5 stars movie coming out loosely based on the whale,
movie coming out loosely based on the whale, wants to refer back to the original book to brush up on the story line
Published 4 days ago by Laura S
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahoy! You have found your copy of Moby Dick!
This is a wonderful addition of Mellville's classic. The pages look like that had all been cut like pages used to be back in the 19th century and the illustrations on the front... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Paul DeCorte
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this is one of a few books requested as a gift....think the recipient will be pleased
Published 5 days ago by Meliessa
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Call Me, Ishmael
So. Let’s talk about Moby-Dick, shall we?

Ishmael, I don’t want to call you. You talk too much. You really need a filter. Or an editor. Or something. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Molly Weeks Crumbley
5.0 out of 5 stars REALLY GREAT, ESPECIALLY AFTER SO MANY YEARS WHEN I READ ...
REALLY GREAT, ESPECIALLY AFTER SO MANY YEARS WHEN I READ IT IN COLLEGE
Published 11 days ago by NANCY A. STRAUSS
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book. Ugly edition.
The book itself is amazing. This edition however is hideous. The cover art is grotesque and it's all around just a very unattractive volume to have on your shelf.
Published 12 days ago by Leah Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the greatest works of literature
Melville is unsurpassed in power and breadth of his vision. I read this over and over. Do it gets better every time. I'm sorry when it's over.
Published 13 days ago by ny rinz
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Melville, what needs be said?
Published 14 days ago by Ron d'BookGeek
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Quite possibly the most epic thing you will ever read.
Published 15 days ago by A Critic
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