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typee, a Narrative of the Marquesas Islands Hardcover – 1931


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Aventine Press; 1St Edition edition (1931)
  • ASIN: B000IEFLRA
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,550,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Karl Janssen on March 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These days Herman Melville is famous as the author of Moby-Dick, but during his lifetime he was renowned as the author of Typee. This book--his first, originally published in 1846--became an overnight sensation and instantly made Melville a household name. Typee is a semi-autobiographical work based on Melville's travels to the Marquesas Islands of the South Pacific, and his life there amid a much feared tribe of cannibals.

After months at sea aboard a whaler, the narrator (presumably Melville himself, but only referred to in the text as Tom or Tommo) decides he's had enough of the substandard living conditions and abusive treatment on board ship. When the vessel docks at the island of Nukuheva for supplies, he decides to go awol and hide in the jungle until the ship leaves port, thus freeing himself from his servitude. He is joined by a fellow crewman, Toby, and the two climb up into the mountains of the island, hoping to bask in a tropical paradise. They soon discover, however, that island life can be surprisingly harsh. After a few days the two are on the verge of starving, and the narrator has a mysterious and painful swelling in his leg. The two decide to throw themselves at the mercy of the natives, hoping to meet up with the friendly Happar tribe. Instead, they find themselves captives of the dreaded Typees, a tribe renowned for their hostility, ferocity, and cannibalism. It soon appears their fearsome reputation is undeserved, however, as they treat their captives with the utmost respect and benevolence, at times coddling the injured narrator as if he were an infant. Despite their kind treatment, however, for some unknown reason they absolutely refuse to let him go.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jill Morgan on February 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Think Melville only wrote Moby Dick? Read another wonderfully penned story of life in the South Pacific back in the days when sailing ships were the mode of travel and the world seemed a lot bigger. A great escape to the South Pacific novel. Should be required reading for high school.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating recounting of Melville's experiences on a South Seas island, though it is not clear how much is fictionalized. Enter a different world and get your sociology the easy way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JAMES HARDY on April 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intriguing study of the every day lives and social mores of a society thought to be vicious cannibals along with a visual painting of the landscape of the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John P. Mordes on August 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book that launched Melville's career. Meet the enchanting Fayaway and the rest of Melanesian culture seen through 19th century eyes. Historically fascinating, as the culture describes has largely disappeared.
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By Peggy on April 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must read if you're visiting the Marquesas Islands. One can visualize how rough it must have been for the main character by reading the book and then actually seeing the valley described so accurately and in detail.
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