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This was Melville's 1852 follow-up to the then flop Moby Dick. His publishers, fearing they had another failure on their hands, forced Melville to make additions to the text before they'd publish it. Melville later referred to the original, shorter version as his "kraken" book. Editor Parker has here restored the psychological novel to Melville's intended form. The text is buttressed with 30 full-color illustrations by Maurice Sendak. For serious literature collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Herman Melville was born in 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.
William C. Spengemann is the Hale Professor in Arts and Sciences and Professor of English Emeritus at Dartmouth College. He edited the Penguin Classics edition of Nineteenth-Century American Poetry.
Just needed to get a better flow. Some of the points were well made, the story did not always fit together.Published 22 months ago by Ronald W. Fortune
This is Melville's attempt at writing a domestic, almost American gothic novel in a distinctly Hawthornian vein. It doesn't work as such. Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by Dugbert Calypso
The producer of this version did a fine job, as the text is very clean (lacking in scanning errors). As for the story, I was enthralled by it. It is deep, dark, and disturbing. Read morePublished on March 31, 2013 by Stephen S
"Pierre, Or the Ambiguities" is not a good book. I don't know how to say it any clearer. I've read a fair amount of Herman Meville. Read morePublished on January 25, 2013 by %%%%
I could very much like the second book Melville wrote after Moby Dick this man has written just about twelve novels and I would really enjoy reading this for a comparative paper I... Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by Mastercard
I find myself in agreement with some of the more astute reviewers here that the critics, from Melville's contemporaries, to Updike, to Spengemann, who writes the Introduction to... Read morePublished on September 24, 2011 by Daniel Myers
Deep deep deep, like the Sea.
Leviathan is not the biggest fish.
Catch what is inside you. Cast your line as deep as you can. Read more
My own history with Pierre goes soemthing like this. I have read most, but not all, of Melville, and have mixed feelings with respect to his work. Read morePublished on March 17, 2011 by Timothy P. Stallcup