- Hardcover: 189 pages
- Publisher: Modern Library (August 12, 1982)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394608046
- ISBN-13: 978-0394608044
- Package Dimensions: 8 x 5.7 x 2.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 2,011 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,441,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up-Opening with the classic line, "Call me Ishmael," the narrator's New England accent adds a touch of authenticity to this sometimes melodramatic presentation. The St. Charles Players do a credible job on the major roles, but some of the group responses, such as "Aye, aye Captain," sound more comic than serious. This adaptation retains a good measure of Melville's dialogue and key passages which afford listeners a vivid connection with the lengthy novel. Background music and appropriate sound effects enhance the telling of the story about Captain Ahab's obsessive pursuit of the malevolent white whale. The cassettes are clearly marked, and running times are noted on each side of the tapes. Announcements at the beginning of each side and a subtle chime signal at the end make it easy to follow the story, but a stereo player must be used to hear some dialogue. The lightweight cardboard package is inadequate for circulation. Done in a radio theatre format, the recording does a nice job of introducing the deeper themes of the book and covering the major events. For school libraries that support an American literature curriculum, this recording offers a different interpretation of an enduring classic.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
From Library Journal
In a sense, this work is the piece de resistance of the textual revolution in American scholarship of the past generation. The first half is the final MLA "Approved Text" of the classic novel, prepared under the auspices of the Center for Editions of American Authors. The second half consists of an Historical Note detailing background, genetic composition, publication, and ensuing critical reception; a discussion of its textual history; and some relevant marginalia. The work is not only thorough and rigorous, but, considering the scholarly grittiness of the endeavor, surprisingly lucid and graceful in its exposition. Highly recommended for special collections. Earl Rovit, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
Top customer reviews
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To be clear, if you've read this, you've hardly read Moby-Dick. You'll miss a ton, and quite a bit more than less shortened Classic Starts I've read like Tom Sawyer, The Jungle Book, and The Call of the Wild. I suppose those other original authors were not as commanding in their use of English as Melville should be regarded.
The story is nearly gutted of all the Christian and biblical references, allusion and innuendo. Because of this, character development is very shallow. Because Moby-Dick is a first-person narrative, it has the effect of the reader not really getting to know the protagonist narrator very well, and also of reducing his thoughts and observations of other characters to very cursory ones.
In the end, it's still at least as good as the average chapter book written to be read to kindergarteners, and it retells a story that has some substance that an adult reader can enjoy (if they've read Moby Dick). I guess it's kind of like reading a children's version of a bible story -- not the full monty but worthy and if you know more, you might even find yourself inspired to augment it with a little more of the truth.
My preschool aged kids enjoyed the story. They created artwork based on the story out of their own initiative, played "whale" in the community pool, and understood allusions and metaphor to princple themes in the story like the blindedness of Ahab's foolish, vengeful wrath.
The only way to go wrong here is if this story somehow prevented someone from reading the original when they were later able.
That said, for anyone who missed out reading this- it just never came up on a high school reading list, you were always too busy, you thought it was going to be some dull slog, the arcane whaling bits are no longer relevant...?
Go get this. The reason it is a classic standard- it turns out- isn't because it's difficult and boring but obligatory. It's because Melville is a lot of fun. Poetic, obssessive (just like his subject), the sociology and camaraderie is off the hook.
Nobody needs anyone to remind them that Moby Dick is a GREAT book, but it bears mention, in 2016, it's still a FUN book and one, of all the classics you will and won't ever get to- the one not to miss.
PS- any format, but for a buck, on Kindle? Moby Dick. On my cellphone. On the subway. In 2016. Awesome!
So this review is for the St. Ignatius edition. This is a very well put together edition. As a English Grad student, I had some serious in-depth studying of this text. I am glad I spent the extra money and got this edition, rather than a bargain book. A great intro, a plethora of footnotes throughout the novel, and some very insightful criticism following the conclusion. This is a worthwhile addition for the scholar or the Americanist.