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Moby Dick (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – May 15, 2008
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'In his great whaling epic Melville roamed both the seas, and the secret places of men's minds. In the alternate playfulness and ferocity of the great white whale he found the perfect metaphor within which to develope his views on life, death and God.' The Sunday Times
'An attractive edition to a field rather overcrowded with inexpensive editions. However, the Hawthorne material gives this one an edge.' Andrew Lyman, Leicester University. ' Much better annotations than any other available edition.' H. Merritt, CCAT Cambridge.
About the Author
Herman Melville (1819-1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and poet.
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This edition is beautiful: All edges of the textblock are gilt in mirror-bright gold; the cover is understated with an abstract illustration of the whale and a simple serif title. The book's dust jacket is colored a soft, inviting, powder-blue and that same color shades the cover boards and the silk ribbon marker. A floral pattern of oak leaves and acorns adorn the front-and-end pages. This same oak/acorn pattern is embossed on the front cloth board giving the book a very classic look.
This edition of Moby Dick is full, unabridged, and unexpurgated. There is an afterword by Nigel Cliff, a historian of maritime exploration. The text itself is laid out plainly (a plus) and the form factor of the book overall is very conducive to read in one hand (the book measures approximately 6"x4"x1.5"). They've chosen a serif font (probably Garamond or Times Roman) and the bright white pages make the smallish text highly readable (I'd say it's about 9-10 point font).
Overall, a lovely edition of Moby Dick; a treasure you'll pass along to a grandchild. Great work from MacMillan on bringing such a high quality edition to the public for the low price of ~$12.00 (depending on where you buy it: the MSRP printed on the jacket is $14.99).
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.
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I felt Moby Dick would be better if the book could be published in two sections; one section fully unabridged, the other just the main plot.Read more