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Moby Dick: or, the White Whale [Kindle Edition]

Herman Melville
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Amazon

Avec Moby Dick, Melville a donné naissance à un livre-culte et inscrit dans la mémoire des hommes un nouveau mythe : celui de la baleine blanche. Fort de son expérience de marin, qui a nourri ses romans précédents et lui a assuré le succès, l'écrivain américain, alors en pleine maturité, raconte la folle quête du capitaine Achab et sa dernière rencontre avec le grand cachalot. Véritable encyclopédie de la mer, nouvelle Bible aux accents prophétiques, parabole chargée de thèmes universels, Moby Dick n'en reste pas moins construit avec une savante maîtrise, maintenant un suspense lent, qui s'accélère peu à peu jusqu'à l'apocalypse finale. L'écriture de Melville, infiniment libre et audacieuse, tour à tour balancée, puis hachée au rythme des houles, des vents et des passions humaines, est d'une richesse exceptionnelle. Il faut remonter à Shakespeare pour trouver l'exemple d'une langue aussi inventive, d'une poésie aussi grandiose. --Scarbo

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.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 855 KB
  • Print Length: 556 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1456529463
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TRXX7C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #447 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The thing I always tell people about Moby Dick is that the beginning is lighthearted fun, the ending is amazing, and the middle is (to be blunt) quite dull. I think most people who make it to the end love the book, but getting there is a chore because Melville spends a great deal of time either talking about minutia of the whaling trade, or going off onto tangents almost in a stream of consciousness fashion that seem to have very little to do with the narrative (he devotes an entire chapter to telling why the color white is frightening, and another to listing characters from legend whom he identifies as whalers (Perseus I can see, but St. George?)). The language is gloriously poetic in places, but other times it rambles almost aimlessly and feels very convoluted and self-indulgent, even by 19th century standards. (Yes, I know these are qualities that the book's devotees hold dear, but they're also the reason that so many people never finish the thing. Might as well be honest about it.)
At the end, it's extremely disturbing getting into Ahab's head and understanding what makes him tick-disturbing because it's present in all of us, an instrinsic part of the human condition: his rage at not being God. Ahab is pride incarnate, with all the hatred that comes with it. (The story of Jonah, sermonized in the beginning, is ultimately one of the need for humility before God, with the whale as God's agent. And it's important that Jonah's sin is not merely disobedience but a refusal to go on a mission of mercy.).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a bit drawn out but amazing prose Dec 1 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Wow! Every aspiring writer should give this a read...or then again maybe they shouldn't since it may be too depressing to read something this good. Like Joseph Conrad's works, Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness, Moby-Dick is somewhat autobiographical, at least in the sense that Melville took to the high seas in a whaling boat in the middle of his life, prior to writing this. As a high schooler I found this book terribly boring, but now I mainly see it as amazingly well written. Kids probably shouldn't be forced to read classic literature because they generally don't appreciate it. In a sense, the whole novel is one long buildup to the final devastating scene, and perhaps there's some Freudian or other indirect psychological meaning to that layout of the story, but you'll have to find an expert for the correct interpretation. Apparently, Melville wasn't particularly commerically successful in his lifetime, partly because he was unconventional in style and wouldn't crank out mindless rubbish. Billy Budd is also certainly worth reading again. In summary, Moby-Dick should be required reading for every adult! Author of Adjust Your Brain: A Practical Theory for Maximizing Mental Health.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long winded at times, but beautiful May 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although it took me a while to get through this book, I am very glad that I read it. As a warning, Melville can be very long-winded and wordy at times. You will find that he could have said what he wanted to with far fewer words, while still using the colorful language he is known for. But then again, the feeling that this book is so long may in fact be on purpose to really give the reader the sense of how long whaling voyages were in those days.
But even with those seeming flaws, the book is very rewarding. Melville's writing really is beautiful. He is able to bring alive Captain Ahab and his obession for revenge that has become so popular. The other passengers on the ship also come alive as Melville uses colorful dialogue and humor. And as you are taken on the journey with Ishmael, you learn a great deal about whaling.
If you have the time and patience, I recommend this book to you. If you start it, stick with it - you will be glad you did. Now that I have finished it, I look forward to reading it again (because I know which parts I can skip past and which parts I want to read again more thoroughly).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be Read Once Aug. 28 2007
I made my mind to read Moby Dick after reading Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. I did enjoy reading it overall, but I have to confess that at times I had to force myself to keep going, and also that I glanced over a few chapters without - I think - missing too much of the overall plot.

If you are planning to read this book just keep in mind that the language, although beautiful, has a much slower flow than that of a more contemporary book. Melville has quite insightful and philosophical passages, and from a historical perspective this is an extremely rich book. The information on whaling and the economic importance of it during that period is remarkable - quite a resource for anyone doing research on the subject, or merely curious about it.

But, if I had to summarize it in a few words, it is a book about men facing their demons, and as such, it is a timeless book.

Would I read again? Probably not, but I do feel it is a book that deserves to be read at least once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick Reharpooned Nov. 6 2003
By Andy
Moby dick is a classic adventure novel about killing a white whale. The plot of the novel is a review of the whaling industries terrible points told in a sardonic manner. It also looks at the resons for revenge and how revenge is an endless cycle and thus it is completely pointless. The book has a way of telling people things so that the point reveals things to a mind predisposed to think well of whaling by being only a simple adventure book but tells a story much deeper to someone coming with an open mind; that is the reader feels touch of distant harm.
The book is spattered with numerous characters that combine to make the one good thing about whaling because it brings people together. The main character, Ishmael, is a wandering intellectual sailor that has decided to join a crew for the specific purpose of seeing how to be a whaler. He goes on to describe that the noble art of whaling practised by numerous heroes all of whom exist only in ancient myths. Another important character is Ishmael's friend Queeque a savage idoler who becomes an instant favourite with Ishmael after they spend a night in the same bed. This large harpooner acts as an old hand bound for his home after seeing with disgust the christians. The final character is Ahab a moody old captain obsessed with the killing of a white whale ever since that same whale took away his leg. For this ultimate revenge against all whales Ahab swear the crew to this quest risking the ship and the lives of all those aboard.
The author utilizes both wit and stark realistic examples to convey his point. With these tools alone Melville irrevocably scratches his point in the mind of his reader.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Très bon livre. Bien écrit. Livre culte. Un incontournable de la littérature. 10/10 A+
Published 3 months ago by Luc B.
2.0 out of 5 stars Not like the picture!
Not the edition illustrated it was a big disappointment
. I wanted the Rockwell Kent Illustrations. It was a cheap little edition instead!
Published 7 months ago by Marilyn Millard
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredible writing
Finally read it this past winter. Melville's sentences are a thrill. At times there is too much detail, his storytelling resembles a whaling journey, plenty of digressions, periods... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sylvia Weil
4.0 out of 5 stars I felt sad when it was over
I can't believe I read this whole book. In fact, I was so proud of myself for reading this entire novel that I wanted to put it as a key accomplishment on my resume. Read more
Published 10 months ago by aMcC
1.0 out of 5 stars see the movie, i guess
I tried real hard to finish this book, because it's a novel of some importance I heard.
I only got about a 150 pages through it when I stopped and put it on the shelf
to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rob J
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
Great action story with most of the action inside the emotions. This is a classic for a reason. Glad I read it
Published 11 months ago by Natasha Burger
5.0 out of 5 stars This side idolatry
In a letter about this book, Melville wrote he had written a book "this side idolatry".

The White Whale is the Christian God. Ahab is us. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ron White
5.0 out of 5 stars A whale of a book
The author of this book must have worked on whaling boat or in a whale canning factory to know so much about our fishy friends!! Read more
Published 21 months ago by The Crunge
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and beautifully flawed classic
This classic of American literature is the masterfully written account of the ill-fated voyage of the Pequod, a whaling ship sailing from Nantucket, under the command of Captain... Read more
Published on June 17 2012 by G. Larouche
4.0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick
Moby Dick was a very long and boring read, the whole concept was interesting though.

Before I review this book, I'd like to give a warning to ordinary readers, you will... Read more
Published on April 3 2012 by Senya
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