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Moby Dick, or, the whale

Herman Melville

Book Overview: 

Few things, even in literature, can really be said to be unique — but Moby Dick is truly unlike anything written before or since. The novel is nominally about the obsessive hunt by the crazed Captain Ahab of the book’s eponymous white whale. But interspersed in that story are digressions, paradoxes, philosophical riffs on whaling and life, and a display of techniques so advanced for its time that some have referred to the 1851 Moby Dick as the first “modern” novel.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .there was not much chance to think over the matter, for Captain Peleg was now all alive. He seemed to do most of the talking and commanding, and not Bildad.

"Aft here, ye sons of bachelors," he cried, as the sailors lingered at the main-mast. "Mr. Starbuck, drive'em aft."

"Strike the tent there!"—was the next order. As I hinted before, this whalebone marquee was never pitched except in port; and on board the Pequod, for thirty years, the order to strike the tent was well known to be the next thing to heaving up the anchor.

"Man the capstan! Blood and thunder!—jump!"—was the next command, and the crew sprang for the handspikes.

Now in getting under weigh, the station generally occupied by the pilot is the forward part of the ship. And here Bildad, who, with Peleg, be it known, in addition to his other officers, was one of the licensed pilots of the port—he being suspected to have got himself made a pilot i. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Dude, let it go already!

Massachusetts, 1830s. Ishmael is a young mariner spending time at a local inn, resting from his last sea voyage. When the lure of the seas calls again he signs up to join the crew of the Pequod, a whaler ship leaving dock soon. In charge of the expedition, the implacable A

i tried.

Both ends of the line are exposed; the lower end terminating in an eye-splice or loop coming up from the bottom against the side of the tub, and hanging over its edge completely disengaged from everything. This arrangement of the lower end is necessary on two accounts. First: In order to fac

My uncle took me fishing when I was a child. He did all the fishing while I just hung around, observing. During one such trip, I had a fishing rod in my hand but didn't want to catch anything. The thought of catching a live fish was unbearable. I was a fearful and imaginative child, prone to melodra

The narrator of this flabbergasting marine saga is an impecunious but very erudite young man possessing a sarcastic sense of humour and having a tongue-in-cheek attitude to life…
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing parti

Love it or hate it, whenever someone asks if Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is worth reading I always enthusiastically say yes you should, yes it's worth it, yes, yes like some weirdass library Molly Bloom. An epic seafaring quest—one that is a prime example of how a major theme in literature is Don’t

QUICK UPDATE: James Cameron totally ripped off and plagiarized Melville in the abysmally written Avatar 2. He should have listed Moby Dick in the credits…(view spoiler)[and saved the Ishmael character - the biologist - but, alas, he didn’t. (hide spoiler)]

I re-read Moby-Dick following my research trips to the whaling museums of

“Where the White Whale, yo?”

Ah, my first DBR. And possibly my last, as this could be a complete shit show. Approaching a review of Moby-Dick in a state of sobriety just wasn’t cutting it, though. So let’s raise our glasses to Option B, yeah?

I fucking love this book. It took me eight hundred years to

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