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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

There once was a grouchy alpha whale named Moby Dick who -- rather than being agreeably shorn of his blubber and having lumpy sperm scooped out of his cranium like cottage cheese -- chose life. Unlike so many shiftless, layabout sea mammals of his generation, Moby Dick did not go gentle into that...more

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...more

Everyone eventually comes across the White Whale in one form or another. The trick is to not keep its attention for too long.

*****

Avast! Dost thee have a five spot thou can see thyself parting ways with?

No?

Jibberjab up the wigwam! Cuisinart the poopdeck!

What's that ye say? Thou canst not make hea...more

LISA: Dad, you can't take revenge on an animal. That's the whole point of Moby Dick.
HOMER: Oh Lisa, the point of Moby Dick is 'be yourself.'
-- The Simpsons, Season 15, Episode 5, “The Fat and the Furriest”

(Ahoy, Matey! Thar be spoilers ahead).

There, there. Stop your crying. You didn’t like Herma...more

“¿Y si Ahab abandona de súbito la búsqueda? Es probable que la pierna inexistente le duela para toda la vida."

"Moby Dick" fue, es y será mi libro preferido de toda la vida. Esta es en realidad la tercera vez que lo leo dado que la magia que se desprende de sus páginas me hechiza sin soltarme. Más...more

قد تعتبره دكتاتورا غبيا استعبدته فكرة واحدة للنهاية
او تعتبره مجرد "غلبان"آخر فاقد الإيمان و الرضا
انه كابتن ايهاب العنيد البائس..مرهوب الجانب ذو الساق الواحدة
..الذي وهب حياته لقتل الحوت الأبيض العظيم الذي افقده ساقه

هى قصه أخرى عن المصير الذي تدخره لنا الأقدار

I re-read Moby-Dick following my research trips to the whaling museums of New Bedford and Nantucket whaling museums. The particular edition I read from University of California Press is HIGHLY recommended as the typeface is extremely agreeable to the eyes and the illustrations are subtle and ins...more

So... I just finished it a couple of days ago and pretty much everything else pales in comparison.

About three hundred pages in, it was already in my top ten favorite novels of all time, and it didn't disappoint (much)as I continued reading. I actually deliberately drew out getting to the ending...more

“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...more

I was that precocious brat who first read the whale-esque sized Moby-Dick at the age of nine. Why? I had my reasons, and they were twofold: (1) I was in the middle of my "I love Jacques Cousteau!" phase, and this book had a picture of a whale on the cover.(2) It was on the bookshelf juuuuust abov...more

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