Moby Dick

Moby Dick

Book rating: 02 Paperback Wadsworth Collection

By (author) Herman Melville, Introduction and notes by David Herd, Series edited by Dr. Keith Carabine


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  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 32mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 December 1999
  • Publication City/Country: Herts
  • ISBN 10: 1853260088
  • ISBN 13: 9781853260087
  • Sales rank: 2,103

Product description

With an Introduction and Notes by David Herd, Lecturer in English and American Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury and co-editor of 'Poetry Review'. Moby Dick is the story of Captain Ahab's quest to avenge the whale that 'reaped' his leg. The quest is an obsession and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahab's appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands, each individual responsible for the security of each. Among the crew is Ishmael, the novel's narrator, ordinary sailor, and extraordinary reader. Digressive, allusive, vulgar, transcendent, the story Ishmael tells is above all an education: in the practice of whaling, in the art of writing. Expanding to equal his 'mighty theme' - not only the whale but all things sublime - Melville breathes in the world's great literature. Moby Dick is the greatest novel ever written by an American.

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Customer reviews

By Tania Hyde 01 Oct 2014 2

Starts well with character development and scene setting then moves into an exhausting diatribe of the minutiae of whaling in the 19th century. Melville constantly goes off in tangents - tedious is an understatement. If this is considered one of the best American novels of all time I think I’ll stick to the English greats thank you.

By Vincent Lorberg 18 Oct 2013 3

You'll need to devote some time to reading this leviathan. Although it contains some excellent writing and has, at its heart, a fantastic adventure tale, it suffers from a flawed narrative and gets bogged down with too much irrelevant detail. Maybe go for an abridged version of the book....that way you can enjoy a cracking read and plus save 10 hours of your life.

Back cover copy

A young seaman joins the crew of the whaling ship Pequod, let by the fanatical Captain Ahab in pursuit of the white whale Moby Dick in this children's version of Melville's Moby Dick.