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Moby Dick by Herman Melville

By Loyal Books

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Description

“Call me Ishmael” is one of the most famous opening lines in American literature. With these words, opens one of the strangest and most gripping stories ever written about the sea and sea-faring. Moby Dick by Herman Melville is today considered one of the greatest novels written in America but paradoxically, it was a miserable failure when it first made its debut in 1851. Entitled Moby Dick or The Whale the book finally got its due after the author's death and is now regarded as a classic portrayal of mania and fatal obsession. The narrator, Ishmael, travels to New Bedford, Massachusetts, to find a place on a whaling ship. He lodges at a seedy inn where he is forced to share a room with a strange old character, Queequeg, who was a harpooner. Despite his initial revulsion of Queequeg, Ishmael decides to join him in looking for work together. They reach Nantucket, the traditional center of whaling, where they find a berth on the Pequod, a bizarre vessel adorned with the skeletons and teeth of whales. The captain, Ahab, a mysterious figure, does not appear immediately. Later, they come to know that he is on board, recovering from losing a leg on his last voyage having escaped death narrowly following an encounter with a massive sperm whale. As the ship sails past Africa, Ahab's sinister motives begin to emerge. His agenda is to hunt and destroy a legendary whale named Moby Dick, whom he has unsuccessfully pursued several times. He has smuggled his own private harpooners on board and he accosts every whaling ship he meets and demands information about sightings of Moby Dick. One of the ships has a maniacal passenger called Gabriel, who claims to be a prophet and he predicts doom for anyone who seeks Moby Dick. The peg leg captain finally encounters Moby Dick and a trail of destruction follows. The obsessed Ahab refuses to give up. The novel then races towards a brilliant and dramatic climax. As an example of the Great American Novel, Moby Dick is unrivaled in its structure, language and style. Melville amalgamates a fabulous mix of Biblical, Shakespearean and mythical elements along with wonderful seafaring atmosphere sourced from his own nautical experiences on board whaling schooners. Whaling stories from contemporary sources in Nantucket's local grapevine was another rich fountainhead of material. Moby Dick has been adapted for stage, radio, screen, television, comics and graphic novels. It remains a strange and unforgettable classic which no reader should miss.

Customer Reviews

Wonderful

I haven’t finished it yet, but finding this audiobook made my day. It’s amazingly well read. Looking forward to my commute now

Thank you

Very well read. Thank you for the chance to take in this literary masterpiece.

Incredible!!

I just finished listening to all of Moby Dick on this podcast and it was amazing! I didn't know what to expect, from the book or the narration, but both were absolutely perfect. Stuart Wills does such a great job of effortlessly flowing between characters so it's an even more enjoyable story, but not distracting at all. It's a super long book so I've been listening on the way to and from work for a couple months now and I'm really sad it's over. It was quite an experience and Stuart, I'm almost feel like we're friends after having listened for so long. You, and the crew of the Pequod, will be missed. I hope others appreciate this as much as I did!