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Moby Dick

by Herman Melville

Review of Moby Dick by Herman Melville

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       This book bored me almost to the point of tears!!!!  I actually had to resort to downloading an audio book to get through the latter half of the book.  It has taken me 4 months in total to finish this book as there was hardly any part of the story that actually made me want to pick up the book and continue reading it.

       The early part of the novel before the ship sails was quite interesting, especially the description of Queequeg's culture whilst staying in the Inn.  I found the epilogue quite touching and beautifully written.  These are the only 2 positivies that I found in the whole novel!

       The back of my copy describes Moby Dick as "The greatest novel ever written by an American".  If this statement is true then it doesn't leave much hope for the rest of my list!!

       Having said all that, after I finished the book last night, I happened upon a programme which dealt with the dissection of a dead sperm whale on an English beach.  Seeing the struggle that they endured to try and cut through the blubber, and that JCB diggers had to be called in to assist in peeling the skin and blubber away from the carcass I had a new found respect for the men in the novel undertaking all the work by hand whilst in the middle of the ocean and surrounded by sharks!  Perhaps if I had caught the programme whilst reading the novel I would have had a greater understanding of the procedures and the scale of the animals which they were dealing with.  Nevertheless, I will not be returning to the book!

       As far as my own personal review goes, I cannot ever award a book a 0 out of 10.  In this instance my score is 0.5 out of 10, purely for the two interesting passages I described above.  The rest of the book is very mundane - such lengthy descriptions of whales in various settings, in art, the biology of the whale, the whaling process, etc and very little real story.  I think that had all the boring details been omitted and the story developed further so that the reader has a stronger connection with the characters, the book would be far more enjoyable!

Moby Dick by Herman Melville was reviewed by 30before30

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       Moby Dick is, by far, one of the greatest books you'll ever read. Although the book sidetracks from the plot a lot in the story, the details put in the book are just incredible. Although this is a very hard read, once you get used to Melville writes, the book is easy to read. In addition, once you get past the first 50 pages, you get sucked into the book, and you just can't stop reading. All in all, this book takes commitment, and it's not like Harry Potter where you can stop reading for a week and pick it up again. For those who read every day, this is a good investment in time and money.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville was reviewed by Skyler

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       This book is highly underranked. It is without a doubt the best American novel of all time. Its historic qualities, tied in with the plot and the spiritual and philiophical passages are matched by no other American writer. Hemingway does not have the capablity to poetically question and spiritually describe that which Ishmael does in this book. The feeling of isolation, desperation and hopelessness which begin this book foreshadow the "death in this business that is whaling". My goodness Melville will take a floating Whale's corpse, with waves crashing upon it and gulls flying above it and explain how early cartographers would mistake this floating mass as some deep sea shoal. He will see the irony of turning a life-buoy from a coffin, and he will bring you the utter truth, that only when we are prepared to die, do we truly rise up and begin to live. Ahab is a character hitherto unmatched in devilish insanity, and human pride of purpose. Read this and forever be changed.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville was reviewed by amoenitas

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       To review Melville's great classic MOBY DICK (THE WHALE)  as a story with an activating circumstance, plot details, climax and denouement is to do it a grave disservice.  This book evokes all the emotion and pride of a whaler; to Ishmael, the narrator, the whale is a magnificent creature he clearly admires and reveres.  The details describing whaling, whalers, and whales help give this novel the memory-inducing  scope, searing it into my mind.  There are moments in the description of whales which brought tears to my eyes.  Ishmael brings life to one of Melville's main reasons for writing MOBY DICK, which should be more aptly be referred to by its other name THE WHALE.  If you want a quick read, this is not the book for you.  If, however, you wish to experience one of the truly great classic American novels, this is well worth your time.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville was reviewed by Christina Barchak

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       This book is completely unreadable. I would hardly even consider this a novel, It is more of a text book for all type of absurd listing of diffent type of whale attributes. I would say out of the 135 chapters only 20 chapters have any type of story to it whatsoever. There is one entire chapter dedicated to whether or not the spray out of the blow hole is indeed water or vapor, and if i remember correctly he was unable to conclude what it was. If you want an instructional pamphlet on how to whale or want to be bored out of your mind this is the book for you. As for the tiny portion that was a story it was ok not bad. From the first few chapters of this book I was truly hopeful there is so much potential for a great novel but, it turns out this book did nothing but disappoint and bore me. If you have to read this book please save yourself by only reading the abridged version.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville was reviewed by Shannon

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       Call me Ishmael.  One of the most famous opening lines in the history of literature, Moby-Dick addresses a multitude of concepts and struggles, from good versus evil, idealism versus pragmatism, to the nature of God and man's place in the world.  Obsessed with the creature that took his leg, Captain Ahab sets sail from Nantucket aboard the Pequod with the aforementioned Ishmael and crew in search of the White Whale.  Ahab is of singular purpose, driven by revenge and interested in nothing else but the discovery and destruction of Moby Dick.  The middle of the book is probably the most difficult to get through, since it focuses a great deal on just about everything to with whales and cetology, from the mythology of the leviathans to its anatomy, bone structure, classifications and the like, and doesn't really have much to do with the plot.  But the beginning and end are very satisfying, a beautifully written work that is worth the effort

Moby Dick by Herman Melville was reviewed by Mike.

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