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“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.
Really irritating that the story keeps on trying to skip to the last chapter. Perhaps because the story drags a lot. I know way more about whale anatomy than I ever wanted...
Kind of boring, a lot of needless words, I thought the reader did a very good job keeping my interest.
one review said that 1/2 the book was unnecessary, but when the book was written there was no internet. Its an educational book, along with a story. Im going to listen to it again.
Really enjoyed it. Reader did an awesome job
I couldn't bear to listen to this reader. No sailor ever sounded like that...EVER!
شكرا جزيرا ^_^
Wills did a great job! Made the book come to life.
The cruelty and inhuman attitudes inherent in the whole affair of whale hunting are worth condemnation...
Was Ishmael a stuck up Harvard frat boy from the 1930's? This was a terrible reading.
I just want to know how to download these books?
omg he takes a huge break in between words. i hate this. i will just go to my library!!
There needs to be some sort of casting process before they choose who reads some of these books. Some of this guy's voices for characters are atrocious. He also makes the main character sound very much like a stuffy know-it-all, which isn't at all what I believe the author was going for...
Reader does an amazing job,makes the book really come to live.love the voices for each character.I can see why this book is a classic.extremely well writen.having said all that,half the book is unnecessary.I realize it sets a certain tone,but they do nothing to move the story forward.I felt like captain Ahab,a certain kind of obsession in wanting to finish this book.worth a listen to if you have the time.:-)
PERFECT narrator. Surprisingly wonderful book.
I absolutely loved this book I thought it was great there was a few boring parts but besides that you should really read/listen to it!
This reader is so plan with no feeling when he reads it makes this book so plan, an I hate it.
I'm not sure of it's the reader or just the book that is so bad. There's just so much content that does not provide any benefit to the story. I could not finish it as, frankly, I really don't care what happens. I made it through 60 chapters and just stopped as there was just so much filler junk that I didn't want to bother with.
What a fantastic book! It's a story and also a study about whale fishery in the past centuries. Very thrilling!
Great narrator! Great to finally know this classic tale!
This book was a career ender for Melville. There is so much filler in this long book to make it uninteresting. Critics of his day hated it. Only long after his death did it become popular. This story could be told with 10-20% of the space. Prepare to be bored if you read it.
SO COOL Moby Dick can survive it
I'm finding this book interesting so I think I will keep reading 3 Stars.
I found the reading boring. Mid-West American accents kill a story like this. I guess I've been spoiled by Richard Basehart.
I guess I'll speak for the "average guy". The reader was great. Other than that, wow. The namesake of the book doesn't arrive until chapter 133 of a 135 chapter book. Melville obviously suffered from attention deficit long before it was diagnosed. The title should have been "A Whaling Adventure". Sorry but this book could have told the same story in half as many chapters. I suppose for some this is a classic but what good is a review if not honest.
Wow, it's an awesome story but it's kind of hard to listen to.
Very well narrated, but if your looking for a happy ending this is not the book to pic.
Fantastic reading. You suit this style of book. It is my favorite story and I am glad to hear it honored so well.
I would not have understood Moby Dick if it wasn't for this. Very well read and characters voices are awesome!
Highly recommend downloading this one. Wills does a great job narrating. His voices that he does for each of the characters are consistent and the lines are delivered with feeling. I loved listening to Starbuck's monologues.
What a classic! With my new favorite website, this one of course, and my hobby, I listen to audio books while doing my hobby and not watching TV. This is way better and am I am getting through some of the best classics in the world. Great book, and had some funny parts in it too!
Best regards from Slovakia!
Fantastic read, fantastic novel. At first I was a bit worried because I'm very picky about voices (especially for a long read like this) but Mr. Willis did a great job and really put a lot of thought and character into it. Loved it. Amazing that it's free.
I enjoyed Mr. Wills' reading very much, humorous when the text was, poetic when Melville meant it to be and even the -for me - duller chapters were pleasant to listen to. thank you Mr. Wills.
I enjoyed this reading immensely. I read the novel several years ago and needed to review it for a class this week, so I listened to this audio version--it perfectly conveys the alternating intensity, drama, and hilarity of reading the novel... even the bland bits (because, let's face it, this is Moby Dick) are read carefully, sincerely, and very, very well. If you are reading this, Mr. Wills... great job on Melville, and PLEASE tackle Victor Hugo next!
The ultimate reading which comes along with synchronized, clear text.
Always wanted to read this book but could not sit still to do so. However with the wonderful voiced characters the reader creates, a set of headphones and long country roads listening and walking this book has been a wonderful adventure.
What? Stewart Wills is AMAZING. He has done such a great and humorous job with the reading and characterization. Does anyone know anything more about Mr. Wills aside from his being the narrator of Moby Dick?
I really tried to get through this, but the guy who narrates is quite possibly the most boring person I've ever heard. I wanted to listen to the book, not get put to sleep by it.
I enjoyed the read. Thank you to the reader for keeping it interesting.
I really enjoyed this, as this book has always been a favorite of mine.
The voice does this book no justice. Moby dick should not be heard by such a strained voice.