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The Moby Dick: or White Whale - Chapter 72
by Herman Melville
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From Kirkus Reviews
From the team behind the adaptation of The Odyssey (1995), an audacious retelling that follows the main story line of Melville's monumental work--of Ishmael's tale of Captain Ahab's mad quest for revenge against the giant white whale that took his leg on a previous voyage. While rewrites for children of classic adult literature remain controversial, this one is stunning. The language, through which McCaughrean subtly brings out many of the metaphors of the original text, is unusually ornate for the format, making it--despite its storybook-look--more appropriate for readers beyond picture books. Although sometimes humorless, the lush prose rockets the story along like a square rigger under full sail, with all the beauty and complexity that entails. Ambrus's ample illustrations are full of character. McCaughrean largely succeeds in conveying to young readers the mood, language, story, and power of the original. For those disposed to retellings of the classics, this is a prime example of the way to do it. (Fiction. 8-12) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Midwest Book Review
Excellent reading skills will be required by youngsters for a thorough enjoyment of this retelling of a classic; but Melville's story loses none of its punch through McCaughrean's retelling, and many an adult will find this a useful avenue of sharing their affection for Melville with their children.
"Prose filled with rich, vivid, precise language shapes this retelling of Herman Melville's classic adventure of obsession. Without sacrificing the quality of the original, McCaughrean has created a shortened version of the tale that's filled with intriguing, finely drawn characters and the
excitement of a dangerous quest on the high sea.... This is a beautifully cohesive volume that makes a classic tale accessible without diminishing it."--School Library Journal (starred review)
"The lush prose rockets the story along like a square rigger under full sail, with all the beauty that entails. Ambrus's ample illustrations are full of character.... For those disposed to retellings of the classics, this is a prime example of the way to do it."--Kirkus Reviews
"Melville's story loses none of its punch through McCaughrean's retelling."--Children's Bookwatch
"Melville would be satisfied."--The Denver Post
"There is a whale in the sea, as white as a ghost, and it haunts me. Sometimes, when I'm afloat in sleep, like a drowned sailor, he swims towards me--a nightmare all in white, jaws gaping, and I wake up screaming and salt-water wet with sweat. Somewhere out there in the bottomless oceans lives
Moby Dick, a great white winter of a whale, and I shiver still at the thought of him."
In vivid and compelling language, the award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean retells Herman Melville's classic story of the obsessed Captain Ahab and his relentless hunt for the great white whale, Moby Dick. Together with Starbuck, the mate; Queequeg, the harpoonist; the sinister crewman
Fedallah; and the innocent narrator, Ishmael, Ahab travels the oceans of the world in pursuit of the elusive monster, braving waves like strips of volcanoes and lightning like the visitation of angels.
McCaughrean's text is beautifully complemented by Victor Ambrus's evocative pictures of ships and the sea and of the white monster, Moby Dick, a creature as vast and dangerous as the sea itself. Children and young adults will be thrilled and captivated by this wonderful adventure tale.
Card catalog description
A young seaman joins the crew of the whaling ship Pequod, led by the fanatical Captain Ahab in pursuit of the white whale Moby Dick.
About the Author
Geraldine McCaughrean is the author of The Odyssey and other titles in the acclaimed Oxford Illustrated Classics series.
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