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Moby Dick

by Herman Melville

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About Book

From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up-Opening with the classic line, "Call me Ishmael," the narrator's New England accent adds a touch of authenticity to this sometimes melodramatic presentation. The St. Charles Players do a credible job on the major roles, but some of the group responses, such as "Aye, aye Captain," sound more comic than serious. This adaptation retains a good measure of Melville's dialogue and key passages which afford listeners a vivid connection with the lengthy novel. Background music and appropriate sound effects enhance the telling of the story about Captain Ahab's obsessive pursuit of the malevolent white whale. The cassettes are clearly marked, and running times are noted on each side of the tapes. Announcements at the beginning of each side and a subtle chime signal at the end make it easy to follow the story, but a stereo player must be used to hear some dialogue. The lightweight cardboard package is inadequate for circulation. Done in a radio theatre format, the recording does a nice job of introducing the deeper themes of the book and covering the major events. For school libraries that support an American literature curriculum, this recording offers a different interpretation of an enduring classic.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library. Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
In a sense, this work is the piece de resistance of the textual revolution in American scholarship of the past generation. The first half is the final MLA "Approved Text" of the classic novel, prepared under the auspices of the Center for Editions of American Authors. The second half consists of an Historical Note detailing background, genetic composition, publication, and ensuing critical reception; a discussion of its textual history; and some relevant marginalia. The work is not only thorough and rigorous, but, considering the scholarly grittiness of the endeavor, surprisingly lucid and graceful in its exposition. Highly recommended for special collections. Earl Rovit, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
This adaptation of Melville's monumental classic retains many of its famous lines and scenes, giving the listener a sense of the endless search for the white whale while not actually going through it detail by detail. The actors bring in a variety of accents and voices that tell much about the characters: from Ishmael's salty New England accent to a fellow whaler's German accent to Queequeg's powerful tone. Sounds of the sea weave in and out of the story without overwhelming it, and the scenes in which the crew is out chasing whales are imbued with a sense of urgency and suspense. The St. Charles Players make MOBY-DICK palatable for a general audience. A.F. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Fine Print
"Historically, the two great typographical edifices of West Coast printing are the Grabhorn Leaves of Grass and the Nash Divine Comedy. Now the Arion Press Moby Dick takes its place beside them. . .It is the textual weft of hand composition that forms the chief glory of this work. Hoyem seems to have found the perfect measure to accommodate text to type. We turn page after page of matchless composition. . .as the magical result. I would venture the opinion that this constitutes a feat of modern craftsmanship unexcelled in modern printing."

'In his great whaling epic Melville roamed both the seas, and the secret places of men's minds. In the alternate playfulness and ferocity of the great white whale he found the perfect metaphor within which to develope his views on life, death and God.' The Sunday Times

'An attractive edition to a field rather overcrowded with inexpensive editions. However, the Hawthorne matyerial gives this one an edge.' Andrew Lyman, Leicester University. ' Much better annotations than any other available edition.' H. Merritt, CCAT Cambridge.

"Responsive to the shaping forces of his age as only men of passionate imagination are, even Melville can hardly have been fully aware of how symbolical an American hero he had fashioned in Ahab."
--F. O. Matthiessen

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Book Description
This classic story of high adventure, manic obsession, and metaphysical speculation was Melville's masterpiece. The tale of Captain Ahab's frantic pursuit of the cunning and notorious white whale Moby Dick, is packed with drama, and draws heavily on the author's own experiences on the high seas. This edition includes passages from Melville's correspondence with Nathaniel Hawthorne, in which the two discussed the philosophical depths of the novel's plot and imagery.

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
(in full Moby-Dick; or, The Whale) Novel by Herman Melville, published in London in October 1851 and published a month later in the United States. Moby-Dick is generally regarded as its author's masterpiece and one of the greatest American novels. The basic plot of Moby-Dick is simple. The narrator (who asks to be called "Ishmael") tells of the last voyage of the ship Pequod out of New Bedford, Mass. Captain Ahab is obsessed with the pursuit of the white whale Moby-Dick, which finally kills him. On that level, the work is an intense, superbly authentic narrative. Its theme and central figure, however, are reminiscent of Job in his search for justice and of Oedipus in his search for truth. The novel's richly symbolic language and tragic hero are indicative of Melville's deeper concerns: the equivocal defeats and triumphs of the human spirit and its fusion of creative and murderous urges.

Card catalog description
A young seaman joins the crew of the fanatical Captain Ahab in pursuit of the white whale Moby Dick.

From the Publisher
Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.

Inside Flap Copy
Introduction by Larzer Ziff

From the Back Cover
"Responsive to the shaping forces of his age as only men of passionate imagination are, even Melville can hardly have been fully aware of how symbolical an american hero he had fashioned in Ahab....He is the embodiment of his author's most profound response to the problem of the free individual will in extremis."

--F.O. Matthiessen

This edition reproduces the illustrations and page design created by Rockwell Kent for Random House in 1930.

About the Author
Tony Tanner is at King's College, Cambridge.



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