American 19th Century Literature
: Complete Stories; The Golden Bowl; Moby-Dick; Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn; The Age of Innocence
An extraordinary collection that features some of the most beloved stories in early American literature, ranging from tales of love and longing to those of personal transformation. With elegant cloth sewn bindings, gold stamped covers, and silk ribbon markers, these classics are an essential for any home library.Titles included:The Age of Innocence by Edith WhartonThe Complete Stories by Edgar Allan PoeThe Golden Bowl by Henry JamesMoby-Dick by Herman MelvilleTom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Moby Dick is able to provide readers with both a good story and whaling knowledge. The journey of the Peqoud and its diverse characters will definitely make you want to take a trip around the sea. Full of suspense and humor, Moby Dick makes the perfect book for young adults to read.
Herman Melville¿s Moby-Dick is, without question, the greatest single work of American fiction ever written. With good reason the novel has been a staple of our culture, from the English classroom to popular culture. Melville¿s compelling story of obsession and revenge, his rich cast of characters, his varied and experimental style, and above all his masterful use of symbolism and pregnant imagery make Moby-Dick a book that no educated man or woman can afford to miss. The storyline, though somewhat unevenly paced, builds steadily into a first-rate tale of human struggle. The book is narrated by Ishmael, a young man who joins the crew of a whaling vessel to combat his depression, or, as he puts it, the ¿drizzly November¿ in his soul. Though Ishmael narrates, Ahab, the captain of the Nantucket whaling ship The Pequod, is the book¿s main character. Prior to the beginning of the story, Ahab is attacked by an albino sperm whale, named Moby-Dick. Moby-Dick chomps off Ahab¿s leg and sends him into a feverish madness. Ahab swears revenge, and over the course of the rest of the novel, he brings his crew with him on his doomed quest. Melville crews his ship with a huge and diverse cast of characters. The domineering and remote Ahab provides a natural foil for the care-free and easy-going Ishmael. The three mates of the ship ¿ Starbuck, Stubb and Flask ¿ encapsulate the range of man¿s responses to life¿s trials. Starbuck¿s sensitivity, Stubb¿s nonchalance, and Flask¿s prickly nature mark each character as distinct (though archetypal). In addition, the crew contains New Englanders of all types, natives from remote islands around the globe, and the sinister ¿hair-turbaned Fedallah [who] remained a muffled mystery to the last.¿ Melville¿s style, like his characters, is varied. There are sections of the book ¿ particularly the ¿Whiteness of the Whale¿ chapter that are lyrical and poetic, alongside technical chapters addressing the types of whales or the proper manufacture of whaling rope. Certain scenes are written almost like a play, with stage directions and character names followed by their lines. When the Pequod leaves Nantucket, the mastery of Melville¿s prose shines through: ¿Ship and boat diverged the cold, damp night breeze blew between a screaming gull flew overhead the two hulls wildly rolled we gave three heavy-hearted cheers, and blindly plunged like fate into the lone Atlantic.¿ Moby-Dick is a landmark in American Literature, but because of its complex structure and poetic style, it¿s better suited for older or more patient readers. In addition, many readers might find an abridged version useful ¿ one that removes the less plot-oriented chapters (like the infamous ¿Cetology¿ chapter). Still, for the discerning reader, there is no richer find than Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. I give it 10 harpoons out of 10.
It isn't a fast read by any means, and there are many a chapter that could've been wiped clean from the manuscript without any damage to the main story, but this doesn't mean it isn't a good, fun story at its core.
When I read Moby Dick (for fun, not for a class), I used a highlighter to illuminate interesting, clever, and humorous passages. There is something highlighted on almost every page, even the useless chapters. Just because they don't really add to the story, doesn't mean they can't still be packed with interesting details. I just love learning about new things.
The writing style, for me, flowed well and was easy to read. It's a style that is fun to read aloud. Moby Dick is a funny book at times, and I don't believe it necessary to scrutinize it as some tome of literary intelligence that many believe or have been taught to believe the book to be.
The first third of the book is not pointless. One reviewer called the book a boring travelogue, save for the last few chapters, or, the chase.
The end of the book is the climax. It rises above previous action and suspense to create the...climax. The apex. The apogee. What have you, Moby Dick is a climb. Have you ever spotted a mountain top midway up a mountain? No. It's always at the top.
In the end, Moby Dick is a journey that you must walk every step of the way through. Read the useless chapters. Don't skim the text. Savor every word. This book is a labor of love from Melville. If you don't want to read it, then don't. Don't complain. If you have to read it for school, get the Sparknotes. But I'll be damned if you're going to give this a one star rating because you didn't finish it and found it boring.
I don't read Jane Austen novels. They just aren't my style of book. I don't try them, because I know I won't like them. Stick to your guns.
This is a whaling story. It is a story about sailing and killing whales. It has a lot of information on both subjects. But at its heart, it is an adventurous tale filled with interesting, funny characters, and a vendetta that transcends time.
Give it a try if you're interested. Keep away if none of this sounds appealing.
I loved it. Not a full five stars because it isn't perfect, like most everything created by man.
No doubt about it, this is a hard book to read. It's beauty, however, lies in that it truly is a book on two levels. On one level, it's a description of whaling. On the second level, it's this intense allegory about...what? That's up to the reader, because nobody can really say they understand what all the symbolism means. The book is loaded with Biblical allusions and names, so it helps to be up on the Bible. It's definitely not light reading, but if you can put in the effort, it's worth it.