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Moby Dick

Lu par : Frank Muller
Durée : 21 h et 19 min
4,0 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

Its famous opening line, "Call me Ishmael," dramatic in its stark simplicity, begins an epic that is widely regarded as the greatest novel ever written by an American. Labeled variously a realistic story of whaling, a romance of unusual adventure and eccentric characters, a symbolic allegory, and a drama of heroic conflict, Moby Dick is first and foremost a great story. It has both the humor and poignancy of a simple sea ballad, as well as the depth and universality of a grand odyssey. When Melville's father died in 1832, the young man's financial security went too. For a while he turned to school-mastering and clerking, but failed to make a sustainable income. In 1840 he signed up on the whaler, Acushnet, out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was just 21. A whaler's life turned out to be both arduous and dangerous, and in 1842, Melville deserted ship. Out of this experience and a wealth of printed sources, Melville crafted his masterpiece.
©1987 Recorded Books, LLC. (P)1987 Recorded Books, LLC.

Commentaires

"Master narrator Frank Muller makes the most of his astonishing theatrical talents and vast experience to perform this tale of extraordinary drama. Muller uses emphasis and pauses to bring clarity to the visual depictions of life on the high seas, as seen by the doe-eyed Ishmael as he is led by the maniacal Captain Ahab. Listeners will hear the depth of emotions in Muller's voice as he paints the stark and shattering visuals of this classic story of revenge and, ultimately, survival." (AudioFile magazine)   

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Notations
Global
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Interprétation
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour C.B.E.
  • C.B.E.
  • 03/09/2011

Renewed appreciation

My attention span as a reader has decreased over the past decade - thanks, Internet - but I was thrilled to have "Moby Dick" read to me by Frank Muller, who did a great job. I knew I loved this book when I was younger, despite all my failed attempts to re-read as an adult. I'd rank it right up there in my top 10, and put it on my list of "difficult books worth reading" (which includes "Ulysses," "Gravity's Rainbow," "Under the Volcano," "The Sound and the Fury" and more).

31 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 09/05/2012

I Had No Idea Melville Was So Funny

I put off Moby Dick for a long time due to an experience in high school with Billy Budd. I didn't think I wanted to read this one, but was eventually swayed by some friends. Thankfully! Moby Dick's a thrilling adventure story full of depth and gravity and horror. It certainly earns its reputation as an American Classic. What surprised me, though, was how funny Melville is. I didn't realize he had such a sense of humor.

Muller's reading is, of course, a benchmark of excellence. He made this story come alive for me in ways I didn't think it could. I'm so glad I finally decided to give this one a chance.

102 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 27/01/2010

It's a classic, you just have to accept that.

First, the story. It's been described by enough reviews that I can't add to it, so I'll just say that about a quarter of the story is some of the best action sequences and intricate character interactions you will ever read even compared to modern writers, and about three fourths of the story is exposition about whaling and whales and the culture of 19th century whalers that is fascinating, educational, critical to the story, and not always easy to stay awake through.

Second, the reader. If you've heard Frank Muller read Stephen King, forget that. He is completely different in this. He is vivid, crisp, and quick, and that is a lifesaver in this work. Even in passages about whales and their classifications, he maintains a lively inflection that might help you through it.

If you've ever tried and failed to read Moby Dick, try this reading of it. If you still can't get through it, give it up. This is the best chance you have, and yes, it is well worth it to do so.

I gave it a five because it is a tremendous reading of a classic, moreso than any judgement about the classic itself. I love it, but it's not Dan Brown, for better and worse.

93 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Samantha Dunaway Bryant
  • Samantha Dunaway Bryant
  • 17/08/2017

Excellent Narration kept me afloat

This was my second attempt to assail the infamous white whale. The first time I was a mere landlubber of some twenty years. Now I'm seasoned old salt (at least of the literary seas) of two score and six. That alone may have made some difference. I also listened to it as an audio book this time. I'm sure that helped, keeping me focused when my eye might have wandered. In any case, I loved it. This narrator was perfect, neither over nor under dramatic, able to represent all the varied types of chapters well.

What I remembered was that, after an engaging beginning, the book became a slog. And it is assuredly a challenging book. I still found it so. It took me a solid month to read, even on summer vacation when I have much more time to read than life normally affords me.

Not only is it nearly as big a tome as Moby Dick is a whale, it changes tone from chapter to chapter. Sometimes it seems a comedy with a snarky narrator entertaining us with portraits of whalers and their lives. Sometimes it seems an erudite study of the creatures and ways of the sea. Sometimes it seems a philosopher's meanderings through an inner seascape, searching for morality and meaning. Sometimes it seems a Shakespearean tragedy on a rolling seawater soaked stage. I can see why it wasn't an insta-hit when it was new, especially if you'd come to it as a fan of Melville's more straightforward sea adventure stories.

My love might also be because 2017 has been my year for poetry. I was sucked in completely by the language, losing myself in gorgeous descriptive passages, wonderful word play, and compelling metaphors. I wore out my bookmark button marking striking passages. And they weren't all in the "plot" chapters. Beautiful language and deep thoughts abound in the "whaling" chapters, too. At times, I could hear echoes of Whitman, Coleridge, Irving, Poe, Darwin, Hawthorne. It seems Melville's masterwork taps into that romantic flowing zeal of the 1800s that marked so many of the works of the era.

I'm glad I came back to this book and gave it another chance. Sometimes, perhaps, it's not about the book itself, but about whether it's your time for reading it.

22 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Livelightly
  • Livelightly
  • 09/02/2011

Muller is e3xceptional

I have learned to seek out the books read by now deceased Frank Muller, and found Moby-Dick because I thought it would be challenging enough to bring out his best. Indeed it does. I had read the book myself a couple of times, more or less because I thought an educated man needed to. Now that I have heard Muller's interpretation I can see the greatness of the book. No women in it, of course. Muller does women better than any other male reader.... Don't miss this. Also the books he read by Cormac McCarthy. His loss is a great one to the book world.

64 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Andrew
  • Andrew
  • 09/10/2013

Tremendously Eloquent

I never would have imagined that the adventures of a group of whalers could be so eloquently relayed to a reader, but here's the book that does just that! Herman Melville's expression of even the simplest ideas are given with such incredible phrases that one has to sometimes rewind the narrative (I did, at least) in order to be sure they actually heard what their ears reported. His eloquent use of alliteration was of such spectacular skill that several scenes stood steadily in sight, stuff that easily brings a smile to to a serene listener's face.

We immediately are encountered by social dilemmas of racism and conflicting religious beliefs when Ishmael meets Queequeg for the first time. Fear is the first thing that Ishmael expresses, though he and Queequeg quickly become friends before they even head out on their voyage. On the ship, the existence of good and evil, even of a reigning deity, are examined as we hear of the history and beliefs of other shipmates. All in all, it's a diligent group of men who are either running from their lives on land or searching for something better than the lands from whence they came, even if it's something as simple as adventure.

Mr Frank Muller is an excellent narrator of the book and, though his accents for various characters are very subtle, they're still enough of a change to inform the listener that a new character is speaking, or that Ishmael's commentary has begun again. At times the narrative was so exciting and high-paced that I couldn't have understood what was being said without following along in my book, but, aside from that small glitch, the performance was fantastic. Mr Muller did a great job in delivering sometimes complicated phrases from an amazing author. Very well done, sir!

9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Brendon
  • Brendon
  • 18/01/2009

An American Classic!

The narrator does good job with this epic, though a bit cliche. How else do you characterize the voices of sea dogs other than what you already expect? Otherwise, a gripping and poetic story, full of subdued (and therefore more humorous) jabs at Christian society and the customs of the age. It is sometimes difficult to follow the tangents into deep descriptions of the whale (especially considering how far marine biology has come), but the payoff is in the plethora of one-liners that zing into timelessness. Not having read the book previously, I was amazed at how many references are made to this book in pop culture. Some are obvious, others not so much. Either way, this book has enough to keep you interested to the finish and the narrator keeps the characterizations enlivened so that the result is an entertaining and fecund experience.

66 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Rick Kintigh
  • Rick Kintigh
  • 08/10/2014

more than a simple revenge story

Any additional comments?

Moby Dick is a many faceted novel. It has long sections which serve solely to educate the reader about the taxonomy and anatomy of whales and reads like a naturalist’s field book for an audience which would have no other means to visualize these enormous creatures. There are historical and economic essays on the role of whaling in society. Essays on vessels, equipment and crew with long passages about the life and duties of the whaler. Exacting strategies of landing a whale and method of processing its bulk, along with yields, storage and maintenance. But intertwined with all of the exposition, Herman Melville has incorporated a philosophical, introspective, adventure story with some surprising social commentary for a book published in 1851.

In the tenth chapter we have the marriage of Queequeg and Ishmael, both male characters. Some passages are merely suggestive, such as their union in the Innkeepers wedding bed, and some of the more genial bed play. Some are more overt.

“He seemed to take to me quite as naturally and unbiddenly as I to him; and when our smoke was over, he pressed his forehead against mine, clasped me round the waist, and said that henceforth we were married…”

After which Queequeg divides his belongings and gives half to Ishmael. And again,

"How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts’ honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg – a cosy, loving pair."

Melville also interjects some surprisingly subversive religious opinions. When trying to convince the Quaker owners of the Pequod to allow Queequeg on board, Ishmael argues:

"I mean, sir, the same ancient Catholic Church to which you and I, and Captain Peleg there, and Queequeg here, and all of us, and every mother's son and soul of us belong; the great and everlasting First Congregation of this whole worshipping world; we all belong to that; only some of us cherish some queer crotchets no ways touching the grand belief; in THAT we all join hands."

Or this curious portion of their wedding where Ishmael considers his participation in idol worship.

“I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolator in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is worship? thought I… to do the will of God--THAT is worship. And what is the will of God?--to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me--THAT is the will of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish that this Queequeg would do to me? Why, unite with me in my particular Presbyterian form of worship. Consequently, I must then unite with him in his; ergo, I must turn idolator. So I kindled the shavings; helped prop up the innocent little idol; offered him burnt biscuit with Queequeg; salamed before him twice or thrice; kissed his nose; and that done, we undressed and went to bed, at peace with our own consciences and all the world”.

Finally, and perhaps my favorite rumination concludes several reflections on man’s violence to one another.

"Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure. Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the dainty embellished shape of many species of sharks. Consider, once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began. Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself?"

Herman Melville’s work is full of complex and beautiful prose, and so much more than the simply revenge story I assumed it to be. Moby Dick is an accurate depiction of the knowledge of the natural sciences - and a window into social and religious consciousness of the 1850s.

8 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alice
  • 17/10/2009

I felt totally swept up in this world

I liked this book in its print form, a lot. But I have to say that the audio version is even better. Frank Muller is an absolute genius. He can do everything -- from a Nantucket innkeeper, to all of the various accents on board the Pequod, and even the dialect of a freed slave. I hope I can find more of his work.

42 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 28/03/2010

A Pleasure!

My preference is almost always the interior narrator: the voice in my head when I am reading silently to myself, and I have read this book so many times--and yet Muller does a wonderful job with the voice of Ishmael, street-wise, ship-wise, and philisophical, truly rendering the epic drama and poem of Moby Dick. Moreover, I think the lined poems, the songs, the epigrams, dialogs and monologues, those "extra" parts of the narrative, all seem welded into the story by Muller's reading. Really great!

23 personnes ont trouvé cela utile