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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.

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Notations

Global

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Histoire

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

59 sur 60 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

48 sur 52 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

64 sur 70 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

53 sur 58 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

14 sur 15 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

31 sur 35 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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).

5 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

9 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ethosian
  • 19/05/2013

Elements of greatness smothered w/ too much detail


It is interesting that Melville was not appreciated in his day - I'll bet his reputation was resurrected by academics who need suitable material for torturing students in American literature classes.

On the positive side, I love that Ishmael is a voice for cultural and racial acceptance and I even appreciate the seaman's-eye-view of life on a 19th century whaling ship.

I found the ad nauseum descriptions and dated lessons in marine biology more than a little tedious. The language Melville uses is interesting and challenging, but the real issue is his lack of self-restraint in the various tangents he takes.

You can't just say my reaction is the result of a modern attention span, because they didn't much appreciate it in his own time either.

5 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.