Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Page Count: 654
Published: 1851
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick, which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab's ship and severed his leg at the knee. Although the novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, its reputation grew immensely during the twentieth…
3.8Overall Score


Call me Ishmael.

  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Pacing

I knew the story of Moby Dick, and more recently In the Heart of the Sea, but this book was def not what I expected. The actual storyline was very intriguing but interwoven in that are all of these chapters on whaling history, anatomy and so on. I found them very interesting but also somewhat distracting. I’d kind of prefer them as appendices. On the other hand, they do follow with the happenings of the book. Either way though, they are a great wealth of knowledge and I liked them being in the book.

Aside from structure is the actual storyline. Good ole Captain Ahab. Like I mentioned, I already knew his fate….but seeing his mental descent and final moments firsthand was pretty shocking. Also the fate of the Pequod. Oh dear, this story was so very full of lessons. I wrote down a full list of them, #1 being Captain Ahab’s obsession.

As for the characters, they were all flawless. My favorites were Ishmael, Captain Ahab and Starbuck. Ishmael was so even keeled and his thoughts and ideas made for a fascinated narrator. Captain Ahab seemed to be a man on the edge dealing with life-long disappointments and grappling at his final chance to do something important. Starbuck was a great character because he was sensible and tried to keep Ahab in line even as he was spiraling. Ever other character was superb too though!

Overall this was a great book & I’m glad Moby Dick got away…I’d probably not like it as much if he hadn’t. It’s a long book but I def recommend it.

I'm an avid reader and love most all books, but my favorite genres tend to be mystery, adventure, science fiction and classics. Genres I tend to shy away from include romance, contemporary fiction and chick lit. If I’m not actually reading books, I’m probably at work shelving them at my local library.


  • Christina

    I’m so glad you liked Moby-Dick!! I read it in December 2017 and I just loved it! I had feared it would be both long and dull, and it was long but hardly a dull moment ensued. I also liked the chapters of background information, which I found fascinating. I think the most surprising thing to me was how the chapters were written in different styles. One was nearly a Shakespearean sonnet. One was like a play with little asides or stage directions. And the story was epic, of course.

    A very helpful website for anyone who is thinking of reading this classic is “Power Moby-Dick, the Online Annotation” The woman has put the complete book online with many, many annotations; like all those whaling terms and the 19th century English that is obsolete. I read the paper one, but checked out words every few chapters. Bonus: you can even get a certificate of completion at the end of the online book!
    Christina recently posted…Bout of Books Read-a-thon 23My Profile

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