Moby Dick : Library Edition

Moby Dick : Library Edition

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One of the most widely-read and respected books in all American literature, Moby Dick is the saga of Captain Ahab and his unrelenting pursuit of Moby Dick, the great white whale who maimed him during their last encounter. A novel blending high-seas romantic adventure, symbolic allegory, and the conflicting ideals of heroic determination and undying hatred, Moby Dick is also revered for its historical accounts of the whaling industry of the 1800's.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598956306
Publisher: Findaway World, LLC
Publication date: 11/27/2006
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 4.87(w) x 7.78(h) x 1.14(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Patrick F. McManus has written twelve books and two plays. There are nearly two million copies of his books in print, including his bestselling "They Shoot Canoes Don't They?"; "The Night The Bear Ate Goombaw"; and "A Fine and Pleasant Mystery," He divides his time between Spokane, Washington, and Idaho.
Read by Norman Dietz

Date of Birth:

August 1, 1819

Date of Death:

September 28, 1891

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Attended the Albany Academy in Albany, New York, until age 15

Read an Excerpt



Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs—commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme down-town is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there.

Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. Whatdo you see?—Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster—tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here?

But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand—miles of them—leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues—north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?

Once more. Say, you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absentminded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries—stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.

But here is an artist. He desires to paint you the dreamiest, shadiest, quietest, most enchanting bit of romantic landscape in all the valley of the Saco. What is the chief element he employs? There stand his trees, each with a hollow trunk, as if a hermit and a crucifix were within; and here sleeps his meadow, and there sleep his cattle; and up from yonder cottage goes a sleepy smoke. Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-side blue. But though the picture lies thus tranced, and though this pine-tree shakes down its sighs like leaves upon this shepherd's head, yet all were vain, unless the shepherd's eye were fixed upon the magic stream before him. Go visit the Prairies in June, when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among Tiger-lilies—what is the one charm wanting?—Water—there is not a drop of water there! Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it? Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach? Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go to sea? Why upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land? Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.

Now, when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes, and begin to be over conscious of my lungs, I do not mean to have it inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger. For to go as a passenger you must needs have a purse, and a purse is but a rag unless you have something in it. Besides, passengers get sea-sick—grow quarrelsome—don't sleep of nights—do not enjoy themselves much, as a general thing;—no, I never go as a passenger; nor, though I am something of a salt, do I ever go to sea as a Commodore, or a Captain, or a Cook. I abandon the glory and distinction of such offices to those who like them. For my part, I abominate all honorable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations of every kind whatsoever. It is quite as much as I can do to take care of myself, without taking care of ships, barques, brigs, schooners, and what not. And as for going as cook,—though I confess there is considerable glory in that, a cook being a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, somehow, I never fancied broiling fowls;—though once broiled, judiciously buttered, and judgmatically salted and peppered, there is no one who will speak more respectfully, not to say reverentially, of a broiled fowl than I will. It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the old Egyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse, that you see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyramids.

No, when I go to sea, I go as a simple sailor, right before the mast, plumb down into the forecastle, aloft there to the royal mast-head. True, they rather order me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshopper in a May meadow. And at first, this sort of thing is unpleasant enough. It touches one's sense of honor, particularly if you come of an old established family in the land, the Van Rensselaers, or Randolphs, or Hardicanutes. And more than all, if just previous to putting your hand into the tar-pot, you have been lording it as a country schoolmaster, making the tallest boys stand in awe of you. The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it. But even this wears off in time.

What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain orders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance? Who ain't a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about—however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way—either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content.

Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On the contrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid,—what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!

Finally, I always go to sea as a sailor, because of the wholesome exercise and pure air of the forecastle deck. For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the Commodore on the quarter-deck gets his atmosphere at second hand from the sailors on the forecastle. He thinks he breathes it first; but not so. In much the same way do the commonalty lead their leaders in many other things, at the same time that the leaders little suspect it. But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs me, and influences me in some unaccountable way—he can better answer than any one else. And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago. It came in as a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances. I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:

"grand contested election for the presidency of the united states.

"whaling voyage by one ishmael.

"bloody battle in afghanistan."

Though I cannot tell why it was exactly that those stage managers, the Fates, put me down for this shabby part of a whaling voyage, when others were set down for magnificent parts in high tragedies, and short and easy parts in genteel comedies, and jolly parts in farces—though I cannot tell why this was exactly; yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I think I can see a little into the springs and motives which being cunningly presented to me under various disguises, induced me to set about performing the part I did, besides cajoling me into the delusion that it was a choice resulting from my own unbiased freewill and discriminating judgment.

Chief among these motives was the overwhelming idea of the great whale himself. Such a portentous and mysterious monster roused all my curiosity. Then the wild and distant seas where he rolled his island bulk; the undeliverable, nameless perils of the whale; these, with all the attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and sounds, helped to sway me to my wish. With other men, perhaps, such things would not have been inducements; but as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in.

By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.



I stuffed a shirt or two into my old carpet-bag, tucked it under my arm, and started for Cape Horn and the Pacific. Quitting the good city of old Manhatto, I duly arrived in New Bedford. It was on a Saturday night in December. Much was I disappointed upon learning that the little packet for Nantucket had already sailed, and that no way of reaching that place would offer, till the following Monday.

As most young candidates for the pains and penalties of whaling stop at this same New Bedford, thence to embark on their voyage, it may as well be related that I, for one, had no idea of so doing. For my mind was made up to sail in no other than a Nantucket craft, because there was a fine, boisterous something about everything connected with that famous old island, which amazingly pleased me. Besides though New Bedford has of late been gradually monopolizing the business of whaling, and though in this matter poor old Nantucket is now much behind her, yet Nantucket was her great original—the Tyre of this Carthage;—the place where the first dead American whale was stranded. Where else but from Nantucket did those aboriginal whalemen, the Red-Men, first sally out in canoes to give chase to the Leviathan? And where but from Nantucket, too, did that first adventurous little sloop put forth, partly laden with imported cobble-stones—so goes the story—to throw at the whales, in order to discover when they were nigh enough to risk a harpoon from the bowsprit?

Now having a night, a day, and still another night following before me in New Bedford, ere I could embark for my destined port, it became a matter of concernment where I was to eat and sleep meanwhile. It was a very dubious-looking, nay, a very dark and dismal night, bitingly cold and cheerless. I knew no one in the place. With anxious grapnels I had sounded my pocket, and only brought up a few pieces of silver,—So, wherever you go, Ishmael, said I to myself, as I stood in the middle of a dreary street shouldering my bag, and comparing the gloom towards the north with the darkness towards the south—wherever in your wisdom you may conclude to lodge for the night, my dear Ishmael, be sure to inquire the price, and don't be too particular.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Loomings17
Chapter 2The Carpet-Bag22
Chapter 3The Spouter-Inn26
Chapter 4The Counterpane41
Chapter 5Breakfast45
Chapter 6The Street47
Chapter 7The Chapel50
Chapter 8The Pulpit53
Chapter 9The Sermon56
Chapter 10A Bosom Friend65
Chapter 11Nightgown69
Chapter 12Biographical71
Chapter 13Wheelbarrow73
Chapter 14Nantucket78
Chapter 15Chowder80
Chapter 16The Ship83
Chapter 17The Ramadan97
Chapter 18His Mark103
Chapter 19The Prophet107
Chapter 20All Astir111
Chapter 21Going Aboard113
Chapter 22Merry Christmas117
Chapter 23The Lee Shore121
Chapter 24The Advocate122
Chapter 25Postscript127
Chapter 26Knights and Squires128
Chapter 27Knights and Squires131
Chapter 28Ahab136
Chapter 29Enter Ahab; to Him, Stubb139
Chapter 30The Pipe142
Chapter 31Queen Mab143
Chapter 32Cetology146
Chapter 33The Specksynder159
Chapter 34The Cabin-Table162
Chapter 35The Mast-Head168
Chapter 36The Quarter-Deck, Ahab and All174
Chapter 37Sunset182
Chapter 38Dusk184
Chapter 39First Night-Watch185
Chapter 40Midnight, Forecastle186
Chapter 41Moby-Dick193
Chapter 42The Whiteness of the Whale203
Chapter 43Hark!212
Chapter 44The Chart213
Chapter 45The Affidavit218
Chapter 46Surmises227
Chapter 47The Mat-Maker230
Chapter 48The First Lowering233
Chapter 49The Hyena243
Chapter 50Ahab's Boat and Crew. Fedallah245
Chapter 51The Spirit-Spout248
Chapter 52The Albatross252
Chapter 53The Gam254
Chapter 54The Town-Ho's Story259
Chapter 55Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales279
Chapter 56Of the Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales, etc.284
Chapter 57Of Whales in Paint; in Teeth; etc.288
Chapter 58Brit290
Chapter 59Squid293
Chapter 60The Line296
Chapter 61Stubb Kills a Whale300
Chapter 62The Dart305
Chapter 63The Crotch306
Chapter 64Stubb's Supper308
Chapter 65The Whale As a Dish316
Chapter 66The Shark Massacre318
Chapter 67Cutting In320
Chapter 68The Blanket322
Chapter 69The Funeral325
Chapter 70The Sphynx327
Chapter 71The Jeroboam's Story329
Chapter 72The Monkey-Rope335
Chapter 73Stubb and Flask Kill a Right Whale, etc.340
Chapter 74The Sperm Whale's Head-Contrasted View345
Chapter 75The Right Whale's Head-Contrasted View350
Chapter 76The Battering-Ram353
Chapter 77The Great Heidelburgh Tun355
Chapter 78Cistern and Buckets357
Chapter 79The Praire361
Chapter 80The Nut364
Chapter 81The Pequod Meets the Virgin366
Chapter 82The Honor and Glory of Whaling378
Chapter 83Jonah Historically Regarded381
Chapter 84Pitchpoling383
Chapter 85The Fountain385
Chapter 86The Tail391
Chapter 87The Grand Armada395
Chapter 88Schools and Schoolmasters408
Chapter 89Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish411
Chapter 90Heads or Tails415
Chapter 91The Pequod Meets the Rose-Bud418
Chapter 92Ambergris425
Chapter 93The Castaway428
Chapter 94A Squeeze of the Hand432
Chapter 95The Cassock436
Chapter 96The Try-Works437
Chapter 97The Lamp442
Chapter 98Stowing Down and Clearing Up443
Chapter 99The Doubloon446
Chapter 100The Pequod Meets the Samuel Enderby of London452
Chapter 101The Decanter459
Chapter 102A Bower in the Arsacides464
Chapter 103Measurement of the Whale's Skeleton468
Chapter 104The Fossil Whale471
Chapter 105Does the Whale's Magnitude Diminish?475
Chapter 106Ahab's Leg479
Chapter 107The Carpenter482
Chapter 108Ahab and the Carpenter485
Chapter 109Ahab and Starbuck in the Cabin489
Chapter 110Queequeg in His Coffin492
Chapter 111The Pacific498
Chapter 112The Blacksmith499
Chapter 113The Forge502
Chapter 114The Gilder505
Chapter 115The Pequod Meets the Bachelor507
Chapter 116The Dying Whale510
Chapter 117The Whale Watch512
Chapter 118The Quadrant513
Chapter 119The Candles516
Chapter 120The Deck523
Chapter 121Midnight-The Forecastle Bulwarks524
Chapter 122Midnight Aloft526
Chapter 123The Musket526
Chapter 124The Needle530
Chapter 125The Log and Line533
Chapter 126The Life-Buoy536
Chapter 127The Deck540
Chapter 128The Pequod Meets the Rachel542
Chapter 129The Cabin546
Chapter 130The Hat548
Chapter 131The Pequod Meets the Delight552
Chapter 132The Symphony554
Chapter 133The Chase-First Day558
Chapter 134The Chase-Second Day567
Chapter 135The Chase-Third Day576
Criticism and Context
Herman Melville: A Biographical Note590
Moby-Dick and Its Contemporary Reviews607
Moby-Dick and Its Modern Critics619
from Herman Melville619
"Seven Moby-Dicks"629
"The Tragic Meaning of Moby-Dick"645
from "Herman Melville's Moby-Dick"654
"The Fire Symbolism in Moby-Dick"662
Recommended Reading668

What People are Saying About This

S. Mattheson

Responsible to misshapen forces of his age as only men of passionate imagination are, even Melville hardly be aware of how symbolic an American hero he'd fashioned in Captain Ahab...he is the embodiment of his author's most profound response to the problem of the free individual will in extremis.

Reading Group Guide

1. What is the significance of the whale? What do you think Melville intends in developing such a vicious antagonism between Ahab and the whale?

2. How does the presence of Queequeg, particularly his status as a "savage, " inform the novel? How does Melville depict this cultural clash?

3. How does whaling as an industry function metaphorically throughout the novel? Where does man fit in in this scenario?

4. Melville explores the divide between evil and virtue, justice and vengeance throughout the novel. What, ultimately, is his conclusion? What is Ahab's?

5. What do you think of the role, if any, played by religion in the novel? Do you think religious conventions are replaced or subverted in some way? Discuss.

6. Discuss the novel's philosophical subtext. How does this contribute to the basic plot involving Ahab's search for the whale? Is this Ishmael's purpose in the novel?

7. Discuss the role of women in the novel. What does their conspicuous absence mean in the overall context of the novel?

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Moby-Dick 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 241 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it and i am in 5 th grade. Aawesome. I love mobi dick.
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FredB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Herman Melville's classic novel of whaling. I never read this in high school, so I decided to do it now. The thing which surprised me most about it is that it is mostly a non-fiction book. Most of it is about whaling - the natural history of whales, the methods used to hunt them, etc.
deadmanjones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A promising beginning on land as the narrator unveils his character with a good degree of humour, sinks without trace as soon as the Pequod puts to the ocean. The narrator is forgotten (a risible postscript doesn't help), as is the story, as the novel transforms itself into a lengthy discourse on whaling, whales, the colour white, and any passing fancy that slipped into Melville's mind. Its form is random, its narrative is inconsistent and its symbolism is ham fisted (and more oft that not actually announced as symbolism). When the chase finally erupts it is an exciting and emotional ride, but little could overcome any reader's feeling of exhaustion by this point. I deserve a medal for reading every page of the unabridged version, since less than 1/5 of its volume is taken up with any semblance of story.
Eloise on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'd always got the impression that this was hard work, and put off reading it for that reason, but I couldn't have been more wrong. This is one of the best books I've ever read, funny, moving and incredibly interesting. I enjoyed every page, even the whaling bits that everyone is told they should hate (and I speak as a committed vegetarian). Melville's sympathy for the whales and admiration for them is clear throughout the novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read, classic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although very long and at times rambling it was a very good read. Like many 18th century works it contains what now seem to be obscure references. Still, it was an excellent book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fur color: grey Eyes:Ice blue Wing color: black Age: just turned 6 moons Needs memtor
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At yul results
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome book im lucky my science teacher told me about the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She pads in. May I join?
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A pair of eyes peek out from behind a tree.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this the whole book?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good book